So many small businesses success stories start on social media. It’s an invaluable tool for small businesses to use because it’s accessible, affordable, and rewards creativity. Social media allows you to easily connect with a massive audience, and show off your brand in an authentic way. When you connect your business to social media you make it visible to the world.
Social media has become increasingly important over the last few years as many popular social media platforms have introduced shopping extensions. These allow users to shop your products directly in apps. Social media is a place for consumers to both research products and make a purchase.
Social media is a business growth tool that cannot be ignored. But this doesn’t mean just posting and waiting for results. Good businesses use social media, but great ones use social media analytics. Constantly monitoring your success and learning audience likes and dislikes is the key to exponential growth.
What are social media analytics?
Analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data. When it comes to social media this data includes things like interactions, engagement, audience demographics, and overall impact. Social media analytics can drive decision making. They give you an insight into the audience and how you can create content that resonates with them.
Here is how small businesses can leverage social media:
Ready to overhaul socials? Looking to grow even more? This all starts with a thorough evaluation of your current social media performance. Analytics help you assess the performance of your social media content, indicating which posts are generating the most engagement, clicks, and conversions. This allows you to identify what resonates with your audience and refine your content strategy accordingly.
You may discover that certain types of content perform better than others, maybe your Instagram followers better engage with infographics than photography, or reels more than stories. You could also discover that the time of day you post plays a role in content success.
When marketing their product, almost every brand has an ideal consumer in mind. Social media can give you a more robust view of who your customers really are. Social media analytics provide demographic information about your audience, including age, gender, location, and interests. This helps you better understand your audience and tailor your content to their preferences.
You may learn that you are reaching audiences that fall slightly, or completely, outside your target audience. This can help you to make more engaging posts, or even new products in the future.
How many of the people who interact with your socials become website visitors, subscribers, and customers? Through conversion tracking, you can gain insights into this valuable question. It’s probably one of the most important analytic measures you will have. Analytics help you track the effectiveness of your social media efforts in driving conversions. This allows you to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your social media campaigns.
When you combine this with other metrics, you will learn what content drives scrollers to become fans. You can make informed decisions about what content brings true value to your brand, and where you should focus your efforts.
Having an audience is one thing, but having an engaged audience is far more important. For example, you are probably familiar with influencer marketing. When deciding who to do a promo deal with, brands will look at both follower rate and engagement rate. An influencer who has 50,000 followers and a 10% engagement rate could be just as, if not more valuable, than an influencer who has 100,000 followers and a 1% engagement rate.
Keeping your audience excited and engaged with the content your produce is paramount. High engagement shows that customers are not just resonating with products, but with the values and characteristics of your brands.
After a few months of analytics have been gathered, it’s time to make a plan of action.
But how do you go about putting this valuable information into profitable use?
Define clear goals and ways you plan on improving your performance on social media. This could be things like increasing brand awareness, driving more consumers to your website, or increasing rates of engagement.
Create an actionable plan
You don’t just want to set goals and then make random posting choices. Let’s say one of your goals is to increase your rate of engagement by 2% over the next month. Make choices that will encourage engagement. Start replying to more users' content and create a dialogue, ask open ended questions, and increase response times.
Use A/B testing
No one gets it right on the first try. But A/B testing will reduce how often you have to fail before you can get better. Experiment with different types of content, headlines, and visuals. Analyze the results to identify what resonates best with your audience. If something repeatedly fails to drive results, forget it, and expand on the content that is inspiring your audience.
Optimize your posting schedule
You’ll see lots of advice online about when the best time, and day to post content is and how much you should be posting. These are all great building tools and you should use them as you develop your content plan. But your actual analytics will give you a much better insight into when your followers are most active. Tailor your posting schedule to your own followers as you gather more information.
Keep refining targets
Even when your social media starts to boom you should always set new goals and experiment with trends. Use analytics to see where you need to improve or where you could be dropping. Don’t fall into the trap of finding something that works and never changing. Try to work new content into your strategy and monitor its performance.
As a small business owner, social media is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. And the good news is that the public is on your side. Consumers, now more than ever, want to support small businesses. By leveraging social media you are coming into contact with people who will be excited to support you. In order to get yourself in front of an audience you must use social media analytics. Analytics provide you the insight you need to compete with the major competitors.
If you are too busy actually running operations to keep up with the demands on social media, consider partnering with an experienced small business marketing agency. They’ll be able to help craft compelling content, optmized posting schedules, and keep an eye on performance metrics.