So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy.
I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase.
Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help.
Depending on your budget, you might not be able to use a brand monitoring tool like NetBase. However, AWG offers our members discounted access to a digital management tool called Sendible that includes social monitoring. With one login you can manage all of the digital platforms you currently use. And you can use the monitoring tool to keep track of mentions of your store but also the competition around you (more on that later).
Baglietto discussed the best practices to unlock value across your business using digital analytics:
Audience Segmentation: Better Content & Targeting
Audience segmentation is the most important way to make relevant and engaging connections on social media. Learning about your audience will give you a better understanding of their wants and needs and, more importantly, how your business can help them meet those needs.
Baglietto suggests learning about your customers’ behaviors through personal narratives when they are communicating directly to your profiles or when you see them posting about your business on your monitoring tool. He discusses looking at “sentiment drivers” (the emotions and behaviors related to wants and needs). The first step in effective social segmentation is understanding how your audience discusses the target need or behavior.
Campaign Content: Improving Customer Engagement
To improve customer engagement you need to measure brand health. How do you know if your marketing strategies are effective? Is your message resonating with new and existing customers?
To answer these questions, first find out which channels are getting the most engagement (if you use more than one social media channel). Then start focusing on the top terms used by the people who are commenting on those channels. Are customers talking about the online shopping program you just launched, the self-checkout kiosks next to your cash registers, or the new gluten-free products you’ve been advertising? Focus on keywords and subjects that are important to your business and learn more about what current and potential customers are saying.
Influencer Marketing: Leveraging Word of Mouth
You can find social media influencers through monitoring keywords in your geographic location. Or looking at your audience segments to see which names stand out as regularly commenting on your social media or talking about your industry online. Influencers fall into a few different categories:
- Micro-influencers – your loyal customers, the dedicated shoppers who are there every week.
- Content creators – local bloggers, local social media users with a large following.
- Industry experts – other businesses (especially businesses that buy from you), vendors, etc.
- Celebrities – local news personalities and other local celebrities.
The most important voices to consumers are those of other consumers, which is why influencers are so important to your business. The value of an influencer is their authenticity. So when you’re looking to find influencers, make sure they are actual customers who like your business. Your younger, internet-savvy customer base will see right through them if they’re not.
Brand Health: Building and Measuring Brand Equity
To track brand equity, you need to know if your marketing strategies are effective and if you are winning/losing versus the competitors. Learn about the positive/negative sentiment that online users have for your brand and your competition. Sentiment tracking is available on most monitoring tools, including Sendible.
You can also monitor your competitor’s customer sentiment to help you with your business goals. Are the majority of your competitor’s customers complaining about the self-checkout kiosks? Consider polling your customer base before investing in that technology.
Competitive and Market Analysis: How Am I Doing
Marketers need to get higher on the inverted sales funnel to find a way to connect social goals/metrics to revenue. Yes, you should focus on getting more followers on your profiles and better engagements on your posts. But make sure you’re tracking that with what your sales numbers look like. Are your Facebook flash sales bringing in more customers on slow days? Did your boosted post about the discounted Thanksgiving turkey with a minimum purchase increase sales that month? Your social goals and business goals should be integrated.
Adding social media to your advertising and marketing strategy is just the beginning. Analyzing the ample data available online will help you take your social media and your business to the next level.