For the best results, go beyond using digital data for marketing only and call on it to improve customer service and product launches, and to anticipate and counter potential crises. Because so few companies are taking digital marketing analytics seriously, early adoption can grant you a significant edge over your competition. However, you’ll need to define your goals, and invest in selecting the right tools and the right people. Few organizations utilize digital data effectively. Only 35 % of companies surveyed used information from their social media initiatives to understand their customers. If your company doesn’t utilize “digital marketing analytics,” consider an integrated approach. Define what your company wants to achieve, what resources you can draw on and what collaboration you can expect from other departments in your organization.
Analysts work with two broad categories of social metrics. The first, “owned social metrics,” are social media channels you manage; the second, “earned social metrics,” are discussions about your company in social media channels that are beyond your control. For example, “share of voice” is a measurement that evaluates social media conversations to determine if they are positive or negative, and to learn whether your messages are getting across.
Each social media channel has its own metrics. For instance, Facebook has “likes” or “engaged users,” while Twitter has “followers,” “retweets” and “replies.” Integrate this information with the data you gather from paid searches and web analytics. Continue to draw information from more traditional sources, such as “media monitoring” as well as “CRM data.”
Develop a “Research Plan”
A research plan defines what you seek and where you intend to look for it. Your reports should answer five vital questions:
- “What” – Verify the most important subjects that people talk about online.
- “Who” – Identify the people who talk about your company.
- “Where” – Find out the “locations” of these discussions.
- “When” – Focus on the time of day that relevant discussions occur.
- “Why” – Determine what motivates people to talk about your company.
Pay equal attention to the tools that collect data and to the analysts who make sense of it. Your menu of tools will include programs that facilitate “social media listening, search analytics, audience analysis, content analysis” and “engagement analysis.”
Social Media Listening
Selecting the proper social media listening tool can pose a great challenge. Consider any tool’s ability to capture data, weed out spam and “integrate with other digital data sources.” Make sure that the tool can easily route information to your team members. Integrate the data you garner from social media listening with search trends, web and traditional CRM data.
When the true power of social media conversation data is really understood within a company, there is a greater desire to apply it to more than campaign planning or…public relations and marketing.