Whether you like it or not, social media has now become a part of everyday life. This impacts how you market and present your business to both your prospects and existing customers.
If you think that because you’re a small handyman service, or own a computer repair shop, you’re immune – think again! If you want to increase your market share, you’ll need to understand your social analytics.
How do you know if you’re actually making an impact on social media?
You may consider this daunting at first, especially if you find technology a challenge. Fortunately, all you have to do is follow these guidelines. You’ll soon be understanding how your customers are interacting with you through social media.
Understanding Social Analytics
What we mean by social analytics, and how to measure it?
Social analytics measures the results from your social-media activities. This isn’t just the number of Facebook followers, or retweets that you get. These measures may in fact be ‘vanity’ metrics, that don’t translate into bottom-line benefits.
The following metrics are the social analytics that you should track to assess your social media effectiveness:
- Community Size
- Bounce Rate
- Visit-to-Lead Conversions
- Lead-to-Customer Conversions
Each of these are discussed below.
The Size Of Your Community
This one is pretty easy to understand. All you have to do is look at the number of followers or Facebook fans that you have.
If you have multiple social media accounts, total your fans across the entire social media spectrum. The larger your social community – or ‘tribe’ , the more effective your social-media marketing is going to be.
Here is where things get a little tricky. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who either leave your site immediately after visiting it – or bounce around from webpage to webpage.
A higher bounce rate means people are actively exploring your site. This could mean they’re engaged by your content and want to find out more, but it could also mean that they didn’t quite find what they were looking on a specific landing page. At least they were intrigued enough to look further, and not to bounce off your site.
Google Analytics is one of the best analytical resources on the market – it’s excellent for determining bounce rates for small and medium-sized businesses. And the good news is ….. it’s free to use on your site.
Visit-to-Lead Conversion Rate
This is the percentage of visitors to your social properties that complete a defined action – either by subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an ebook, or sharing your post on social media.
Measuring this allows you to see which leads are more successful than others, and this will help you adjust your social-media marketing strategy. Once again, Google Analytics is a great tool for analyzing these types of conversion rates. While there are many other tools that can determine this, many come with a monthly fee.
Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate
This is one of your most important metrics – the rate you’re converting leads into paying customers! Unfortunately, it can be fairly difficult to track. While the lead originates on social media, the conversion to a paying customer occurs on another web property – such as your website.
Knowing this metric helps determine whether your social media presence is bringing in customers. Tracking this number allows you to identify which leads are the most effective, which social properties are working for you, and what segment of your audience is reacting to your promotions.
The above metrics are relatively easy to measure. The following are also important to track, but they might not be as to easy to collect and translate into hard numbers:
- Tone of engagement,
- Audience profile,
- Lead origin, and
- Brand perception.
These are covered in more detail below.
The Tone of Engagement
The age old saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity” is an ‘old’ saying – and doesn’t apply to social media.
A good reputation that took you years to build and nurture can come crumbling down in a matter of days if you neglect your brand on social media.
You need to track whether your customers and fans are positively engaging with your social media content, or not …
Knowing that they’re happy with your market offer means that you’ve got your branding and marketing mix correct – and you’re backing that up with stellar service delivery.
If they seem unhappy with something, try to engage with them in order to fix it. An unhappy segment of your customer base is not what you want to leave unattended.
Who Exactly Are Your Followers?
Understanding your clientele base is important in any business – fortunately, social media can easily do that for you.
This aspect of social analytics is important because it helps you determine:
- Who your customers and fans are,
- Where they are located, and
- What time they are visiting your site.
It can also help you determine if the people visiting your sites are real leads or simply other “competitors” in your industry. An audience review could lead to changing your social marketing strategy to attract fresh customers.
Determining Where The Lead Came From
If you’re running special promotions on referral, or are using paid traffic to attract leads to your site, you’ll definitely want to know which campaigns are bringing in the customers.
It’s not enough to assess which campaigns bring in the most leads. The proportion of those leads that convert into paying customers is the essential metric to track. Lower-volume campaigns that deliver higher value prospects, are better than those that deliver vanity metrics (high number of leads), but low profits in the bank.
One of the best social analytics resources that can help you track your leads is Bit.ly. It’s a URL shortening and tracking tool, which can present simple links – which can be incredibly useful if you use Twitter, or Facebook.
More importantly, it helps determine which links are getting the most clicks. This, or a similar link tracker, helps you figure out what type of content your customers/followers are more likely to be interested in.
How Do Your Customers View Your Brand?
Understanding your customers is essential for business success. You’ll want to know whether they started following you by word of mouth, or if they “liked” your page after they took advantage of a special promotion.
These insights will help you assess how effective your marketing strategy is, and the level of customer satisfaction regarding your products and promotions.
And if you really want to get a full understanding of how your customers/followers view your brand, SproutSocial offers analytical reports that show you how effective you are on each social media site. SproutSocial even offers reports that compare your social media statistics to your competition!
By utilizing the proper resources and tools, you can better understand your social media analytics. And by understanding your social analytics, you’ll better understand your customers’ motivations, and what makes them a loyal supporter of your brand!