From the very first moment you start planning a campaign, you should be aware of the importance of measuring results. Analysing if you have met your planned objectives is fundamental to know what you’ve done well and what you can improve on. Problems arise when it is difficult to set objectives or when we are unaware of the results we have obtained. This is extremely common in social media.
In this post we’re going to talk about the importance of social analytics and what objectives and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you canset for your campaigns to be able to measure their results. Ready to take notes? Here we go!
The importance of analytics
“Analytics is the result of analyzing activity with the aim of focusing on result-orientated actions.” Vilma Núñez says, “Knowing the results of your actions allows you to analyze not only if they have worked or not, but they also tell you a lot about your users: what they are like, their interests and so forth. Knowing them will enable you to focus your campaigns correctly and be much more efficient (and effective).”
Before tackling analytics in depth, it’s important to note that this discipline is not about just observing data and drawing conclusions; nowadays analytics goes much further and we can differentiate between the three types of data analysis:
- Descriptive: this type simply showcases the information provided by the multiple tools we use in our day to day, it only displays what is happening at a given moment.
- Predictive: this type enables us, based on what happened in previous campaigns and activities, to know how this new action will work.
- Prescriptive: the most in-depth of all the analytics, allowing us to know and understand what’s happening, and also how to solve problems and make improvements for the future.
This latter type, as I mentioned, provides real solutions as well as showing us what’s happening at any given time. We recommend to use this type of analytics because, despite being more time consuming, it provides much better results.
Social Media Analytics
As we mentioned above, analytics are crucial for any aspect of business, but it gets more complicated when we talk about social media analytics. Not having clear objectives, tools for measuring or KPIs means analysing data is sometimes very difficult and it’s sometimes reduced to simply counting the number of followers or fans on our social media.
But this isn’t enough, we need to know what they want, how they search for it and whether we satisfy their needs, because if we don’t, I’m afraid to say that your users will disappear, probably never to return. Which is why you should bear in mind that:
- You must set clear objectives for your social media strategy.
- You must know what your indicators are (KPIs) in order to measure the results of your actions.
- Give your objectives a numeric value, known as metrics.
All of this is much easier to understand when expressed by a conversion funnel. This system enables you to be aware that over the graph you aren’t always going to have the same objectives or KPIs. Take a look at this graph which includes examples of different objectives and KPIs that may appear to be identical, but aren’t.
The KPIs you’ll need for your Social Media Analytics
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of analytics, about how crucial it is to set objectives and KPIs for your strategy, it’s time to get practical and examine the 7 KPIs that we believe are fundamental (there are many more depending on your business, sector, etc.) and that you have to set as part of your social media analytics.
1. Distribution of content on social media
Once your have drafted, reviewed and published your content, be it a whitepaper, a webinar, a post or an infographic, it’s time to distribute it. Because, there’s no point in having created and designed the best content in the world if we don’t distribute it.
One of the most commonly used channels for reaching your target audience are social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and its Pulse platform) or even Youtube (the best place for promoting your webinars, a crucial part of your content strategy).
In this sense, analytics allows us to know more about aspects such as:
- What media are the most suitable for distributing our content: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest…
- The profile of the users for each social network: remember, they’re not all the same and communications are different for each one.
- What content is most attractive for each case: for example, if we’ve designed an infographic we know that Pinterest is the best distribution channel, but if we want to promote a post, Twitter or Facebook are probably the best channels.
Recommended KPI: the reach of your publications on social media
2. Number of publications
The more publications we have on social media, the greater the volume of data we’ll have in order to analyse who our users are, and more importantly, what content they prefer. In this way we can focus on the content that really interests them.
Plus, increasing the number of publications on social media will enable us to reach a greater audience and therefore increase our brand’s notoriety.
Recommended KPI: number of publications on social media
3. Members of the community
When we talk about our community on social media, be they fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter or Google+, we’re not only talking about the number of people that are part of it, but also their quality in terms of our objectives.
Knowing whether they are valuable followers and are part of your target audience will enable you to attain your objectives more effectively since you will be directing your efforts to those who are truly interested in what your brand has to offer.
Recommended KPI: total number of fans and followers on social media
4. Clicks to links
Clicks on your brand’s social media links will enable you to know which content is most popular with your users, and therefore, which is the most efficient content for driving traffic to your website. This way you’ll also know which post is the most interesting for users and you’ll be able to boost it accordingly.
Recommended KPI: clicks on publications
5. Community participation
When we talk about community participation on social media we’re talking about comments, shares and likes by our Facebook fans, retweets on Twitter and recommendations on LinkedIn.
All of these indicate the engagement with your community that will enable you to know if the content you’re offering is relevant, the more interesting it is, and the greater the participation of the community, the further the reach of your publications (if a followers likes something of yours Facebook or on one of your publications, all their friends will see it).
In this case, we should bear in mind that it is not only important for the community to participate, it is also crucial that they actively participate in the conversation and for your brand to respond rapidly to all interactions.
Facebook has taken this very aspect into account lately and has included a new feature which measures the brand’s response time, something crucial when measuring the relationship between brands and their followers.
Recommended KPI: community engagement based on likes, shares, comments, retweets, favourites, etc.
6. Brand mentions on social media
A good reputation on social media is crucial, but it’s not always possible. Many brands have suffered from a reputation crisis on social media. Although some have come out of them squeaky clean, for others it has been more costly. Our online monitoring tool enables us to know what is being said about our brand. Thanks to this tool we know when our brand is mentioned and why – a tweet, a blog post, etc. – in what way and in what tone, heading off a potential reputation crisis by putting solutions in place at the early stages.
Recommended KPI: number of brand mentions on social media
7. Web visits from social channels
Now we know how important publications on social media are, as well as the importance of user interaction and brand mentions. But, we mustn’t forget that these media are channels whose objective it is to drive traffic to our website, not only for boosting notoriety, but also for users to buy our product, service, request more information, etc.
Google Analytics will help us see this data. You just have to go to the left-hand side of the screen, to acquisition and in there to channels:
Once we’ve clicked on the “social” source, the different social media networks are displayed that drive traffic to our website.
Recommended KPI: web traffic from social media
These are the 7 crucial KPIs for our brand’s social media analytics. What about you? Do you take others into account? Tell us about it!