31Mar 2020

The What, Why, and How of Social Media Data

Social media has become part and parcel of everyday living.  There are more than 2 billion active social media accounts in use around the world, and 74% of all adults on the internet have at least one social media account. 

We use social media for a wide range of reasons including entertainment, education, networking, discovering new businesses and more. Your daily activities and footprint across various social media platforms contribute to a giant trove of information that can be used by businesses to create robust marketing strategies. 

Social media data is one of the foundations of any efficient digital marketing campaign. By assembling the right data, businesses can see what their prospective customers are interested in, and then implement strategic changes that are geared towards more attraction and conversion.  This article covers all you need to know about social media data.

What Is Social Media Data?

Social media data covers any information that can be gleaned from analyzing an individual or group’s social media activities.  As a business owner, social media data shows you how your audience interacts with your content across the platforms where you hold a presence.

The data is presented in a variety of ways, including raw numbers, percentages, graphs and more.  Some of the basic types of social media data include the following: Mentions, Impressions, Reach, Shares, Likes, Comments, Retweets, Clicks and more.

Why Is Social Media Data Important?

Social media data is important because it helps you to better understand the success or failure of your social media strategies.  With this, you can double-down on your current strategy, improve on it, or revamp it from scratch. 

Social media data can help you work out your most relevant social platform, the types of content that your target audience wants to see, the best times to post content, your most powerful demographics and more.  By using social media data in this way, you can make more informed digital marketing decisions. 

However, it is important to avoid paying too much attention to basic metrics such as the number of followers, retweets, shares, impressions and more.  Getting high numbers in these metrics is desirable, but it shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.

The main goal of social media marketing is to drive conversions and improve your overall revenue.  To ensure you are using social media data to push tangible results, you need to track conversions that arise from your social campaigns. This is the only way you can know for certain that your strategies truly work. It is also the only way to know that your existing sales funnel complements the buyer’s journey.

How To Use Social Media Data

Leveraging It Across Channels

One mistake you don’t want to make with your social media data is to treat each data segment in isolation.  You should be able to leverage the data across multiple campaigns, channels, and platforms. Your social media data should be able to help other departments of your business, including customer service, PR, and sales. 

Creating Custom Experiences With Audience Segmentation

Social Media Data

In the current digital era, the average consumer expects targeted and highly relevant experiences when interfacing with any brands.  If you are sending a message about a product, for example, the average user expects the tone and the wording to reflect their preferences. So, if you attempt to use the same message for teenagers, adult men, and adult women, a majority of them will not engage with it. 

With audience segmentation backed by social media data, you can put your audiences into specific groups that closely reflect their realities. These groups can be based on factors like age, geographic location, language preferences, or deeper segmentation variables like job positions. This way, you won’t send the same marketing message to a teenager in college and a CEO of a company employing 500+ staff. 

You can go a step further with segmentation based on social media data by grouping your audiences according to their social media behavior. The various social media platforms allow you to target people that have come in contact with your brand using adverts.

You can generate even better results with this if you set your campaigns to target specific groups only. For example, you can choose to set your adverts to be seen by only people that have clicked on your posts about the specific subject of the advert and vice versa.  

Optimise Your Social Content

Social media marketing is all about getting the attention of as many of your target audience as possible. One way to achieve this is by optimizing your social content with your audience’s preferences in mind. When you analyze your social media data, you can see which platforms generate the most engagement for your brand, and the types of content that tend to do very well. 

You will also be able to see when your audience is most active. By combining these bits of data, you can focus more on creating the perfect type of post for your audience, on the best platform for the specific content, and published at the most appropriate times.  With this, you can enjoy maximum reach.

Generate Content Ideas

Social Media Data

When you can see what your customers are sharing and posting about, you can create a content calendar that aligns with their needs. In many cases, your social media audience will not ask you questions that are relevant to your business directly.

It is your duty to find these questions, create content around them, and put the answers in front of your followers. Apart from generating content ideas, you can use your social media data to fine-tune your overall content strategy.

 For instance, what blog post language works best for your target audience? Are they sharing professional-sounding content more than conversational content? If your content strategy agrees with your social media audience, you will attract more overall engagement.

80% of consumers agree that the authenticity of the content published by a brand is an important deciding factor when it comes to following and engaging with their social media profile. Interestingly, authenticity is only determined by the consumer based on their preferences!

Improve Your SEO Strategy

The most successful SEO strategies take social media data into account. It is not enough to just target general niche keywords. You need to know what your customers are searching across their social media platforms. You may not think of social media as a search hub, but many consumers use it alongside Google to find what they are looking for.

Facebook handles 1.5 billion searches per day. Twitter handles more than 19 billion searches per month. These statistics mean you cannot ignore the top social media platforms when developing your SEO strategy.

By covering topics and keywords searched on social media that are relevant to your brand and then sharing the created content across your social platforms, you will please your prospects as well as the search engines.

Keep Tabs On Your Brand Image

Social Media Data

By monitoring social media data such as brand mentions, you can keep tabs on your brand’s online image. Every year, U.S brands lose more than $40 billion due to poor customer service. Additionally, more than 2.1 million negative posts are published about various brands daily.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these are ignored by the affected brands, reducing their chances of attracting new followers. With regular analysis of your social media data, you can avoid this. 

Pinpoint Micro-Influencers 

Micro-influencers are the social media users that bring you the most engagements when they share your social content. The analytics window provided by most social media platforms makes it easy for you to see these users. You can either create more content that they’d like to share organically, or reach out to them for a partnership.

Such partnerships work because 92% of your audience will trust these micro-influencers more than a brand. Building a network of micro-influencers can help you generate more engagement for your social media content.

Learn From The Competition

Social Media Data

With the right social media data, you can take a peek into your competitor’s campaigns to see how it can help you to improve yours and remain closer to the top in your industry.  What type of content are they publishing? How is the audience reacting to them? Is a specific class of campaign generating eye-popping results?

By closely analyzing competitor social media data, you can gain new insights into the preferences of your target audience. 

How To Collect Social Media Data

All major social media platforms have designated analytics sections.  At the basic level, these free analytics options can show engagement metrics such as Likes, Shares, Comments and more. When you need to go deeper with your analytics, however, you may have to use more powerful solutions such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, AgoraPulse and more. 

Most of these are not free to use, and they all have pros and cons.  Therefore, you need to use the trial versions (where available) to be sure they are what you are looking for before paying for a subscription.

Some of these paid tools can only provide data on one social media platform, while others work for a combination of all the major platforms. Some of them can also allow you to incorporate other functions such as customer relationship management, scheduling of posts, and more. 

Conclusion

As more people embrace social media, marketers can use social media data to find new ways to reach their target audience, market products, and keep an eye on the competition. With the proper interpretation of your social media data, you can take your overall digital marketing strategy results to new heights.

Acodez is a leading web design company in India. We offer all kinds of web design and web development services to our clients using the latest technologies. We are also a leading digital marketing company providing SEO, SMM, SEM, Inbound marketing services, etc at affordable prices. For further information, please contact us.

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Vipin Nayar

Vipin Nayar

Vipin Nayar is the Digital Marketing Head at Acodez. As a Social Media, SEO & SEM expert with over 8 years' experience in online marketing, he uses his keen insight into customer behaviour to formulate innovative strategies that helps clients enhance their online presence & open up new business avenues.

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