Image Source: Bruno Cordioli

Why Track Social Media?

Over the last few years there has literally been an explosion in the use of social media. Everyone is connected to numerous people who they have never physically met but who they feel they know through the power of the internet. The world is genuinely becoming smaller.

In the past small businesses were small, trading only in their local area. It was usually a slow process to increase the size of your business and required a size-able budget to assist in advertising and product availability to a much wider marketplace. With the advent of social media it is now possible for anyone to have their business known across the world simply by utilizing the power of social media. Posting regular updates of your business and products onto site such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter means that you can reach a much bigger audience very quickly. Product launches can be advertised for free and product issues can be advised quickly and effectively.

The downside with social media and the speed at which items can spread is when a customer has an issue with your product or service. One person can easily damage your reputation and cost you business simply by posting a negative comment and then encouraging other readers to post their bad experiences. If you are not monitoring the social media they are using then a small issue can quickly become a costly mistake. It may feel like you are being held to ransom or that an online customer is receiving better treatment than a physical customer but with this much power it is imperative to act quickly.

Monitoring the social media activities of your customers, competitors and the industry news is time consuming and incredibly tedious. It is likely you will not have enough time to monitor all the potential streams and that you will not be able to translate foreign language streams to even know if they are happy or not.

There are plenty of companies in the business of tracking social media feeds. Universal-info.com is one example and offers a whole range of services. You are able to pick each part of the service you wish to utilize and then add or subtract services at anytime in the future depending upon the changing needs of your market.

Another reason to track social media is to keep on top of what is trending. This will ensure any content you post remains relevant and can be targeted at the right consumer group. Most businesses now offer a variety of promotions, discount coupons and other marketing campaigns. Monitoring social media will allow you to gauge the response you have received and how effective the campaign actually was. This will allow you to develop future marketing strategies in line with what has already been tried and tested.

Tracking social media will also enable you to see how much traffic is being generated on your website by the various social media sites. This will provide another opportunity to adjust your social input or review your marketing strategy to improve these results. This information should also be useful when assessing the success-fulness of a sale campaign.

The content you are submitting is important. Articles do not need to be particularly long; they should be concise and provide valuable new information. The best way to see how good your content is to monitor the page views, the time spent on a page and the total number of pages viewed. All of these should be showing gradual increases which means that your business is slowly growing. Increased page views can be seen as confirmation that your marketing is working and more people are viewing your site. Increased time on page means that your readers are staying on the page for longer so are finding something interesting on there. Total pages viewed should also be increasing as this confirms people are interested in your site and are exploring it looking at what other information is available.

Social media tracking extends to include tracking the size of your target community and the size of your engagement. By monitoring these figures you will be able to see if your share of the community is increasing and if the community is increasing or decreasing. The results of this will allow you to act and adjust your marketing campaign accordingly.

Social media can also be analyzed to assess the sentiment. If you are putting a lot of effort in but getting nothing back it is time to rethink your strategy and start again. The best way of doing this is manually. You will need to go through every mention you have had and rate it; positive, neutral or negative. The results will show you what sort of response you are getting to your product.

Return on effort is another important aspect in assessing the effectiveness of your campaign. The effort put in will come down to the amount of man hours you have spent on social media sites posting comments and answering queries. The response can be measured by number of followers or how many mentions you are getting. If the trend is not upwards it’s time to look at your marketing strategy again.

The latest software on the market now allows you not just to track the number of page views or visitors but to track the action a customer has taken. By setting up goals programs such as Google Analytics can record this and you can access the log which will show you how many people have reached the purchase goal or the downloading an e-book goal. This turns your figures into exceptionally useful information. It will enable you to start understanding what it is that makes a customer buy something and what incentives work to get the customer to one of the goals. This software is relatively new which means it will take some practice to get the results you want but it will prove to be a very useful tool.

The emphasis on tracking social media is to improve your marketing campaigns and your conversion rate. Followers, page visits and downloading newsletters are just a means to the end. Tracking social media allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. It will allow you to justify your marketing budget and refine it to be incredibly accurate at who you target and why they should be targeted and even the best method of targeting them.

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