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Application of Social Media Analytics in Business

In this course, you will learn how business managers are applying social media analytics to increase their effectiveness. Social media analytics can be applied to a variety of business functions including financial services, customer relationship management, human resources and IT Services. The use of social media by Fortune 500 companies is discussed as well as the application of A/B testing.

This Course is intended for Business Professionals and Students interested in learning how to use Social Media Data Analytics to strategically make better decisions about Marketing, Advertising, Product Development, Customer Experience, and Operations.

social media analytics 

Practitioners and analysts alike know social media by its many websites and channels: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and many others.

Social media analytics is the ability to gather and find meaning in data gathered from social channels to support business decisions — and measure the performance of actions based on those decisions through social media.

Social media analytics is broader than metrics such as likes, follows, retweets, previews, clicks, and impressions gathered from individual channels. It also differs from reporting offered by services that support marketing campaigns such as LinkedIn or Google Analytics.

Social media analytics uses specifically designed software platforms that work similarly to web search tools. Data about keywords or topics is retrieved through search queries or web ‘crawlers’ that span channels. Fragments of text are returned, loaded into a database, categorized and analyzed to derive meaningful insights.

Social media analytics includes the concept of social listening. Listening is monitoring social channels for problems and opportunities. Social media analytics tools typically incorporate listening into more comprehensive reporting that involves listening and performance analysis.


Why is social media analytics important?

IBM points out that with the prevalence of social media: “News of a great product can spread like wildfire. And news about a bad product — or a bad experience with a customer service rep — can spread just as quickly. Consumers are now holding organizations to account for their brand promises and sharing their experiences with friends, co-workers and the public at large.”

Social media analytics helps companies address these experiences and use them to:

  • Spot trends related to offerings and brands
  • Understand conversations — what is being said and how it is being received
  • Derive customer sentiment towards products and services
  • Gauge response to social media and other communications
  • Identify high-value features for a product or service
  • Uncover what competitors are saying and its effectiveness
  • Map how third-party partners and channels may affect performance

These insights can be used to not only make tactical adjustments, like addressing an angry tweet, they can help drive strategic decisions. In fact, IBM finds social media analytics is now “being brought into the core discussions about how businesses develop their strategies.”

These strategies affect a range of business activity:

  • Product development – Analyzing an aggregate of Facebook posts, tweets and Amazon product reviews can deliver a clearer picture of customer pain points, shifting needs and desired features. Trends can be identified and tracked to shape the management of existing product lines as well as guide new product development.
  • Customer experience – An IBM study discovered “organizations are evolving from product-led to experience-led businesses.” Behavioral analysis can be applied across social channels to capitalize on micro-moments to delight customers and increase loyalty and lifetime value.
    Branding – Social media may be the world’s largest focus group. Natural language processing and sentiment analysis can continually monitor positive or negative expectations to maintain brand health, refine positioning and develop new brand attributes.
  • Competitive Analysis – Understanding what competitors are doing and how customers are responding is always critical. For example, a competitor may indicate that they are foregoing a niche market, creating an opportunity. Or a spike in positive mentions for a new product can alert organizations to market disruptors.
  • Operational efficiency – Deep analysis of social media can help organizations improve how they gauge demand. Retailers and others can use that information to manage inventory and suppliers, reduce costs and optimize resources.

6 Important Reasons why you Should Use Social Media Analytics

They help you understand your audience

Taking steps to understand your audience using social data can help you in so many ways. For example, analyzing your past posts can help you find your unique best time to share.

Timing is an important part of social media marketing. If you post when your fans are online and at their highest level of alertness your posts will drive more engagement, traffic and sales.

Therefore, you should dissect your social data and find your unique best time to post on social media.

Some social networks let you do this easily through their built-in analytics.

On Facebook, you can find it by going to the ‘Post’ section in your insights.

They show you what your best social networks are

Not all social networks will work perfectly for you. Just because Facebook has over 2 billion users and Instagram has over 800 million users doesn’t mean they will drive the best results.

There might be smaller networks like Pinterest or Flickr that can help execute your strategy better.

The only way to confirm which social networks work best is through experimentation and using your analytics to measure how much engagement, traffic and sales you are getting.

This data can be utilized to focus more on social networks that are working for you and eliminating ones that aren’t.

You can also use the data to prioritize the amount of time you spend managing each social network. More time can be spent on the top performing networks and lesser on ones that bring in smaller results.

To figure out which social networks are driving the highest engagement, you should use a social media dashboard tool like Cyfe. It connects to several social networks and you can place data from all of them in one single dashboard to compare performance.

Social data can help you create better content

When you track your social networks, you will understand what content drives the best results.

On networks like Facebook and Twitter you will be able to see whether images, links or videos do better. While on visual-centric networks like Pinterest and Instagram you can check what type of images perform best.

To figure out what content is performing best you can use your social media page’s analytics. Some social networks like Facebook have built-in analytics that shows what types of media perform best. You can view it in the ‘Posts’ section of your analytics on Facebook.

Help you Understand competitors

Your competitors are also creating content and running social media strategies. This will result in their own unique data.

If you analyze this data, you will be able to figure out what is working and what isn’t. It will help you avoid the mistakes they are making and only focus on techniques that bring results.

To figure out which social networks are working best for your competitors you can use Similar Web.

Just add the URL to any website and it will show you the percentage of the traffic your site receives from social media and the social networks driving it.

 Social metrics can help you create a better strategy

You will not create the best strategy in your first attempt. You are bound to make several mistakes and use tactics that don’t work.

But if you study your social media analytics regularly you will be able to figure out what these mistakes are. Hence, when you optimize your strategy you can eliminate them and fortify it.

To figure out these mistakes using any good social media analytics tool will do. But along with it you should use social media listening to check the impact your strategy is having on people.

Social media listening can be defined as

‘The process of tracking online conversations to learn what people are saying about a specific brand, industry, person, etc. and use the insights as a business leverage.’

Using social listening you can view in real-time what people are saying about your business online. This can help you modify your strategy to better connect with current and potential customers.

For executing social media listening you can use a tool like Sentione. Just sign up for an account and add in keywords like your product name, company name and other relevant keywords and the software will track all the mentions and list them out. It will also display the data in the form of graphs.

 Social media analytics shows you how a social media campaign is performing

Once you launch a social media campaign you should regularly track it. You can check if it is panning out the way you intended it to.

If things aren’t going according to plan you can make changes to your campaign and rectify it. And if results are very damaging you can nip it in the bud.

For this, you can use a tool like Sentione as it conducts a sentiment analysis of campaigns to show whether it is having a positive, negative or neutral effect.

Conclusion

Social media analytics is the practice of gathering data from blogs and social media websites, and analyzing that data to make business decisions. The most common use of social media analytics is to mine customer sentiment to support marketing and customer service activities – as a part of an organization’s Voice of Customer (VoC) program.

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