3 Ways To Improve Social Media Data Analysis Skills for Marketers
Has social media measurement become your professional black hole of death? Do your spreadsheets look like the dog’s breakfast (sorry @bigdatadog) as they quickly fill with more and more metrics?
Learning to quickly assess data takes time, some training and a genuine curiosity for trends. Unfortunately, social media marketers are already stretched for time. There aren’t a lot of hours (or even minutes) left over to put into learning how to properly use data analytics.
Over the last decade, I’ve spent a lot of time helping marketers get more from their data. I’ve come up with 3 tips to help you manage and improve data analysis:
1. Make Data Relevant to Your Social Media Goals – data is only useful when it can be put to use. Data that isn’t matched to your social media goals can get in the way of useable insights. Some companies collect or try and use all of the data available through a tool like Facebook insights or Google analytics. This often makes it harder to move forward on projects because the relevant data is hidden amongst other information. Creating reports that focus on specific social media goals — either overall goals or channel specific goals — can help you cut through the clutter and stay focused on indicators that show how your business is progressing.
2. Match Your Data To Your Timeline – data is most helpful when it gives you an insight into how your goal is progressing over time. A lot of platforms, like Facebook insights, or Google analytics will give you data over a short period of time. I always recommend looking at your social media data over a time span defined by you and your goals – not the tool. For example, your goal might be to grow the number of retweets per day for the next three months. If the default in Google analytics is one week make sure you set up reports daily so that you can measure your goal. This way, you have the day-by-day data you need to assess your progress towards your goal
3. Gain Insights Easily with Ratios and Averages – a data point like “six retweets on your latest tweet” doesn’t mean much by itself. A quick way to start telling an impressive data story is by using ratios or averages. For example, let’s say you get an average of six retweets on your tweets with original content. Then you get one that receives 12 retweets. And another that gets 14 retweets. All of a sudden, your average is creeping up and you may have discovered a form of content that really engages your Twitter followers. Because you have an average number of retweets, you can easily see that these new articles are well above the average and worth investigating. Another example is to look at the ratio of new followers that comment on your content. This is a quick way to see how well you’re engaging new followers.
Social Media has given us the ability to track many new kinds of data and metrics from a variety of sources. We can get metrics on almost anything from reach and exposure, sharing and other types of engagement, to social traffic, conversions, and revenue. The trick is learning to manage it! Use these three tips to help you clear the data noise to find quick insights into your social media marketing activities.
Editors Note: Chris Dowsett’s post does a great job of explaining why we created Social Snap! Contact us to find out how you can spend more time creating great social marketing and less time proving its value. We’ll help you create a set of clean, beautiful reports with only the metrics you want — updated automatically and at your fingertips at any time (even 5 minutes before the meeting).