Internet is an important tool for businesses that are looking to increase their reach. The global marketplace is becoming more and more competitive, and while the internet allows big corporation to have an even bigger customer base, it also allows smaller companies to have a voice against the big global brands. Using the right social media analytics tools and making the best of the data uncovered is crucial.
Social media analytics is described by NetBase as being the gathering of data from social channels as well as from other online content in order to help guide business decision. This can take many forms, but in essence it is always about gaining social insights that guide your business when it comes to the strategy you apply. While social media analytics can get complex, at its core there are 3 stages.
First there’s identifying primary business goals, such as growing traffic, building a positive perception about your brands, or increasing downloads. It’s important to set out clear business objectives in order to give your analytics purpose. Next you have to determine social key performance indicators, meaning what metrics you want to use – this will be different depending on your goals. It could mean measuring engagement, conversion (how the social strategies applied are impacting sales and revenue), sentiment (your audience’s opinion about your brand), or other. Finally, there’s the measuring and analyzing of social data. Once you have set things in place it’s time to analyze the data by using one (or more) specific tools.
It’s important to determine which tools are the right fit for your business, budget-wise and as far as what you’re looking to accomplish. The internet offers plenty of analytics platforms designed for every budget and every level of expertise. If your social media presence is limited to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and/or YouTube, then you could use the free analytics tool that those platforms provide. They can prove to be a good starting point when it comes to understanding your audience.
If you are active on more than one platform then it become time-consuming to manually compare the data gathered from all the channels. In addition, you might also be active on platforms that don’t offer analytics, such as Tumblr. In these cases it might be time to consider using a 3rd party analytics platform that can offer you deeper insights, such as Boardreader, Buffer, Followerwonk, Friends+Me, Google Alerts, Hootsuite, HowSociable, Likealyzer, Social Oomph, SumAll, Twitonomy, TweetReach, or Zoho Social.
If your social media analytics are more complex and you are well versed when it comes to understand how data works, then, if the budget allows it, it might be time to look into paid tools. Free tools can get you far, but almost all free platforms offer upgrade plans, meaning that there’s always more data that can be uncovered. Many paid tools offer free trial periods, or demos, in order to allow you to understand what you get for the money you pay.
NetBase, for example, is a social media analytics tool that focuses on consumer sentiment, which is the driving force behind all the social posting. NetBase uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) in order to decipher multiple languages, internet slang, and also emojis. It offers real-time monitoring and also has several options that can suit your budget as well as your needs. Other paid platforms are Likeable Hub, Sprout Special, and Tailwind. Deciding which platform is the right one is up to you. Applying social media analytics tools is considered to be a step in the right direction for forward-thinking brands that want to stay ahead of their competition.