We’ve all fallen into the trap at one point or another—getting into a routine where we post content just to get something fresh on the page, in the stream or through the feed. It’s a rut that can be hard to beat if you’re not taking full advantage of what you’re given from your audience.What we’re referring to is the data coming straight from your customers’ mouths, via their Tweets, comments or Likes.
Conversations are happening online all day long, with customers sharing what they want and need on a continuous basis. In social media, news travels extremely fast and it can be difficult to keep up. But staying in tune with this continuous and evolving stream of news and information is crucial as ever, and networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others are developing analytics software integrated into their platform as a way to understand your customers.
As more and more of your interest and resources are invested into social media, you’re bound to ask a simple question: How can I improve my customer’s experience on my social channels? The key to answering this question is through a process we call “DIG.”
Here’s how you can start:
Determine your objective. You first need to know why. What is the purpose of looking at analytics? What type of data will help you make decisions and support your current campaign or strategy? Without tying a purpose to analytics, you’ll be looking at endless data from which you’ll have difficulty finding meaning. Discover the most important metrics, including those that support your business objective, and start to benchmark.
Investigate your audience’s behavior. The underlying trends in the data you see over time in relation to customer engagement can be the most meaningful information you can get from your customers. After benchmarking, you’ll need to continuously keep an eye on what is working and what is not. The key to understanding is listening and learning.
Generate your action plan. Equally important to understanding how you can effectively use this information is how you can turn social media insights into real actions—such as a sale. What good are analytics if you’re not turning the insight into something tangible?
Finding success on social media often comes down to trial and error, so as a marketer you should seek the analytics and key metrics that tie back to your business or campaign objectives. Fortunately, there are many free social media resources and tools that can spotlight trends and help you make the most sense of your data.