Social analytics may seem like they are only important for large companies, but actually small and medium-sized companies need these tools more than their bigger counterparts.
You must constantly strive to grow your customer base, and social engagement is one of the primary methods to do that. When you track the ways customers are communicating with you and the platforms they do it on, you gain intimate knowledge about their tastes, needs and wants. It’s not enough to get a “feel” for how you are doing with potential customers. You need some hard data to keep you on track.
Why You Need Social Analytics
You can improve your products and services.
Social media analytic software will collect information, such as comments on your fan page, and boil them down to their essential points. You will gain an immediate understanding of what problems your customers want to have addressed.
Dapper Goat says social analytics can even make suggestions about how you can address negative comments.
Social analytics can let you know which of your posts are the most successful.
You can find out which posts have been read the most. You can also see which ones have been shared and commented on. When you see a post that receives an unusually large number of comments, you know you have raised a topic that has a lot of interest for your audience. You can then build site traffic by creating similar content that attracts more viewers.
You can use your time to run your business instead of doing analysis.
When you have the numbers from your social analytics right in front of you, you don’t have to ponder the importance of each element. You can immediately see how many people are getting your posts, how many are writing about your company, and how may click through to your website to find out more about you.
Targeting your marketing becomes easier with social analytics.
When your analytics tell you what products or services are getting the most attention, you can easily see where you should focus your marketing efforts. You can be much more nimble than your larger competitors, because they have to go through meetings, budgets and approvals to refocus marketing. You can pivot quickly when you see an item getting increased demand.
You can develop relationships.
Customers that “get” you are your best friends. Your analytics will show you who keeps returning to your sites, and who reads posts repeatedly. These people can become your advocates, helping you build a positive reputation on your social media platforms. Eventually, advocates become customers.
Christine Erickson of Mashable says many businesses don’t develop their relationships enough to turn readers into customers.
Tracking competitors with social analytics helps you become more effective.
You can compare your web traffic to your competitors with side by side charts. You can also see what keywords your competitors are using and decide if you want to use those same keywords. Social analytics can also rank Facebook pages so you can see who is being effective and who is not.
The Bottom Line
If you are going to spend time and effort building your social media presence, it is vital to know how well you are doing with it. It can be exciting to see people interacting with you, but you need to know if there are enough interactions to make a difference for your business. While social media is not a direct sales tool, at some point your audience should do business with you. Social analytics will let you know if you are being effective enough to build your business.