Using Social Media Metrics to Inform Your Digital Strategy
Image: Denis Dervisevic
The value of social media metrics goes far beyond just showing where to post and when on social networks. This data can be a window into the interests, desires and frustrations of your customers, and when matched with a comprehensive analytics system can fuel insights that are relevant for your whole digital marketing strategy.
Three of the main applications for this data include customer service, customer experience and demographic insights.
It's a no-brainer to track brand mentions and at replies across social media channels, as well as providing customer service, which can turn a negative experience and disgruntled customer into a more positive scenario.
But this shouldn't be the end of social's contribution to customer service across your brand. First, do your customers even want to be contacting your for customer service on social media platforms?
A recent survey indicated that social is least popular go-to method for customer care. While this might be because not all businesses offer this service, making email or phone a more reliable first choice method, this finding shouldn't be dismissed.
If it's obvious from conversations on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere that a significant number of people are coming to you because their initial queries by phone, email or person weren't resolved or responded to in person, then that needs to be fed onto the customer service team.
Similarly, where do customers visit when they leave? Using joined up analytics and tracking you can see if a customer visits a recommended online resource after your conversation. If you notice a number of people making customer service calls after being directed to online help centre pages, it might be time to revise them.
Your social media metrics give an almost real-time view of what engages your customers. This can provide a roadmap for improving customer experience through the entire customer journey, pulling in data across multiple channels to build up a sophisticated picture of what really gets your customers clicking.
Are marketers getting the most from social media metrics? Image credit: Infinity
If you notice a better click-through rate from social when information is presented in a certain way, it's time to consider whether to adapt these takeaways to your onsite content. If you notice that you get much more engagement on highly visual posts or your audience skews towards more visual platforms like Instagram, you might want to change your blogging strategy to skew towards more photo-heavy posts or infographics.
Image credit: Ooh_Ophelia via Modcloth
If user-generated posts are popular, consider incorporating them into your sales page. American clothing retailer Modcloth's Instagram posts featuring their customers showcasing their favourite purchases get high levels of engagement, and this continues to their product pages, where customers can upload photos of themselves in their new clothes. This isn't just helpful for anyone trying to decide if an item is right for them, it continues to position them as brand that listens to their customers and celebrates different styles and body shapes.
Data from tracking brand mentions, followers and paid advertisers gives you a rich flow of demographic information about customers and potential customers, pinpointing interests, locations and professions as well as ages and genders.
Again, tracking the customer journey from social media to conversion, whether online or offline, can provide valuable feedback. If customers who are Facebook fans are most likely to buy, then using social graph to see what interests them can make your marketing even more targeted.
If travel, or even a particular region, is overwhelmingly popular among your fans then integrated this theme into your content marketing. Alternatively you might consider running promotions with travel influencers or companies.
Image credit: Pitter Patter Furry Feet
As an example of a brand leveraging their target market's interests, Uber capitalized on Millennials' penchant for following cats on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr to run a promotion with Pitter Patter Furry Feet, a pair of internet famous felines from Toronto a few months after Uber launched in the city.
When you use them to their full potential, social media metrics can become the secret sauce to success across your whole digital campaign.
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