Once I had immediate family members above 60 years of age constantly sending me friend requests on Facebook I knew things were changing. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and all the other social media platforms are no longer for a small segment of the population as it once was. Today, everyone from your neighbor’s kids to the president of the United States has a few social media accounts. With the popularity of social media, coupled with the growing access to the Internet and smartphones, there are more channels for marketers to consider. Essentially, today marketers must not only track their website’s analytics but also their social media efforts.
While social media does not equal a conversion outright, it can assist conversions. Meaning, someone may have come to your website to buy something because it of something they saw posted on Facebook or Twitter. Thus, assisted conversions are important. So how does a company go about tracking their social media efforts? Google Analytics, HootSuite analytic tools, Adobe, and a range of other social media tracking mechanisms can help.
What marketers need to understand is why social media analytics is crucial to their business. Sure, they already know that their fans and foes are posting reviews, praise, and backlash about their products, services, and operations, as well as “liking” and “following” content, but they need to analyze this data further in order to get anything out of it.
There is a lot that marketing executives can gain through social media analytics, namely rich consumer opinion. Here are the top benefits:
-Discover new opinions, which are often more sincere than what you might receive in a survey questionnaire.
-Receive instant feedback on your marketing efforts.
-Track what people think about your company as well as your competitors
-Gain more understanding on your assisted conversions and what is working and what needs improvement.
I look forward to hearing your comments on any of the above but also have two questions on this topic:
-Should companies pay big bucks to track their social media analytics or stick with the basic free programs out there?
-How much mining of social media is necessary and not considered too intrusive on a customer (i.e. do you really need to know their activity on Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon wish list, Twitter, etc. to understand their opinion?)?