Exploring Social Media Analytics: Your Guide to Staying Ahead in the Digital Marketing Landscape

Exploring Social Media Analytics: Your Guide to Staying Ahead in the Digital Marketing Landscape

As marketers we’re fortunate to live in a time where huge amounts of raw data about our customers are easy to come by, but it’s understanding the narrative beneath the numbers that sets a good brand apart from the noise. In this article we’re going to attempt to decode the current role of social analytics in effective marketing, give you some examples of it being used well, and attempt to foresee the future, in which marketers take the heartbeat of their audience through a meticulous understanding of analytics.

Beginning the Adventure

The Genesis

Once upon a time, a 'like' was all a brand sought. Fast forward to today, and engagement has become substantially more varied, and can tell us a lot more, holding a mirror to intricate patterns of consumer behaviour and engagement.

Key Metrics to Master

From engagement rates to customer journey mapping, the key metrics are your guiding stars in the expansive universe of social media marketing.

Applications in the real world

Customer Service

We can use analytics and data to make feedback immediately actionable and useful. It creates a direct link between what could be considered cold and calculating numbers and the real customers that they represent – it’s the mathematics of empathy.

Product Development

Step into the shoes of your consumer, understanding their needs before they voice them, shaping products that are not just desired but awaited with bated breath.

Navigating Crisis

A clear analysis of an audience can tell us how they will respond to a crisis, be it internally (a clumsy product launch or unwise quote from a staff member for example) or the external world, for example how movements like Black Lives Matter impact a brand and its audience. Understanding how audiences react to unexpected events means that businesses can be much more proactive about how they react to them – making sure they’re in lockstep with their own customers.

Understanding Your Competitors

Knowledge, as is often said, is power, and understanding your competitors' strategies through analytics can give you a tangible advantage.

The Technology Behind the Magic

Sentiment Analysis

What do your customers actually want? And how do you know it’s not just your gut telling you that? Sentiment analysis is about understanding what a group of people really want and need by looking at hard data, which can then be used to take practical steps.

Real-Time Analytics

Real-time analytics means just-that – being able to see the behaviours and needs of a customer base or audience now, and then being able to pivot appropriately.

Data Visualisation

Once we have the data and understand it, we can use it to create imaginative visualisations – this can be infographics, “control centres” and charts, and any number of other cool or interesting ways to represent data in accessible formats.

Ensuring Trust through Compliance

Compliance is one of the less obvious but actually most important benefits of solid social intelligence. With access to data we can make sure a brand operates within ethical and legal parameters, and also understand what aspects of online security beyond the letter of the law that customers value.

Getting Started with Social Media Analytics: Tips for Beginners

  • Start by identifying your core business goals and key performance indicators - this focuses your analytics. Track metrics tied to ROI.
  • Audit your existing social media presence to spot gaps, opportunities, and benchmark performance.
  • Prioritise listening first before diving into complex analytics. Monitor relevant terms, hashtags, and handles to understand conversations.
  • Analyse audience demographics and behaviours on each platform to inform segmentation and targeting.
  • Paid social advertising is a good way to conduct short-term testing and learning about your customers, as it can guarantee a certain amount of impressions and reach.
  • Start small by picking 1-2 platforms, tools, or use cases to pilot analytics approaches before expanding.
  • Document learnings, share results, and standardise best practices across teams and analytics tools.
  • Keep iterating - social analytics effectiveness grows over time as data and capabilities scale. Be patient but persistent.

These are all aspects that Buzz Radar specialises in, and we’re happy to talk you through any part of this process.

The secret is to pinpoint a specific area that aligns with your business objectives, select the right tool to collect data, and then progressively build on small victories. Social analytics is an iterative journey - take the first steps with the basics then accelerate.

Real Stories from the Recent Past

In 2020 Marks & Spencer used social media to not only reach out to its customers but to actively involve them in understanding the backstory of the products they are buying. Amidst the pandemic, they initiated a two-way communication channel via Facebook which now engages two million customers weekly, gleaning insights directly from the consumers about their preferences and concerns. This initiative birthed the rejuvenated 'Fresh Market Update' campaign, sharing with the audience the detailed journey of their food from farm to table through various mediums including TV and YouTube, supported by in-store magazines and emails spotlighting individual farmers. Alongside, their 'Farming with Nature' initiative is set to foster 30 million bees, demonstrating their commitment to environmental well-being, a story shared with the audience through an interactive 'Bee Blog'. Also, branching out to platforms popular among the young generation, like TikTok, M&S broke its older customer stereotype, gathering around 100,000 followers and presenting a fresh, more agile brand image. It’s a strategy with social analytics at its heart. The data M&S were able to harvest helped them to understand a vast and diverse customer base with conflicting opinions and priorities.

British online fashion retailer, ASOS leverages advanced analytics and social data to deliver highly relevant experiences that drive business growth. The firm brought on a specialised team of data scientists and heavily invested in tech to create top-notch recommendation systems and enhance visual search features.By analysing individual consumer behaviours, like product interactions, in real-time, ASOS can then suggest pairings that match customers with items they're likely to love, adding visually identifying products through uploaded images or screenshots enables quick discovery of similar item options.These features, grounded in real data, enabled ASOS to keep up with changing customer preferences even during the pandemic, a time when many other retailers were faltering.Despite the ups and downs in the market, ASOS managed to enhance crucial aspects such as conversion rates and order values. The purchase of Topshop furnished ASOS with a wealth of customer data, taking personalization to a new level and fine-tuning their predictive approaches. ASOS's growth, nimble and dynamic, rides heavily on constantly fine-tuning their analytic strategies.

Looking Ahead

Let’s talk about the secret sauce for brands today: social media analytics. Imagine this not just as a tool but as an attentive friend who always knows the pulse of what people are chatting about online, providing brands a window into the hearts and minds of their audience. But it doesn't stop at just listening; it's a lively conversation, a two-way street.

Imagine leveraging this friendly 'chat' to not just meet but anticipate the needs and wants of consumers, sprucing up products, crafting messages that resonate, and shaping experiences that feel just right, almost like a home-cooked meal in a bustling marketplace.

At the end of the day, it's about taking a seat at a virtual round table, understanding what rings true for the audience, and making choices that don’t just look good on paper but feel right to the heart. It is about crafting a brand that people don’t just like, but genuinely cherish, transforming customers into a community that grows together with the business.

Published on 2023-10-4 10:15:24