If you run a business, you should know it by now that having a social media presence is critical for your growth. If you still are unsure about this, read our previous blog posts. However, having a page is just one fraction of the job. You’ll need to nurture it, build it and watch it grow. But how will you keep a track of your progress at all times? Do you know there’s a wealth of information hiding behind all your social media activity? Say hello to analytics, your own performance guide with detailed reports about the efficacy of your social media activities. Analytics are very accurate reflections of your social media work. They tell you everything you need to know about the directions to move in and decisions to take. In this post we’re going to discuss why social media analytics is important and how to use it.

Social media analytics is the practice of gathering data from social media websites and analyzing that data using tools to make business decisions. What are your top performing Tweets? What time of day do your Instagram posts get the most engagement? Is your Facebook marketing strategy translating to traffic and leads? If you’re not using social media analytics tools, you’ll probably have a hard time answering these questions.

Benefits of social media analytics:

1) Understanding your audience

One way social media analysis is important is if you want to determine to what extent your audience is sharing your content and what content they are sharing. If you create content that’s relevant and interesting to your target audience, the audience will spread the messages for you and increase your marketing reach. By paying close attention to the types of content that most interest your audience, you can learn how to develop messages that they are more likely to connect with and share. This, in turn, helps you create better and more relevant, content.

2) Tracking your content

Social media analytics help you by enabling you to monitor mentions of your brand names, so that your organization can learn what people really think about them. You can gain insights into how people feel about your products and services and learn where you can make improvements. Studying social media users who mention your brand can reveal who your audience is and what they like. You can learn what social networks and type of content they prefer, and make business decisions accordingly.

3) Guiding future content

All those updates you shared, the interactions they generated from your followers, those comments you replied to and other activity amass together to form extremely useful data. All of it serves as a guide for better future performance. Timing is an important part of social media marketing. If you post when your fans are online and at their highest level of alertness, your posts will drive more engagement, traffic and sales. Therefore, you should study your analysis data and find your unique best time to post on social media. Social media analysis is important for enabling these insights.

4) Studying your competitors

You can also spy on your competitors’ performance using these tools. Understanding your competitors gives you a sort of advantage over them. You can compare, you can see what kind of social media content works for them, and what they’re doing right and take advantage of this information and one up them. These tools are very handy.

5) Planning future campaigns

Another reason why social media analytics is important is because you can see how your campaigns are performing. If you study your analytics data regularly, you will be able to figure out what your mistakes are. Hence, when you optimize your strategy you can eliminate them and fortify it.  You can learn from these insights and be bulletproof the next time over.

How to use analytics tools?

First, you need to decide which tools you want to use. There are numerous. Google analytics is the most important tool. It’s free, effective and runs across all platforms. Besides which, it’s almost as if a new tool is released every day. Here are a few other worthy examples: Sprout Social (for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn), Snaplytics (for Snapchat and Instagram), Iconosquare (Instagram), Buzzsumo (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram), Tailwind (Pinterest and Instagram), ShortStack (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), TapInfluence (Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube).

Each tool has its own style of functioning, but it’s always easy to operate. You just need to connect the tool to your account and get started to see the performance of your posts and your campaigns, and a lot more. Each tool is different from the others but there are common grounds. Try it for yourself. Take a free trial option and explore the features. If you don’t like it choose another tool.

In conclusion

There is a tremendous amount of information in social media data. Earlier, businesses paid market research companies to poll consumers and conduct focus groups to get the kind of information that consumers now willingly post to public social media platforms. This allows businesses to extract information about how the public perceives their brand, what kind of products consumers like and dislike and generally where markets are going. Social media analytics is important because it makes it possible for businesses to quantify all this without using less reliable polling and focus groups. It’s your own personal social media performance guide.