According to recent studies, around 3.2 billion people use social media at least once per month, and that number is expected to grow to almost 4.5 billion by 2025. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn (to name just a few) provide the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. In fact, over 90% of businesses in the U.S. use social media to promote their products and services. No matter how large your business is, and no matter what industry it’s in, you can use social media to find new leads, grow brand awareness, share original and curated content, and ultimately increase your revenue.
As brands grow, strategies and goals grow as well. Promoting your brand on additional social platforms helps increase your following, but it also presents new challenges. It’s not easy maintaining brand management across multiple social media platforms. Instead of hiring more marketers to handle this additional workload, many companies turn to technology for help.
”Most businesses reach a point where they have to decide if they should invest in a social media management tool. Typically this is once they are active on a of couple *[sic] networks and are beginning to become overwhelmed by the complexity of managing them.”* (eClincher)
Analytics tools have gone through several evolutions in recent years. While the methodologies have existed for decades or more, the technological capabilities have only recently grown to a level that automates social media analytics. The best social media analytics tools for your brand will depend on brand-specific goals and objectives. It also depends on how large your company is and how many employees dedicate their time and resources to your marketing strategy overall.
A quick Google search will reveal a seemingly endless stream of potential tools, all claiming to be the best social media analytics tools on the market. Simply narrowing down your selection can become overwhelming if you’re not prepared. And so, to help you choose a solution that will grow your brand on social media, our experts at HipSocial have compiled 10 tips that will help you choose the best solution for you and your team.
Tip 1 – Objectives & Requirements
Define your business objectives, whether their to increase brand awareness, leads, sales, engagement, or traffic, etc. Obtain the business needs you have from these goals as well as through feedback from your team. It helps to actually document your goals and intended strategies. That way everyone is on the same page and you can ensure a smooth transition to a new software. The best social media analytics tools are designed for specific brands and situations. No two tools are the same and each solution is designed to meet unique needs.
Tip 2 – Post Scheduling
Scheduling posts in advance helps in a number of ways. Not only does it improve productivity, but scheduling multiple posts at once also helps maintain a consistent brand voice and image across multiple social platforms.
Tip 3 – Customer Experience
It’s impossible to predict when customers will reach out to you on social media. The best social media analytics tools will help you enhance your customer service by providing insights into specific comments, complaints, and brand mentions. You can spot troubling patterns and address the issues before they begin to trend. What’s more, you’ll be better equipped to optimize your campaigns and workflows going forward.
While there are exceptions, few people log onto Facebook or Pinterest to chat with their favorite brands,”* says CrazyEgg founder and marketing guru Neil Patel. ”Instead, they’re there to socialize, the see *[sic] pictures from friends and family, and to find something entertaining to do.”*
While overarching goals and objectives may change, one underlying theme should always be to deliver a positive, memorable, and engaging customer experience. ”As we start marketing on social media,” says Patel, ”one of our biggest objectives is to be authentic and make the experience enjoyable for people who are on social media just for fun.”
Tip 4 – ROI Measurement
Social media analytics would be remiss without detailed measurements and reporting. One key performance indicator (KPI) that should never be ignored is Return-on-Investment (ROI). The ROI you experience for social campaigns will not only help you when optimizing campaigns and adjusting strategy, but it also gives you data that can be presented to prospects and shareholders.
Tip 5 – Social Listening & Monitoring
It’s difficult to manually monitor social platforms consistently. The best social media analytics tools provide innovative features like Social Listening and Social Monitoring. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they actually represent two different methods.
Social Listening is an automated function offered by the best social media analytics tools on the market. This feature constantly crawls various social platforms. It can be set up to look for specific keywords, brand names, or other types of engagement. Data from social listening helps you provide the best experience for your followers and keeps you informed with competitive analysis.
Social Monitoring, on the other hand, is the act of identifying and responding to individual engagements on social media. Social monitoring is a much more manual process, but it’s equally important to show your followers and consumers how important they are to you. By engaging with individual commenters as often as possible, you treat them as individuals and give them the attention they desire. This turns followers into paying customers, and customers into loyal advocates for your brand.
Tip 6 – Analytics
Monitor campaign performance, post success, ad click-through-rates (CTR), engagement strength, growth rate, and much more with effective analytical tools. You want a tool that is robust, offering you insightful data about your social activity and the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. The trick to finding the best social media analytics tools for your brand is to consider your objectives.
As stated, each tool will place emphasis on a different area of growth. The KPIs to emphasize most will depend on the specific goals and objectives you have for your brand. Areas of growth like reach, engagement, conversions, and customer loyalty each consist of various KPIs.
For example, brands focused on growing their reach on social media should emphasize KPIs such as follower count, impressions, and traffic from social media. Brands focused on engagement, however would place more value on variables such as clicks, likes, shares, comments, and mentions. Of course, all KPIs are important. But the extent to which you obsess over certain variables should be determined solely by the specific goals and objectives you have for each specific campaign.
Tip 7 – Reporting
Choose a tool that provides powerful reporting features. The goal is to visually represent each variable of your brand’s online activity. The best social media analytics tools automate much of this process, and this leads to a higher degree of accuracy than manual data-collection can provide. Reporting is at the heart of social media analytics. You cannot optimize campaigns or strategies without accurate data that represents true performance. You can’t measure what you can’t see. The tool you choose should allow you to see the performance of each post and each campaign.
Tip 8 – Integration
It’s better to have one solution that includes all your social channels in one place. That way you don’t have to abandon the tools you already use in your business workflow, and instead, you can create a new, superior workflow through powerful integrations. This centralization helps you improve team productivity in all areas of business. Third-party integrations can also enhance your team’s workflow.
Tip 9 – Alerts
Alerts help you increase engagement and enhance customer service and experience. With social listening alerts, the best social media analytics tools crawl social platforms and look for specific keywords and engagements. You can set triggers that search for brand mentions, customer complaints, inquiries, and any other type of engagement. This gives you invaluable insights into the performance of your campaigns, and it even helps with competitive analysis, as previously mentioned.
Tip 10 – Management Tools
To sustain your business in such a competitive marketplace, smart tools are vitally important. With the best social media analytics tools, you can increase your business success rate by using smart management features. Some smart tools include automation to help with time management and productivity, as well as a centralized interface that allows you to monitor and access multiple social streams from one app.
The tips presented here will help you make the best decision for your brand. As we said, no two solutions are identical. It’s up to you to obtain the data you need to fill in the blanks and select the right tool.
Again, it’s important to get feedback from your team before investing in an app. They’ll be the ones using the new software most often, and they need to be comfortable with whatever choice you make.
If you’re currently in the market for the best social media analytics tools, we encourage you to try HipSocial free for 30 days. It’s part of 500apps’ Infinity Suite of productivity-boosting apps for small and medium businesses. Click here to learn more about 500apps and try the entire suite free for 30 days.