You know the stats: there are billions of social media users around the world. And many of these people are using multiple channels across two or more devices. On the one hand, this is great news because it means that as a marketer, you have a range of options for reaching your target customers. But the trend is also creating a tracking and analytics nightmare. How do you develop a single view of the person you’re trying to reach, especially when that data remains fragmented across social channels? You guesstimate. You look at the high-level stats that social media networks give you. You piece together your own story — which may nor may not be accurate.
Without the right analytics strategy, social media can feel like a guessing game. So where should you invest your mental energy? We interviewed five brilliant marketers to answer that question.
1. Connect the dots to form a big picture.
Pro tip: Derric Hayne, head of growth at Rebrandly
“Assuming the marketer is working hard at analyzing their results, they still have a very tough problem: tracking users and attributing their efforts through to conversions. Social media is one channel, but it’s usually not the main channel. You can use click and link tracking software to better understand clicks and conversions, but that doesn’t necessarily help you visualize the other touch points that assisted in converting a prospect. That doesn’t help you understand why people are doing what they’re doing. To better track and attribute your efforts, you have to have great software backing you, and you have to come out of the silo of social media, and integrate completely with the rest of the digital marketing team (and marketing, and company as a whole).”
Takeaway: If you’re looking at your social media analytics in a vacuum, they’re probably confusing you. Build a comprehensive picture of your buyers’ journeys. You’ll have a much clearer view of the role that social media plays.
2. Use data to respond faster.
Pro tip: Jehan Hamedi, founder of Cuckoo by Adhark
“Social media has a fast-changing complexion, and most businesses miss out on the best opportunities to reach their customers because they don’t get the answers they need, when they need them. When startups are looking at conceptualizing a social media marketing campaign to help create or build their brand, they need to look at events and happenings in real time so they can provide timely, relative content and join in on the conversations their target audiences are currently engaging in.”
Takeaway: Use data to keep a close pulse on your conversations. Engage with your audiences in a relevant, timely way.
3. Be an artist with your numbers.
Pro tip: Molly Phillips, Sr. Account Manager at Green Room
“One of the greatest challenges that marketers face right now in social media analytics is dealing with new and emerging platforms. Even well-established platforms [like] Snapchat and Instagram still have very limited amounts of analytics available to users and paying businesses. Though some third-party tools exist to help agencies and brands quantify the data, they are often beta versions, have hiccups and limitations, or cost more than brands are willing to spend on top of agency fees.
“This opens up a huge opportunity for brands to customize their measurement and reporting tactics when dealing with emerging platforms. For instance, there are no demographic or geographic analytics available to marketers on Snapchat, but we can measure things such as Snapchat score, completed story views, Snaps sent, Snaps received, and if you pay for a sponsored filter, the number of times that filter was used. By taking the steps to manually track this data and provide value to their organizations or clients, marketers are ensuring their place as experts when data collection and analysis of these all-important platforms becomes automated.”
Takeaway: Don’t let the “blank canvas” of social media analytics scare you. Instead, use the lack of industry standards as a chance to set the bar high.
4. Find undetected connections.
Pro tip: Emily Kent, Marketing Manager at LyncServe
“The biggest challenge in social media analytics is the lack of a standardized data set. Reporting varies from platform to platform — and even with an aggregation tool, the way that users engage holds different weight across platforms. While the lack of standardization can be frustrating, it can lead to a unique and profitable marketing strategy.
"Often marketing teams like to strategize their campaigns to reach broader audiences; however, with the analytics we receive from social media reporting, we can target campaigns much more acutely than in the past. The way users engage with social media gives us a much more in-depth looks into the customer psyche that can be capitalized on with the right strategy. ”
Takeaway: Never take your data for granted. Rely on human eyes to develop creative business perspectives. Your analytics software should help you make connections, faster.
5. Build your own data layer.
Pro tip: Matthew Mercuri, digital marketing specialist at ERA Environmental Management Solutions
“The biggest challenge in social media analytics right now is the inability to access ‘second-layer’ statistics. Our industry has been able to figure out post reach, the amount of interactions, the amount of impressions and the amount of conversions simply by looking at an overview dashboard. What we can’t access [are] data points of relevance and quality. Sure, a content piece was shown to a consumer. The difference is that some consumers look at that content for four seconds before scrolling on, while others barely even register it in their brains. This provides an immense opportunity for marketers. If you’re able to determine the who, what, why, where and how of the second-layer stats, you’re able to really get an edge [on] the consumer and against your competition.”
Takeaway: Build a data analysis framework that answers critical questions about your business. It’s up to you to see how the pieces fit together into a clear business story.
Find new opportunities in your social data.
Not sure of what to do with your social media analytics strategy? You’re not alone. Marketers everywhere are piecing together their own jigsaw puzzles to forge a comprehensive customer picture. But, instead of trying to connect the dots manually, you need a platform that can do the heavy lifting for you.
Domo delivers the full visibility you need to track entire campaigns from click to cash in real time—and unearth strategic opportunities previously hidden in your data. Learn more here.