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Social Media Marketing

5 Tips to Understand Your Social Media Analytics Report

Social media analytics gives you a 360-degree view of your social media marketing, showing you everything from the rate of content engagement and where your audience is most active to the emerging trends that are directing your key competitors.

While it’s not hard to see the huge potential in a social analytics tool, extracting real value is another matter. To learn how to use social media analytics reports effectively and make sure they’re a true asset to your marketing, you’ll need to understand various data points and the variables that affect them while steering clear of an information overload.

In this post, we’ll walk you through five tips to help you understand your social media analytics report and keep your reporting as clear and effective as possible.

1. Start With Clear Objectives

Before you think about reading and applying social media analytics reports, it’s important to consider what you’re trying to achieve with your analytics tools. 

If you sign up for a new tool and start generating reports through the default settings, you may come out with a report that’s full of data points which aren’t all that useful for your goals, or miss out on potentially useful metrics that were filtered out in the first place.

To determine what your social media analytics reports should look like, it’s important to think about what your campaigns are setting out to achieve, and the metrics that will tell you whether or not you’re on-track to hit those objectives.

If you’re simply looking to improve brand equity through social media, your report can probably be quite stripped-down and focused on simple engagement metrics like comments, shares, and your follower growth rate. If you’re trying to stimulate sales, on the other hand, your social media analytics report might need to be a little more complex, including things like social traffic to your product landing page, conversion rates, and more.

Set out clear objectives early, and you’ll find it easier to configure social media reports that have real, applicable value.

2. Familiarize Yourself With Key Metrics

Quality social media analytics tools will give you access to a wide variety of metrics, but only some of these are going to be useful for creating reports that serve your overarching business objectives.

By familiarizing yourself with what different social media metrics mean, you’ll be able to focus on the ones that serve your interests, and filter out the more “noisy” data points which don’t contribute to improving your campaigns.

Some key metrics you should study to better understand your reports include:

Reach: How many people see the content you post.

Engagement Rate: The percentage of comments, shares, reactions, and other engagements as a proportion of people who see your content.

Audience Growth Rate: The rate at which you’ve accrued new followers over time.

Click-Through Rate: The people who click on links included in your content as a percentage of people who see them.

Share of Voice: The proportion of comments and other content that mentions your brand as opposed to your competitors.

Video Completion Rate: The rate at which people watch your video content all the way to the end as a proportion of those who click “play”.

Amplification Rate: The rate at which followers share the content they come into contact with and “amplify” your brand’s voice.

3. Learn How to Contextualize

One of the most critical mistakes when it comes to interpreting a social media analytics report is looking at data in isolation and failing to consider the context of the data you’re looking at. Without understanding critical industry benchmarks and historical data, this could lead you and your team into a warped view of your social media performance, and increase the risk making the wrong calls.

If, for example, your social media analytics report shows that your engagement rate has increased since the last reporting period, this is obviously a positive trend. However, if your close competitors are growing their engagement at a comparatively higher rate, this could mean that your strategies aren’t as effective as you previously thought, and may require more urgent attention.

Conversely, if you’ve noticed a drop in engagement rate from one quarter to the next, this might set alarm bells ringing for you and your team. However, when seen in the context of industry benchmarks and your own historical data, you might see that you’re ahead of the curve, and the energy that you could spend upping your engagement rate could be better applied elsewhere.

While social media tools can take a lot of the manual work out of analytics, it’s still important to look at the data from a perspective that’s informed by broader industry context. Do the research to contextualize your data, and you’ll have a much better understanding of what your report is actually telling you.

4. Integrate Your CRM

Your customer journey is likely to involve several different touchpoints. By integrating your social media analytics reports into the familiar format of a CRM, you’ll instantly add some much-needed context that will make the whole report easier to understand.

There are many CRMs on the market that either offer social media integration, or are designed specifically to harvest social media data and present it in a sales funnel format, like our own Highperformr platform

Tracking CRM metrics, such as your lead-to-opportunity, lead acquisition cost, and opportunity-to-close, will highlight key patterns in your social media reports and show their relation to different points of your sales cycle. This will not only make it easier to understand your social media analytics report, but help you use analytics to identify high-value leads and activities in the future.

5. Embrace Visualization

Even when you’re an expert on social media metrics, a wide array of raw data points can be hard to understand and interpret. With data visualization, however, you can make your social media analytics reports much more accessible, drive alignment and collaboration across different departments, and foster confident decision-making.

Some data visualization forms and methods you might find useful include:

  • Customized dashboards and exports designed to make things clear to different teams and individual stakeholders.
  • Interactive reports that invite users to filter or drill down to help them reach the most pertinent data points quickly.
  • AI-powered trend recognition that instantly shows the trajectory of your most important metrics.
  • Visual storytelling  with annotations and callouts that take out the guesswork and provides essential context.

There are countless ways to use visualization for your social media analytics reports to help you and your wider organization understand social media performance. Learn the visualization capabilities of your tool, and you’ll quickly find a format that works for you.

Making Sense of Your Social Media Analytics Report

When you first configure a social media analytics report, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the diversity of data points and the possibilities for formatting your data. However, by going in with a clear goal in mind, contextualizing your data points, and experimenting with presentation methods, your reports will soon start to feel like less of a headache and more of an asset.

To discover how granular analytics and user-friendly reporting can help your social media campaigns, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

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