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How Can Social Media Data Help You Grow Other Parts of Your Business

When marketing on Meta, you can retrieve so much data that the ads manager doesn't display them in one dashboard. Besides the quantitative data on the Facebook Ads Manager, there's also the qualitative aspect of sentiment analysis. There's a ton of data to be gathered from social media users.

Trying to analyze all this data can feel overwhelming, but knowing how to gather and interpret social media data can be the key to your company's success. This guide will cover how to use social media data to grow your business.

What social media data to collect to derive customer and industry insights

Market research best practices suggest you study both your primary target market and the industry you're in. Analyzing your target audience helps you understand their goals, day-to-day, and interests more, allowing you to connect with them on a personal level.

You can leverage these insights to build relationships with your target audience through marketing collateral and other business decisions. To assess your optimal audience, you may gather the metrics generated by your marketing campaigns. You can gather data such as most engaged age bracket, gender, geographic location, among more from your social media marketing campaigns.

You may also assess cost per engagement, and other custom metrics such as cost per website visit to assess your social media campaign performance. Finally, you can use the data to assess benchmarks so you can see how you’re doing over time. 

How to analyze data from social media platforms

Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can analyze data from marketing on social media channels. This data is crucial not only for your social media strategy but also for your business's overall growth.

1. Unify and normalize data from all sources to have an accurate representation

It’s difficult to shift between websites and applications when performing social media marketing.

To maximize your data analysts' efficiency (and minimize stress), it's crucial that you unify all your data streams from the different social networks you market on. Place them in one streamlined database and normalize them. Data normalization reduces data redundancy, thus providing you with a cleaner interface to interpret.

Sample streamlined database of marketing campaign data
Source: Hubspot

There are various ways to unify and normalize data. One method is to compile all the data into your preferred sheet software, giving your data analysts a bigger-picture view of your data streams from various social platforms. However, the downside to this sheet method is that it's slow and isn't real-time.

A more effective way to compile and normalize this data is to use marketing data management platforms, such as Improvado. WIth its help, you can automate the data gathering and data normalization process. Furthermore, you can view all your social media activity, social media analytics, brand mentions, and other social data on one application through these tools.

How Improvado helps to manage social media data

2. Analyze customer segments prevailing on different platforms 

If you’ve ever done any email marketing, you know the importance of segmenting your lists according to reader age, interest, and brand engagement, among other things. You must segment potential audiences on social media in the same way to create more focused marketing collateral for each customer segment.

Not every social network will have the same type of social media users. Facebook and Instagram cater to an older audience. On the other hand, TikTok users tend to be for a younger audience, Twitch pulls in streamers and gamers, etc.

One way to segment your customers is by applying a different marketing approach for each social media platform. You can also use platforms for different purposes. For example, YouTube is great for retargeting and generating brand awareness.

You’ll need to adapt the content you create to each platform as well. Make sure to track engagement rates so you know which platforms provide the best return on investment.

3. Analyze social media data in the context of the customer journey

In the grand scheme of your marketing campaign, everything should work in sync with the customer journey. That includes your social media campaign as well.

Marketing funnel showing customer journey
Source: Amazon

Here are some data that you may analyze on the customer journey. Note that these may look different depending on your goals for each stage, how you identify each stage, and how your marketing funnel is set up.

For the Awareness Phase, you may look at video views and engagement in relation to reach. These are excellent metrics for brand awareness since they indicate a new familiarity with your brand.

For the Consideration Phase, look at click-through rate and ThruPlays (15-second video views or more). These metrics indicate deeper engagement with your ads that may result in a potential conversion.

For the Conversion Phase, look at add-to-carts and purchases generated by social media traffic. These determine the rate at which those in your Consideration Phase ultimately decide to purchase from you. Add to carts and purchases are an excellent metric for market decisiveness. You can use those insights to scale your social media ecommerce efforts. 

Sample UGC content made by evangelist
Source: Kantaloupe

For the Evangelist Phase, look at brand mentions and the use of your hashtags. Evangelists and advocates are those satisfied with your product and are likely to suggest your brand to their friends. Users who generate UGC (user-generated content) may be considered evangelists. Check out the example of an evangelist above. Delighted Twitter user gizmo1sfc posted a picture of a Coke bottle on Twitter. The user even compared Coke with its competitor Pepsi, saying Coke would always be his preferred product.

Look at these metrics in proportion to each other. If you're building a sequential social media funnel, it's essential that you measure each stage's campaign against each other to determine your conversion rate.

For example, how many clicked the link on your ad copy from those you've reached with your campaign? 

Then, from those who've clicked the external link, how many purchased from the landing page?

4. Use an ETL platform and brand monitoring tools

You'll need a marketing ETL pllatform to view all your social data. These kind of platforms gather quantitative information such as campaign reach, campaign engagement, cost-per-conversions, number of purchases, and total revenue.

Marketing data pipeline for social media analytics

Improvado is a great tool to acquire this data from different data platforms such as Facebook and Google Adwords.

The second thing you’ll need is a detailed dashboard to monitor campaign performance across different channels in real time. Here’s a social media dashboard template we’ve built here, at Improvado:

Social media dashboard built with Improvado
Click on the dashboard to learn more about it

With its help, you can track ad spend and conversion rates across channels, analyze detailed breakdowns across campaigns, monitor the number of target actions taken by prospects, and more.

Get our free social media dashboard to get a centralized view of your campaign performance
Get a dashboard

You'll also need a brand monitoring tool for sentiment analysis.

Brand monitoring tools help you gather qualitative data such as brand mentions, user-generated content, reviews and comments, and the use of the brand hashtag across the web.

Using these tools together will help you make the most out of your social platform data gathering. You'll know the numbers your social strategies are generating, and you'll also acquire a better understanding of the market's sentiment around your brand.

How can social media data help you grow your business?

There are nearly three billion social media users worldwide. That's a significant sample to represent the global population. So gathering data generated by various users will allow you to grow your business.

1. Real-time tracking data to improve performance

With the fast-paced social media market, trends can pop up any day. You want to monitor your marketing campaign daily. Rapidly adapting to changes in the market will give you an edge over your competition. 

Social media tools give you real-time data on what's trending and how your campaign is performing.

The content shared on social media is constantly evolving, with new trends popping up all the time. Your social media campaign must incorporate some of those trends. Knowing the talk of the industry is crucial in creating better content for the social network platform.

Real-time data on sample social media campaign
Source: Tinuiti

The real-time data on your campaign is vital as well. You'd want to note the changes in the data trend so you can quickly tweak or overhaul your social network campaign. I.e., If you notice the engagement for your campaign starting to go lower and impressions going higher, that may indicate that people are starting to get tired of seeing your ads.

For instance, Purdue University uses social media listening tools to determine their top posts across channels and to adjust their content accordingly. Since they found out their “then and now” content was loved by the audience, they created more of this content and published it not just on Instagram but also on LinkedIn and their other platforms. The result was a 24% increase in cross-channel engagement

For example, Illy, a prominent Italian coffee company, synchronized real-time social media data and visualized it to get a holistic view of its marketing efforts. Improvado streamlined Illy's social media data from LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter, YouTube, and 10+ other sources.

Illy's marketing efforts were distributed across multiple regions, so Improvado's real-time reporting helped them build a comprehensive picture of marketing campaign performance around the globe. 

Eventually, Illy saved over 100 hours on manual reporting per week, experienced 20% ROMI growth in the first months of using Improvado, and took the company's marketing analytics to a whole new level.

Having this real-time data will help you create a better marketing campaign and help you understand the demands of the market. You may even gather insights on how to improve your product.

2. Use forecasting data for a better customer persona

Social media also generates metrics similar to a CRM — they give you insight into what age bracket, gender, geographic location, and other demographic data are most engaged with your marketing campaign.

Demographic data and others on audience engaging with sample marketing campaign
Source: Revealbot

Besides these geographics, you may even tailor different audiences and perform an A/B test with different custom audiences. I.e., college graduates vs. high-school graduates, medical students vs. engineering students, workers vs. non-workers, etc. To determine which group is more likely to engage, click through, view your video, and even purchase from you, track demographic engagement.

You can use the data you gather to identify your ideal customers. Once you have this information, you can craft better marketing collateral, adopt better brand guidelines, and even fine-tune your product to the needs of your customer persona. 

For instance, when Arby’s launched its Meat Mountain poster to showcase the different kinds of meat they use in their burgers, Arby’s social media accounts got flooded with user comments about how they would love to try what they thought was Arby’s new burger. The result? Arby’s $10 Meat Mountain burger was born.  

Arby's Meat Mountain burger
Source: Reddit

You can also run paid advertising campaigns targeting lookalike audiences that share the interests and demographics of your core audience.

3. Benchmarking data for competitor analysis

Gathering your social media data will give you an idea of how your business' marketing is performing on social media platforms. Once you have this data, you can measure your performance against your competitors.

However, as mentioned earlier in this guide, you cannot retrieve any particular competitor's social media data unless you have access to their ads manager. This makes it challenging to analyze your competition.

That doesn't mean that you can't still perform a proper competitor analysis. There are multiple case studies and statistics on each industry's average social media performance.

Facebook advertising benchmarks

If you're in the apparel industry looking to assess your conversion rate, you may want to measure your cost-per-click against the apparel industry's average cost per click. With the case shown above, the average CPC for the apparel industry on Facebook ads is $0.45, according to Single Grain.

This benchmarking method allows you to see how you perform relative to your industry.

💡We’ve gathered social media benchmarks across TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram to help you accurately track campaign performance 💡

However, if you still insist on benchmarking against your immediate competitor, have a list of 5 to 10 of your most competitive competitors. Individually look through their social media accounts.

Some things you'd want to look at are:

  • The frequency at which they upload social media posts
  • Their social media post engagement
  • Their follower count growth since the page was created
  • Their social media ads and post copy
  • The ad creatives they incorporate into their posts and ads

Once you've gathered the above information, the data you'll acquire will help you establish a baseline on how your company should be growing.

For instance, in 2019, Popeye’s posted this Tweet about its chicken burger:

Popeye's 2019 Tweet on its chicken burger
Source: Twitter

Seeing the type of engagement the post got, its competitor, Chick-fil-A, tweeted a similar post, this time promoting its own chicken burger:

Chick-fil-A's response to 2019 Popeye Tweet on chicken burger
Source: Twitter

The result? Thousands of engagement as well.

If your social media performance is nowhere near that of your competitor's, you’ll need to make some changes to how your social media account(s) are handled to meet these benchmarks. 

4. Better campaigns with listening data

Social listening and sentiment analysis are your friends in understanding the market's perception of your brand. These methods allow you to better understand your market's goals, interests, and changing behavior.

Sample sentiment analysis of post
Source: Voxco

With this data, you can create more genuine campaigns that resonate with your audience. You'll have higher engagement and, consequently, higher conversion when your audience knows you're listening to them.

For instance, when UK-based bank Barclays launched its mobile banking app called Pingit, based on their real-time sentiment analysis, a small portion of consumers did not like it that the app could not be used by those under 18. In a week’s time, the mobile app was adjusted so that that particular segment could access the app, to the delight of consumers.

Social listening and sentiment analysis will also provide you with more well-rounded customer support, allowing for a better brand experience for customers.

In Closing

Social media is one of the most dynamic and widely-used marketing platforms. Since social media also gathers users' data, you can use this data to improve your social strategy and your overall business growth.

To effectively analyze and interpret your social media data, unify them in one place. You also should see that your marketing funnel is working and that leads are going through the customer journey at a healthy rate. The effectiveness of this journey can be assessed with different social data. You can also use data gathered from your choice tools to analyze different customer behaviors and segments found on various social platforms, i.e., TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

The benefits of an efficient social data analysis process are real-time data monitoring, better and more detailed customer personas, proper business benchmarking, and more effective marketing campaigns. 

In other words, social media data is critical to your business. It will help you assess your business's direction and help determine if you're on a path to success. 

Learn how Improvado can help you leverage social media data and accelerate your growth.
Ali Flynn
VP of Customer Relationship

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