Ask any marketer out there about proving ROI on social networks, and you will soon witness a ramble of KPIs and terminologies like audience growth rate, number of clicks, conversion, or bounce rate, all of which may certainly apply to your campaign performance – but are not instrumental for that next step towards building customer rapport.
Whereas business leaders are more inclined to know what makes their potential audience tick on social channels and how they can put insights back into the drawing board; in this case, leveraging their understanding of consumer behavior as a strategy.
Where businesses that are new to social media or have no prior know-how of social media’s inner workings, they might be best suited to start by analyzing two seemingly simple but vastly contrasting mediums, owned and earned media.
- Owned media refers to content that your brand produced. (i.e. A Facebook post)
- Earned media is concerned with what customers, influencers, and the media speak about your brand outside your branded channels. (i.e. A product or service review on Facebook)
We’ll break down these 6 key social metrics you should use to track both your owned and earned media on social media, using a social listening tool like Digimind Social.
1. Interactions & Engagement
Through your owned media, you can analyze your social channel’s performance by diving deeper into its interactions. This metric enables you to have an overview of your brand health and to determine which particular social network has the larger potential to elicit stronger engagement levels, whether it is through likes, shares, or comments.
You can either look at this in terms of share of engagement across all your brand’s social channels or from a longitudinal perspective, which provides a glimpse into your brand’s online presence and community by tracking its growth over time.
Comparison of mentions over different social channels and a day-to-day tracking of mentions.
As consumers flock to content they are most interested in, it is essential to be on the lookout for branded posts that earn a high number of interactive actions. A rule of thumb is that content that is highly resonant with your audience tends to bode well for traffic. With a benchmark in place, you can consider replicating such content to drive similar results in conversion.
Branded posts displayed according to the highest number of interactions on a social listening chart.
2. Comment Sentiment
Apart from looking at the interactions within owned media, it is critical to recognize your brand awareness in juxtaposition to the sentiment behind your posts. You do not want to be caught too late finding out that your social channel’s high engagement rate comprises unhappy cyber trolls. Social listening platforms like Digimind Social provide a visual dashboard that conveniently works out the ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions, giving you a good gauge on the direction of your social media efforts.
Digimind Social tags posts based on its sentiment algorithm.
3. Volume Of Conversations Around Your Brand Versus Key Competitors
Under the entire social network, a huge volume of social data mentioning your brand does not come from your owned social channels. The volume of conversations around your brand is a valuable social media metric indicative of your brand’s online presence, as it includes not only user-generated posts but also the buzz behind your brand’s offerings.
Deep comparison of competitors’ volume of mentions, reach, and social ranking
With this in mind, you will want to pay due attention to this metric in relation to your key competitors in the market, so you can assess the impact of your marketing campaigns.
For instance, a brand could generate an abnormally high number of mentions within a week through a new product launch campaign, which in turn results in a sudden increase in the share of voice among similar competitors in that same period, but that may not necessarily translate to an increase in sales.
On the flip side, if you find an uptick in online mentions about your brand or your competitor, you may be able to investigate this metric further by analyzing key social discussions in isolation during the time of the spike and assess the impact of the increase in conversations on the brand thereafter.
Assessing the impact of spikes and dips in mentions during an allocated time period.
4. Sentiment Of Discussions
Similar to comment sentiments, the sentiment behind earned media can be analyzed to determine whether online buzz and the media are going the right way with your campaign’s expectations.
Digimind Social offers a way to classify online conversations into key themes that are algorithmically tagged as positive, neutral, or negative sentiment, to better understand your audience’s affective state against your brand. Emojis are another visual-centric offering as to how a customer perceives your brand or marketing campaigns, with the option to poke further and look into the discussion behind a particular emoji.
Online conversations are categorized to provide a visual understanding of the emotions toward your brand.
5. Key Opinion Leader (KOL)
While opinions are vast and aplenty on social media, there leads someone at the top of the social ranking who is influencing where these discussions pan out. From the brand’s perspective, aligning closely with trending discussions can help bring better visibility and relevancy to the community around these KOLs.
Digimind Social employs a formula of the number of followers, multiplied by the number of relevant mentions, and compares it against other people who are posting about monitored topics to determine the ranking of an influencer.
When it comes to identifying KOLs in your analysis, it is important to watch how public priorities, concerns, and sentiments are shifting, and to align your brand with their reach and influence. This can include content creators, journalists, celebrities, and experts who have a mass following and regularly post on topics that are relevant to your industry.
Influencer network displays the intricacies of connections within a particular topic or industry.
You can further map your influencers on an influencer’s network, to give you an overview of how KOLs are interacting with one another, and conversing on whatever topic or industry you are monitoring. Similarly, influencers of higher authority are linked to smaller ones in online conversations.
6. Tapping Into Historical Data To Understand The Present
Last but not least, while present social data is essential to creating relevancy and maximizing returns, consider how historical data can help to contextualize the impact of a campaign, trend, or even an online crisis on your brand’s positioning.
Having access to, and analyzing social data from several weeks, or even months back, can help you better understand the evolution around the company’s economic development, including opportunities, threats, and disruptions. Thus, putting current trends into perspective, and provide ample evidence of the potential offerings, severity, and impact at scale on your industry and your consumer’s reception going forward.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
As Bob Dylan sang it best, ‘the times they are a-changin’, so does keeping up with consumer trends as it shifts in flux. Social media analytics is not a one-step process, but rather time is a considerable factor in producing ever-relevant campaigns. By consistently keeping watch of your social media performance, you can always preempt potential threats and opportunities, push your consumer’s needs and frustrations to the front of your operations, and more importantly, create influence where it matters.
If you want a comprehensive guide on how social media intelligence can be are used for real-time monitoring, the best practices for campaign optimization, grab a copy of our free ebook Optimizing Web & Social Media Monitoring During the Covid-19 Pandemic