Thursday, July 5, 2012

Social Analytics

Everywhere you go online someone is professing the benefits of Social Media and how it can help you business. Consultants and Social Media firms are popping up left and right declaring they have the answer and can show your business how to use these online platforms. I agree, Social Media can greatly help your business build a stronger client base; expand your business reach, engage directly with users, and so much more. But the million dollar question is “HOW” do you track this?
How do you follow something that seems so elusive and hides up in the online cloud? How do you get it to demonstrate actual value? How do you confront your social media marketing firm and get them to show you that the thousands of dollars you have spent on marketing has actually done something (*Sidebar- Please make sure that any Social Media freelancer, Expert, Firm, etc… can do more than manage your social media accounts! Make sure they can track the returns)? I have entitled this post “Social Analytics.” I would like to add a subtitle and call this, “ The Technical Side of Social Media Marketing.”

The answer to my medley of questions is Analytics. Wikipedia describes analytics as, “the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. It relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and Operations Research to approach problems in business (marketing, controlling, etc.) and industry. Analytics often favors data visualization methods to communicate insight.”  This is a long statement that basically says a computer will generate numbers and a picture to show patterns. It is these patterns that help show marketers (and customers) that the long hours they spend working on a campaign is truly making a difference. There are hundreds of analytics companies and software programs that measure a wide variation of important facets of social media. With all the companies and all the data it is very easy to get overwhelmed and not know what you should do. Ask yourself these 3 simple questions:

1) Who is your target market?
Is your business and social media efforts aimed primarily at a particular zip code, state, country, or globally? What is the demographic makeup of your ideal customer (don’t know? Analytical tracking will show you who is currently engaging with your social media platforms. This will help you determine if that is the market you are aiming for or if it could possibly be a new market).

2)  What is the goal of your social media marketing efforts?
Are you trying to increase the number of fans following your Facebook or Twitter page? Do you want to engage more with your customers?

3)  What data do I need to know to better understand my marketing results and to enhance my campaigns? (Ok, I know that was two questions rolled into one… I do that sometimes)
Would it be nice to know what time most of your clients visit your Facebook or Twitter? Knowing what time most your users visit your social media platforms can help you determine when to post important updates (allowing the largest number of users to see your messages). Do you want to know who your biggest social influencers are? Do you want to track user engagement or social mentions? Or do you want to pit your company against your competitors on multiple items and see how you stack up?

All of this and much more can be determined using analytical tools. Three analytical tools that I highly recommend and use to help generate reports for clients at Miller & Miller Consulting are: Analytics Pro by (my personal favorite), Wildfire which can be seen at, and

If you use analytics and have used any of these tools, or have other tools you have used and recommend please let me know. Any comments or feedback is greatly appreciated.


Post a Comment