Social media has become a dominant platform for marketing, even in very large enterprises. It used to be relegated to a corner cubicle, mostly in consumer retail brands. But now it has risen to the top of the strategic priorities of even large B2B enterprises.
Whether you’re a marketing executive or even a non-marketing manager that’s looking to rise through the ranks into senior leadership, you should understand the basics of social media analysis. If you’re new to the social media marketing world, here are a few high level categories you want to keep an eye on.
Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or other social platform, it’s important to monitor and analyze the number of followers your brand has. Follower count growth is a sign of health, and non-growth can be a indicator of a crisis brewing underneath.
No matter how many followers you’re dropped into, you want to make sure there is growth in your count. Just like healthy plants grow, so do healthy social media accounts.
If the growth is slowing, it may indicate diminished brand awareness and enthusiasm. If you are getting more people unfollowing you than following, that could indicate a serious PR issue. At this point in the history of marketing, a decrease in social media following would indicate there’s an emergency afoot.
Reach is a measure of how many eye-balls are landing on your content. If you post something on Twitter, how many people end up getting that impression? That’s an important metric to know.
The number of followers doesn’t always correlate with your reach. With AI algorithms now ranking content for it’s relevance, you may have more or less reach depending on the content.
You may also, at times, have a bigger reach than your follower base. This happens when you create a particularly interesting piece of content that gets shared by your followers and then get’s re-shared by their followers.
Those viral pieces of content is invaluable in your social media analysis. It can tell you what kinds of content to create in the future as well as what to stay away from if it creates a particularly negative brand impression.
One thing you can’t measure with TV, magazine or newspaper advertising is engagement. You typically have no clue how it’s being received until you do a survey or focus group around it. With social media analysis, you can know in real-time how people are engaging with your content and with your brand.
With social media analysis tools like NetBase, you can even know what the sentiment is of that engagement. Is it positive or negative engagement? Is the engagement neutral? Those metrics are important to know so you can dig deeper and find out why it’s happening.
Particularly, if there’s negative engagement around a certain post, you want to make sure you address it immediately. You don’t want to wait until you hear about it in the New York Times the next day. By then, it’s almost too late. Now you’re just doing disaster response.
Another powerful aspect about engagement and sentiment is that you can also do this analysis on your competitors. You can know in an instant how the general public feels about your competitors. You can then take that information and leverage it to differentiate yourself, piggy back off of it or even develop new products and services around it.
Social media analysis is playing a critical role in the marketing houses of today, and know how to leverage it and frame it in your overall strategy is key to successful leadership in today’s digital world.