How to drive business value with social media analytics

Khoros Staff

Editor's Note: This post was originally created by Lithium before Spredfast and Lithium merged and became Khoros.

Marketers have known for years now that just having a presence on social media is not enough. Over time, they have evolved social media platforms into tools to deliver richer customer experiences. However, many brands are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to social media analytics.

With potentially billions of interactions each month, it’s not enough to just track social media data. As Forrester Analyst Allison Smith says, “social data is vast, never-ending, unstructured, sarcastic, and full of emojis and hyperbole.”1 The challenge is to turn that raw, shapeless data into something useful and actionable.

The time has come to stop tracking, start analyzing and reap the rewards. Not sure where to start? These five strategies will help you glean valuable insight through social media analytics to improve customer service and drive business value.

Social data is vast, never-ending, unstructured, sarcastic, and full of emojis and hyperbole.

Allison Smith, Forrester Analyst

1. Build a bridge to your customers

You’ve recently received the “Very responsive to messages” badge on Facebook. While that’s a great accomplishment, it doesn’t mean much if the majority of your target customers use Snapchat. Remember that customers might contact you any number of ways—not necessarily on the channel you chose. Bridge that disconnect by building relevant digital customer experiences in every place your customers expect you to be. One way to uncover which social media platforms are referring the majority of customers is through acquisition analytics. Acquisition analytics not only provide a window to how you acquire users, they will show you how well each social channel drives conversions.

2. Focus on what’s working

If you’re looking to get insight into how social media is impacting your revenue, campaign and content performance analytics are vital. Social Media Examiner recommends a two-step process. Start by setting up UTM parameters on your links, for each platform or even each update. Then, establish conversion goals and assign a dollar value to that conversion.2 With this valuable information, you’ll see, for example, if a customer bought your product after clicking a promoted pin or an organic tweet. This allows you to shift your focus to what’s working, and ditch what’s not.

3. Efficiently manage crisis events

Let’s face it, social channels create lots of noise, and they’re getting louder every day. You don’t have the time or ability to filter relevant or urgent issues manually while continuing to maintain day-to-day service levels. With advanced monitoring and social media analytics, your team can help customers before a complaint turns into a full-blown crisis. For example, when a tweet about poor customer experience is identified as an urgent priority, customer service and marketing can work together behind the scenes to implement a resolution before it becomes a PR nightmare.

4. Drive customer-centric business improvement

To stay ahead of the competition, it’s critical that your business offers innovative products that respond to customer needs. This is where social media analytics tools that perform automated sentiment analysis and opinion mining can help. Sentiment analysis and opinion mining refer to the process of capturing the voice of the customer and their sentiment as well as analyzing and distilling the emotions behind your consumers’ social media behaviors.3When customer analytics such as these are shared throughout your organization, they can aid in detecting future market trends, as well as improved understanding of customers’ needs and opinions regarding your products or services. Global communications leader Verizon analyzed a year’s worth of customer community feedback, using it to engineer 85% of new features in a product release.

Verizon’s social community is responsible for 85% of the features in a product release.

5. Gain staffing and workload efficiencies

Real-time customer insight analytics allow you to quickly assess benchmarks against service level agreements (SLAs) and activity backlogs to improve workflow. Also, they provide managers and supervisors immediate visibility into agent workload, response times and KPIs. When you analyze your team’s progress and agent performance, you can scale to address the ever-increasing volume of customers seeking support via social media.

1 CIO - "Why Social Listening Platforms Are Failing"

2 Social Media Examiner - "How to Measure Social Media Using Google Analytics Reports"

3 The Balance - "What Is Sentiment Analysis?"

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