Creative Ways to Benefit From Social Media Analytics

If you want to get the most out of your social media efforts, it’s important to track your results. Basic social media analytics software is good for tracking data such as likes, clicks, shares and other types of engagement. However, if you really want to understand your audience and plan more effective campaigns, it helps to go deeper and find creative ways to benefit from analytics by using social media monitoring or listening strategies. Let’s look at some of the ways this can help your business.

Engage Better With Your Audience

Many businesses have a hard time keeping up with the vast amount of social media activity that impacts their brand. Hopefully, you monitor your own accounts and respond to direct questions and comments. However, most likely there are many conversations going on all over social media that affect your industry.

For example, people may be asking pertinent questions on Quora, tweeting about a news story or posting relevant photos on Facebook or Instagram. Listening to social media on a large scale let you to insert yourself into some of these discussions and possibly pick up new followers and customers. You can answer their questions and make helpful suggestions. It’s usually best to do this in a low-key manner rather than overtly selling your own product.

Improve Customer Relations

This is an area where social media monitoring overlaps with reputation management. If your business is listed on review sites such as Google, Yelp, Angie’s List or others, you already know it’s essential to monitor reviews and respond to them. Some customers will also talk about you on social media. If someone is tweeting a complaint about your business or making a comment on any other site, you should know about it.

In some cases, you can help a customer regain your trust. Even if all you can do is apologize, you’re at least showing the customer and everyone else who sees your comments that you care. Because there are a growing number of social media sites, it’s important to monitor any mention of your brand, whether it’s on a review site, a blog-type site such as Tumblr or one of the large social media platforms.

Monitor Your Competition

One of the most useful types of social media analytics that many businesses don’t use as much as they should be tracking competition. Your competitors can teach you a great deal about your audience. You can find out which strategies are working well for them and which aren’t. You can observe who is responding to their posts and in what manner. A smaller company might learn valuable tips by “spying” on a much larger and more established business in the same niche or industry.

One of the easiest ways to track your competitors on social media is to simply follow them. This makes sense for many reasons. Following people on Twitter, for example, can help you gain more followers yourself. Facebook provides a useful tool that lets you track your competitors’ pages. Using the Pages to Watch feature, you can access analytics from other Facebook Pages. There are many other social media analytics software and services you can use to get detailed data about your competitors. Some of these tools let you perform searches for your competitors’ posts and replies.

It’s also useful to keep track of which social media sites your competitors are using. This isn’t hard to find out, as businesses are eager to advertise their links. For example, if you notice that a competitor is active on Instagram and you don’t yet have an account there, it’s worthwhile to notice how successful they are. If they have lots of followers and engagement, that’s a clue to try marketing there yourself.

Identify and Engage With Your Top Customers

It’s important to identify influencers and loyal customers who help to support your business. One creative use of social media analytics is to keep track of your most valuable customers and brand advocates. By monitoring social media, you stay informed when people are touting your products. This helps you build stronger relationships with your best customers. You can sometimes incorporate them into your marketing efforts. For example, an influencer who’s fond of your brand might be open to reviewing your latest product on his or her YouTube channel or Instagram account.

Find Out Where Your Industry is Heading

Now more than ever, it’s essential to stay at the leading edge of your field, niche or industry. That’s why it’s useful to monitor discussions about the latest trends or news. This is especially important if you’re in a fast-moving field such as technology, but it really applies to every industry. If you have a restaurant, you’ll want to keep up with the latest food trends. If people are suddenly raving about a new dish, beverage or dessert, you might want to put it on your own menu. If you’re in fashion, you surely want to know what people around the world are wearing. The same for any industry. As soon as people get interested in something, they start posting their thoughts and images about it on social media. Those who monitor this activity have an edge.

As social media continues to expand, it becomes increasingly important to use analytics tools to track your campaigns. In addition to tracking your basic analytics, it’s also beneficial to go beyond this and monitor your competitors and any discussions that are relevant to your business.

If you’d like to learn how Sysomos can assist with your social media analytic needs, please contact us.

5 Social Analytics Tips to Improve Your Campaigns

If you want to make your social media marketing as profitable as possible, you need to keep close track of essential metrics. Social analytics is often the difference between a successful campaign and wasting your time and money on ineffective marketing. There are a variety of tools and services that can help you with analytics. However, what matters most is having a strategy and knowing which numbers to watch. Here are 5 social analytics tips to help you get more out of your campaigns.

1. Identify Your Objectives

Before you can identify the optimum metrics to track and the best social analytics tools for your needs, it’s important to identify your goals. Not all businesses or campaigns are alike. For example, if your primary objective is to increase brand awareness, it makes sense to pay close attention to data such as views, likes, shares and follows. If you’re trying to drive more quality traffic to your website, click-throughs are your biggest concern. Your goals may not be the same for each campaign or for each social media site. Goals for your business can also change over time.

2. Find Out Which Channels Are Best For You

There are more and more choices when it comes to social media. It’s safe to say that every business should use Facebook as this site covers all demographics that are active online. Twitter is second in this regard even though some other sites actually have more users. Beyond these two, however, you should identify the platforms that your audience uses most. Pinterest can be powerful for promoting physical products. Snapchat is a good choice if you’re focusing on Millennials and Gen Z. LinkedIn is a must if you do any type of B2B marketing.

To really understand which social media channels are most valuable to you, conduct your own testing. You can use social analytics tools to help you find out which sites are sending you the most traffic and which are best for leads and sales. Google Analytics reports are useful for measuring which platforms, as well as individual posts, are responsible for the most leads and

3. Track Your Click-Through Rates

Click-throughs are one of the most important metrics of all for any type of social media campaign. After all, your objective isn’t to get views or even likes but to get people to actually visit your website or wherever you’re sending them. Your CTR is a good measure of how effective your social media content is. It’s just as important to track CTR for your social media posts as it is for paid ads and website content.

Identify key factors in your social media posts and use A/B or split testing. There are a few ways to do this. You can measure your results on one site vs. another. If you find, for example, that you get a higher CTR on Facebook than other sites, you may decide to devote more of your resources to that platform. You can also split test variables on a single platform. Certain topics might perform better than others. you can also test different types of content, such as text posts, images, infographics and videos. There may be other variables as well, depending on which social site you’re using. On Twitter, for example, you can test hashtags.

4. Determine the Best Times to Post

While everyone says that you need to post to social media sites consistently, there’s far less consensus about just how often to post. Furthermore, there are endless debates about the best time of day and day of the week to post. As with most arguments about social analytics, the best solution is to do your own testing. The same answer is not going to be the same for every business.

Free tools such as Facebook Insights can help you test your results for posting at different times. It’s helpful to know when your followers are most likely to be online and engaged. If your audience lives in multiple time zones you also have to factor this into your calculations. This information helps with other types of marketing as well, such as sending emails and posting to your blog. Knowing how often to post is a little trickier to test for. Many studies on this topic suggest that it’s fine to post often as long as you have fresh and relevant content. It also varies from one platform to the next. It makes sense to post the same content two or three times per day on Twitter because the timeline moves so fast. Doing this on Facebook, however, will more likely annoy your followers.

5. Identify Your Most Valuable Followers

While you should appreciate all of your social media followers, it’s a simple fact that not all of them provide you with equal value. Someone with over 100,000 followers who shares your post is a lot more significant than someone with 50 followers. Of course, there’s more to influence than the number of followers. It also matters how engaged their followers are and if they represent demographics that match your own audience. You can study such information using either free or paid social analytics tools.

It’s also worthwhile to track followers who may not be considered influencers but who, nevertheless, are very enthusiastic about engaging with your content. Such followers are always worth cultivating. Your time and resources on social media are limited. It only makes sense to devote a disproportionate amount of your energy towards people who can help you the most. When people are valuable or even potentially valuable to you, make an effort to provide equal or even greater value to them. Share their content, leave comments and mention them in your own posts.

These are some of the most effective ways to get more out of your social analytics. Having accurate data is always helpful. At the same time, information is ultimately a tool; it’s up to you to put it to the best possible use. Once you’re clear about what you want to achieve with social media you can search for the tools and techniques that provide you with the data you ne

10 Things You Should Never Share on Social Media

With social media, the personal is the professional. If you rely on your online presence as a means to earn money in any capacity, what you say and share on social media matters.

The fact that you might be using a personal account vs. a business account matters not. Rest assured that clients (and potential clients) are looking at both.

To maintain a reasonable level of professionalism, there are some things you should never share on social media. If you do choose to share these things, at the very least be aware of potential risks.

Negative Posts About Customers or Clients

Recently, Denny’s released a negative Tweet about customers who don’t tip. While the company didn’t call out any customers specifically, the internet definitely clapped back.

Negative posts relating to customers or clients are always a bad idea. These include:

  • Arguing or Matching Wits With Customers Online
  • Recalling (Even Generically) Stories Where a Customer Behaved Foolishly
  • Encouraging Others to Argue With or Shame a Customer Online

If a negative experience with a customer motivates you to post something on social media, wait a few days before doing so. What may come off as a rant while emotions are high, may turn into a useful ‘here’s how you can help us help you’ after you’ve cooled down.

If an angry customer is engaging with you on social media, it’s tempting to fire back. Instead, view it as a customer service opportunity.

You may be able to convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one simply by treating them professionally and politely, in spite of their behavior. If they’re a troll determined to cause trouble, others watching will notice your professionalism and poise under pressure.

Warnings, Special Offers, and Other Spammy Announcements

  • Take these steps by the end of the month to protect your privacy on Facebook!
  • If you receive an email from this company, you’ve been hacked!
  • A fast-food chain is giving away free sandwiches if you Tweet this Hashtag!
  • A terrible injustice has occurred and you should be outraged!

These are just a few examples of trending things that may find their way down your news feed. If they are correct and current, you might be doing your friends and followers a favor by sharing.

However, if you are passing along old information or something that has been proven false, that’s pretty embarrassing. Do some fact checking. When in doubt, don’t share it.

Irrelevant Viral Content

Yes, we’ve all seen a picture of the angry cat swimming in the flood waters. Yes, it’s funny. That doesn’t mean it belongs on your social media pages.

Try to limit viral content to sharing posts that are interesting or funny, so long as it is relevant to your audience. Another option is to create a special time and place to share silly content. For example, you could designate Fridays as ‘Friday Funnies’ and share a few funny posts you’ve collected along the way.

Political or Religious Posts

In recent months, you’ve probably noticed many businesses violating this guideline on social media. It’s true that some companies are taking stands on political issues. Rest assured that those businesses are aware of the associated risks and are willing to accept possibly alienating some of their customers.

When you choose to share your thoughts and opinions on political and/or religious issues, please do so with full knowledge of the risks.

Let’s say your audience, for example, is primarily left of center politically. You could be upsetting people by posting conservative memes or opinions. Obviously, the reverse is true as well.

If you absolutely must post political or religious content, have a plan for respectfully handling backlash or dissent. By all means, don’t argue with your audience. Also, ensure they treat one another with respect when dialogue ensues.

Content That Isn’t Properly Proofread or Edited

Social media may be a casual place. That doesn’t mean your posts can lack polish and professionalism.

Even a few errors can make your content seem amateurish and unprofessional. Be especially careful if you are translating your social media content for international audiences.

Consider consulting a firm such as TheWordPoint.com for additional advice. This will help ensure that your content remains presentable for all of your audience members.

Attempts to Capitalize on Tragedy

On the day that Carrie Fisher died, Cinnabon posted a tasteless Tweet of a picture depicting Princess Leia with a cinnamon roll in place of her signature buns. In fact, it seems as if every time there is a celebrity death, natural disaster, or other tragedy, some brand posts something self-serving, inappropriate, or grossly promotional.

While it may not be as bad as price gouging, this use of social media is at best poor judgment and at worst cynical exploitation. Keep posts to sincere wishes for goodwill and condolences. Or just avoid talking about tragedies altogether if you want to play it safe.

Too Much Overtly Promotional Content

The purpose of social media is to build influence, increase brand awareness, and develop great customer relationships. At least 80% of your social media content should be dedicated to that. Think in terms of informing, educating, entertaining, and engaging.

When you do post promotional content, make sure that there is something newsworthy about it. For example, if you are launching a new product line, holding a great sale, or opening a new location, by all means, let people know.

Content Inconsistent With Branding

Have you ever read something on social media and been confused as to why that company chose to post that content? It’s off-putting to see a familiar brand posting content that doesn’t match their brand message or tone/style.

If it helps, think of your brand as a person. Maybe that person is young, funny, into music, and irreverent. Maybe that person is distinguished, serious, and demanding of respect. If you can’t imagine your brand persona saying something in real life, maybe they shouldn’t say it on social media.

Misleading Posts

Headlines should be attention-grabbing. They shouldn’t be misleading.

The same thing goes for promoting your posts and mentioning your competitors. Avoid making claims that aren’t quite true in order to earn clicks.

If you are calling out your competitors or making claims about your own products and services, be sure they pass the truth test.

Unattributed Content

It’s okay to find and share relevant content to your followers. In fact, this is a brilliant strategy to fill in the holes in your content offerings.

However, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Remember that the poignant quote, brilliant life hack, comic, meme, work of art, or compelling social media post you shared was originally created by someone. They deserve credit for coming up with the idea.

It may take time to track down the original source of a piece to give proper credit. In fact, you will probably notice how rarely you see social media content that has been credited to the creator.

However, it is worth it in the goodwill that you will earn, and the scorn you will avoid in passing off content as your own.

Conclusion

What you put out on social media will play a key role in how you are judged as a person and a business professional. By avoiding certain content and behaviors entirely you are much more likely to create a successful social media presence.

 

This article originally appeared in Return On Now Blog. It was originally published on this site on November 14, 2017. We republish posts on Saturdays for readers who may have initially missed them. Ashley Komee from Business2Community wrote this post and it is legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Infographic: March Madness, the Final Four’s Road to San Antonio

Now that the road to San Antonio for the 2018 NCAA Tournament’s Final Four is set, we know that the highly anticipated match-up between two no. 1 seeds, Villanova and Kansas is on the docket. As is the intriguing face-off between a dominating no. 3 seed, Michigan, againstthis tournament’s undisputed Cinderella, at no. 11Loyola-Chicago.

Loyola-Chicago has also provided this March Madness with some of the most meme-worthy social content. It’s taken the form of a 98-year-old nun by the name of Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, and she is the chaplain for the Ramblers. Her sass is beloved by Loyola-Chicago fans, but her national visibility has increased with the team’s advancement through the brackets.

While Loyola-Chicago is now sharing their spotlight with Sister Jean, two of the other contenders, Kansas and Michigan are known for stellar university-level social media engagement. Devoted fans often get at least some of the credit when an underdog team beats the odds to win a championship. An argument can also be made that strong teams inspire a strong fanbase, creating a circle of love that helps propel the team forward. But ultimately, we wonder, does the strength of your fanbase increase your chances of winning?

As the Final Four wind their way to the championship, we look to social media for a clue on the tournament’s final outcome from the fans. Loyola-Chicago is killing it on social media with 34% of the share of voice, but best-in-class Kansas is a close second with 30%. While it’s difficult to predict who will play in the finals at the Alamodome, social media odds favor a Loyola-Chicago and Kansas head-to-head. This weekend, we and the rest of the country will see if our Cinderella gets to attend the “ball.”

March-Madness-2018-Infographic.png

If you’re interested in delving into your brand data and creating something similar, we can help.

Infographic: Taking the Pulse of PR and Social Media Jobs

We’ve always been fans of being informed and prepared, whether for your next media outreach initiative, competitive analysis, or potential brand crisis and, of course, we regularly cover the importance of making data-driven decisions. That’s why, when we met the Monster folks at a conference last September, we knew we wanted to work together on an infographic that showcased data that only they could provide. But this time, it’s not about getting your job done, it’s just about getting a job—and building a career in PR and social media.

While working with Monster and putting our findings together, we discovered that “career intelligence” can be illuminating no matter where you are on the career ladder. Are you well along on your PR career path and assessing your next move? Recently graduated and looking for a starter social media position? Considering a mid-career transition into comms, based on skills you’ve developed elsewhere? It’s wise to keep track of what skills are in demand, what new ones might be popping up, where the jobs are, and how to focus your ambitions with realistic expectations. And, as we move into virtual work environments (email, Slack, conference “calls” with streaming videos), knowing if there are jobs out there that are more likely to offer a remote option can inform your choices as well. Part of the reason why we produced this content is that we firmly believe that, like many potentially life-altering choices, it’s easiest to plan a career trajectory well before it’s time to make the move.

We’ve also included top PR and social media blogs (ranked by reach). While reading PRDaily or Social Media Examiner probably won’t lead to a new job, they cover the latest news and best practices, and the insight offered is invaluable in keeping yourself informed and moving forward in the field. At the very least it’s conversational fodder for future discussions with colleagues and at interviews.

And, finally, our infographic rounds out with G2 Crowd’s ranking of technology tools to use to get your day-to-day work done. As you can imagine, we’re proud to be the only media intelligence platform included in their 100 Best Software Companies, based on reviews from PR and social media pros working today. Let us know if you’d like more info on how you can use data to inform your decisions at work.

Check out the infographic below for the pulse of PR and social media jobs. And, remember Monster has career resources and thousands of listings to help you land your next PR job or social media position.

PR and Social Media JobsPR and Social Media Jobs