Social Analytics Zen: Combining External and Internal Social Metrics for Business Insights

As a marketer, you probably daydream about impressing your CEO with unforgettable statistics from your social media campaigns that clearly articulate the ROI. There is a budding business discipline around social analytics, which aggregates and analyzes online conversations and social activity generated across social channels and enables organizations to act on the derived intelligence to drive business results. But how does one get to the ultimate state of social media bliss? To achieve social analytics Zen, you have to marry the yin and yang of social media analytics. Here’s how you can do that.

Learning from External Data: Social Analytics Yin

The path to achieving social analytics Zen begins by analyzing external data. Marketers must analyze industry, competitive and consumer conversations to have a solid understanding of the industry landscape. To properly understand your Yin:

  1. Identify key data sources and determine the frequency with which you’ll collect data: Create a benchmark of what’s currently being discussed at an industry and competitive level.
  2. Separate the information by audience type: You may have several different key buyer segments and corresponding influencers. Identify your keyword set by audience type and perform social listening to determine where digital conversations are happening.
  3. Develop goals by audience: Define what action you want each audience segment to take (e.g. gain awareness of your company, influence others, purchase your product/service, engage with you). Your audience goals should be driven by your overall business goals.
  4. Monitor by audience type: At this point, you’ll have a sense of whom you want to monitor. Create lists of top targets, influencers, and new customers to quickly scan for conversations that may require your participation. Create triggers for specific user intent that is tied to business goals.

While having a finger on the pulse of your industry enables you to understand key industry trends and drivers, this is only part of the story. You also need to analyze data from your own social campaigns.

Learning from Internal Data: Social Analytics Yang

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Analyzing internal campaigns allows marketers to continually get smarter, more effective and more productive. As we learned from Travis Unwin, director of media strategies for Awareness partner agency Sitewire, a full service digital marketing and interactive advertising agency you can’t ‘set-it-and-forget-it” when it comes to social media (LINK to Travis’s post). It’s important to learn from your own content. To arrive at your Yang:

  1. Determine your content and platform mix: Test on various platforms to find the right marketing mix for your company. Remember, the goal is to drive new customers to your marketing funnel.
  2. 2.     Measure your successes and failures – Get Granular: Which campaigns performed the best? On which platforms? Which posts or tweets stood out from the highest-performing campaign? Allow these learnings to guide future campaign development.
  3. 3.     Develop benchmarks: Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a toolset that helps you gain intelligence over time. You’ll want a social analytics platform that’s a one-stop destination for social intelligence.
  4. 4.     Incorporate Social Media into your Marketing Mix: Social media shouldn’t be performing alone in a silo. Make your marketing efforts more effective at driving business results by integrating all available channels (email, website, mobile, ads, and social).

Social Analytics Zen: Combining External and Internal Social Metrics for Business Insights image Zen

Achieving Social Analytics Zen

With the knowledge gained from your social analytics yin and yang, you now have a solid understanding of your landsca

pe. The marriage of the yin and yang (or Zen) is where your external and internal intelligence meets. This happens when you can identify and act on specific sales opportunities. The ultimate measure of Zen occurs in the Social Marketing Funnel, a sales framework we developed to help marketers monitor, identify, classify and respond to prospects and customers in social channels. Research consistently shows that the likelihood of purchase increases when people have a social connection with a brand or product – for example, fans of brands are 51 percent more likely to buy. With 90 percent of all purchases subject to social influence, and 90 percent of consumers trusting recommendations from people they know, marketers need to recognize the social marketing funnel is vital to overall prospecting activity.

For the full social analytics framework and steps to achieving Zen, download our new e-book, Actionable Social Analytics: From Social Media Metrics to Business Insights.

What do you think, marketers? Have you married your yin and yang to achieve Social Analytics Zen? We’d love to hear how you’re developing actionable analytics on our Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages.

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