How to Get Business Insights from Social Media Data

Social media analytics is not only about your brand's presence on social, but also about your audience, product, and more

While scrolling through the Web recently, I came across an article by Steve Tobak about “Why Social Media Analytics are Essentially Worthless”. The more I dove into it, the more I realized that there’s a common misconception that social media analytics is little more than a simple count of likes, impressions, shares, or retweets displayed in colorful graphics and deceptively complex charts.
While there’s no denying that a lot of what companies tout as “social media analytics” is really just simple engagement metrics, there is also an emerging approach to social media analytics that goes well beyond this, and I think it’s also important to differentiate between them.
Tobak is certainly right that simple sharing metrics may tell you how “you’re doing on one platform over time” but they don’t help you answer the more important question of “whether you might have been better off doing something else.”

Graphs on digital tablet

Luckily, there are metrics and analyses that Tobak doesn’t bring up that can actually help you and your brand answer the second question, and others like it.
In this post, I hope to highlight some of the newest and most interesting ways that social media analytics can help you dig into the deeper questions, not only about your brand’s presence on social, but also about your audience, product, and more.

Why do people like your post? What do they think about your product? Who are these people and what are they saying about your brand? All these questions can be answered with social media analytics, and they are derived by analyzing data that goes beyond simple volumetrics.
The real value of social media analytics is its ability to dig into and sort social media posts in a way that they provide actionable insights that can be used for better business decision-making.

And why turn to social media when there are already other sources of information such as focus groups, surveys, interviews and other market research techniques? The answer is that social media is the largest source of unsolicited conversations, and the perfect place for brands to listen in as consumers speak freely and openly about their experiences with specific brands and products.
Social media removes the innate bias in traditional market research methods, and this is why social media analytics tools are necessary. Tweets, Facebook posts, and blogs are all different and much harder to parse and categorize than simple numerical data. This is where social media analytics tools come in.

Optimize Your Product or Service

A lot of the times, when customers are dissatisfied with a purchase, they’ll post it on their social media. Many of us have done it, whether it’s in the form of a Twitter rant, or a Facebook post discouraging others to purchase the same product. So what better place than social media to find out what people say about your product?
By listening to social conversations, you can find out whether to bring back that product you discontinued, or to fix a feature of your product that has become the center of conversation.

Conduct Industry Research For Trend Analysis

In every competitive landscape, businesses find themselves researching about different aspects of their industry to remain competitive. One of the most important ways for businesses to grow and improve is to study and really understand their industry.
A big part of industry research comes in the form of trend analysis, where companies try to keep tabs of popular trends that they could integrate into their business. A lot of chatter on social conversations are indications that a trend is emerging, so what better than diving into social conversations to understand what’s coming next?

Understand Your Audience

Ultimately, it is very important that you know who is talking about your brand. Not only does it help you learn more about your followers, you can also figure out how to better cater your content and marketing strategies to them – or stray away from them if this isn’t the market you want to reach.
You can take advantage of social media analytics for audience analysis as it gives you valuable information, such as their age, gender location, interests, and more.
These are four of the several ways that social media analytics can improve your business. Want to learn more about how to use social media analytics for business insights? Check out our latest comprehensive guide here:

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