Marketers today are easily – and understandably – overwhelmed when it comes to the social media data they need to be collecting and analyzing. Just take a look at the output file that Facebook Insights provides – 65 tabs of data with dozens of columns in each. The amount of data you could segment, trend, and correlate seems infinite. Marketers need to be careful when it comes to large amounts of data because it can become a problem. Unless you know what to look for and how to use the data, it’s easy to fall behind in your social media initiative. With the abundance of noise existing in the social space today, marketers more than ever need to reevaluate their social media measurement in order to drive better marketing strategies.
While there are numerous steps you can take to reevaluate your social media measurement, there are two essential ones you should start with:
1) Applying the “so what?” test to your social media metrics
2) Integrating other data into your social media measurement
Each of these will allow you to focus your efforts better, see the whole picture, and ultimately make better marketing decisions. Let’s begin first with the “so what” test.
The “So What?” Test
The “so what?” test is a great way to see if the data you have available is actually important to your marketing objectives and allows you to see if you are making the right decisions. The test is just a simple process of asking the metrics you report the question “so what?” If you can’t take an action based on your analysis, why are you reporting the data? For example, you may see that the daily number of people who saw your page post three times on Facebook is up month over month. Ask yourself, so what? If you think this is a good trend – so what? You think you should be doing more of XYZ to continue the increase – OK, so (do) what? Even though this metric is somewhat obscure and you are probably not reporting out on it, the point is that there are many metrics marketers think are important to analyze that are in fact not. Take a look at what you are reporting and ask yourself which ones actually told you something and produced some action based on such that you can do differently. These are the ones that will ultimately drive the better marketing strategies.
The second important step in reevaluating your social media measurement is to incorporate other aspects of your marketing activities with these newly “so what?” passed metrics. Since social is a part of the larger marketing picture, telling the complete story is essential. A few areas where you can start integrating your social media data with other aspects of your marketing strategies include:
Website Metrics: Connecting your social media efforts with a web analytics tool allows you to understand and improve those efforts and see the value of such. Google Analytics is one example of a web analytics tool. This free option can start you on your journey of determining how your social activity translates into more engaged visitors on your site, more orders purchased, and more feed subscribers.
Market Research: No marketing is complete without understanding the behaviors and attitudes of your customers. Why not use this wealth of data to make decisions for your social activities? If your research shows that your customers happen to love doing outdoor activities in their free time, incorporate this into your Facebook efforts. Ask them their favorite outdoor activity to do on weekends or conduct a contest that shows their love of the outdoors. Take this market research integration a step further – ask social media specific questions in your next customer survey. See if respondents who are Facebook fans of your brand purchase more on your brand than non-fans. Ask these questions and you will receive valuable information.
CRM Systems: If you are running social media contests and collecting important contact information such as email addresses, match this data up with data that is already in your CRM system. See what types of insights you can gather on those who participate in contests and those who have already interacted with your brand in some way before. Use this integration to take your marketing strategies to a new level.
With so much data available today, what steps have you taken to focus your efforts and improve your social media measurement? Share your comments below!
For more helpful hints on improving your social media ROI, click here.