Why Your Social Media Analytics Matter

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origin_3542294246I see a lot of posts in my social graph on a daily basis that focus on social media as a selling and content tool. This, after all, is what the industry is focused on these days – content and making money. Many of my social media colleagues would say that the whole point of doing social at the end of the day is so that there is a noticeable change in the bottom line: more sales, more customers, more money, more take-home income.

Apple’s purchase of Topsy this month isn’t going to change many of my colleagues’ minds, but for those of us who work in social media analytics we know that the acquisition is an important one. Apple, as you know, is fairly well known for avoiding social media altogether – the late CEO Steve Jobs had many parody accounts, but had no real one for himself and only recently did current CEO Tim Cook actually take the plunge. The acquisition matters because Apple knows that even though it’s not actively engaged in social media, the ability to simply listen and follow what the crowd has to say is important.

Analytics are generally a luxury more reserved for big businesses in the industry who can afford the thousands of dollars associated with purchasing a license to a Radian6 or Sprinklr. But just because these companies have the money and employment resources to hire, doesn’t mean that analytics are something only big businesses do – small businesses must take advantage of social data too and be part of the social listening conversation, or see the same threats as big business.

Here are some reasons for why you should look at creating a social media analytics strategy, whether you’re a small business, in midmarket, or are developing your own brand:

  • Finding influencers: The big brands use social media to find influencers, and you can too. If you’re running a small business or looking to create a brand for yourself, discovering important influencers are key to helping you stand out, improve your SEO, or get more media mentions since influencers carry a fair bit of clout. Klout, the social media influencer tool based in San Francisco as well as Kred and Empire Avenue are wonderful places to find people of influence.
  • Public Relations Management: Social media analytics are complicated but are a key part of any public relations strategy. While small companies and sole proprietors are rarely a part of any public firestorm, being able to track and listen in general is helpful.
  • Trend analysis and management: Trends and the market change on what seems like the hour. Watching social media analytics live as they change is important because then you can tailor your content and business needs to match what the industry is looking for. Great places to look for this include Twitter’s trending hashtags as well as Topsy, the company that Apple acquired.
  • Deeper measured success: Making money is one thing, but understanding how that money came is just as important. Knowing how your website impacts sales from geographic location down to bounce rate for example, is a great way to see whether your site is effective, or if people just have a link saved in their browser.

What social data analytics tips do you have in your experience? Share them below!

photo credit: Search Engine People Blog via photopin cc

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Albert Qian
Albert Qian is a social media professional working, living and playing in Silicon Valley. He got his start in social media by working for Santa Clara University and jumping into Facebook pages in May 2009. Ever since, he has been engrossed in social media, marketing, program management and consulting for small businesses, Fortune 500 companies and individuals looking to learn more social media. On his free time, he enjoys hiking, bowling, eating out at new places and traveling. You can learn more about him on his blog.
Albert Qian

@albertqian

#ProductMktg at @HP_Networking. Into community, #socialmedia; published author, @SantaClaraUniv grad, SF Bay Area Native. Likes jazz, #SFgiants, views are own
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