Using Social Analytics In Both Planning And Measurement Challenges Marketers

According to a Social Analytics Whitepaper by SimplyMeasured, marketers often miss an opportunity to both plan and strengthen their social strategy by analyzing the necessary components of social media. The paper defines social analytics, how it fits into the social marketing process, and the components needed to develop an analytics-fueled social media strategy.

Social analytics is the ability to discover and communicate meaningful patterns from social data that gives social marketers the opportunity to grow and develop their programs, fuel the entire marketing organization, and challenge assumptions more easily than they’ve been able to do with other digital mediums.

Despite popular belief, the advent of social media hasn’t fundamentally changed digital marketing. Tactics, nuances, and roles are different, but the basic principles of marketing remain. The vast and disparate amount of data available to social marketers may make the process of analysis more complicated than it is in other areas, but its breadth and volume is also the reason it’s so valuable, says the report.

The goal of analyzing business impact is to help marketers answer several specific questions:

  • What tactics and campaigns are most effective for the business?
  • Does the business see the right return on the investment of these tactics and campaigns?
  • Can marketers prove the value of social media to the organization, and how does it stack up compared to other marketing channels and tactics?
  • Is this strategy the right one for the impact their trying to make?

In this regard, social analytics needs to integrate social data with other marketing and sales channels, tying social media initiatives directly to down-funnel activities, workflows, and sales metrics. Where social media has most impacted digital marketing is in the tremendous volume of public data it produces and the potential of that data to provide marketing insights, much like we’ve seen with web data.

Social analytics is a critical step in the social marketing process, allowing marketers to plan and measure the actions they take to execute on their social strategy. But, creating an effective process for analysis in both the planning and measurement categories remains a challenge for most marketers, says the report.

According to a recent CMO Survey, social media budgets are expected to increase by 128% over the next five years, but only 15% of marketers report that they know how to show the impact of social using quantitative approaches.

A complete social analytics process gives marketers access to the information, analysis, and insight necessary to plan their strategy, measure their performance, optimize their tactics, and tie social activity to larger business outcomes. In addition, it helps them understand how to use that insight in constructive ways, says the report.

A recent poll found that only 15% of marketers believe they can qualitatively prove the impact of their social media programs

  • Have proven the impact quantitatively   (15%)
  • Have a good qualitative sense of the impact, but not a quantitative impact   (40%)
  • Haven’t been able to show the impact yet   (45%)

The most difficult, and most valuable, component of social analytics, says the paper, is the ability to measure social’s impact on both direct outcomes like engagement and traffic, broader marketing outcomes like brand loyalty and customer lifetime value, and business outcomes like revenue and sales.

Marketers feel unequipped to define the ROI of their social programs says the report, but the ability to integrate social data with other channels is growing and, while social marketing at many companies may not equate directly to a revenue figure, there are many ways to tie social programs to business results, including measuring website traffic, foot traffic, customer lifetime value, brand loyalty, brand awareness, customer support, and other sales metrics.

Concluding, the report says that social media is a core component of digital marketing and, as social marketers are under mounting pressure to show value, tie activities to business goals, and drive results with their programs, using social analytics as the basis for planning a complete strategy and measuring the outcomes of that strategy’s execution is now a fundamental component to developing successful social programs, understanding the value of those programs, and driving real results.

For more information from SimplyMeasured, and the Whitepaper in PDF format, please visit here.



1 comment about "Using Social Analytics In Both Planning And Measurement Challenges Marketers".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, August 12, 2015 at 7:32 a.m.

    The reason they are stumped---and have always been---about ROI in social media is that they in fact have NEVER worked out a consistent ROI for proven media. The actual ROI is "is the boss happy with this?" Be honest. Move on.

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