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How to Use Social Media Data to Answer Business Questions

Social Media Listening, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy

How to Use Social Media Data to Answer Business Questions

One of the most popular marketing metrics thrown around in corporate meetings, and in social media reports, are Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. KPIs are used to evaluate a company’s success at reaching key business objectives or goals.

When marketers talk about KPIs, they are usually referring to mile markers along the road that tell them how close or far they are from their final destination or goal. There are at least two metrics, usually numbers, but not always, involved in KPI tracking: the current mile marker and the goal.

Why Social Media Reporting is Different, But Needs to Change

For some strange reason, when it comes to social media reporting, metrics are either reported on in isolation or up against benchmarks that do not provide context and/or insights into why something occurred. This is a remedial version of reporting that is not helpful to the company at large.

Sophisticated social media reports use analytics to answer business questions, and drilling down into why a particular trend emerged.

Social Media Reporting in the Dark Doesn’t Work, But Here’s How to Fix It

Take the packaged food product category for example. If your product sits on a shelf in the center aisle of a traditional supermarket, your business question might be “how do we get more shoppers going down the center aisles to purchase our product?”

Looking at your social media reports and analytics, you’d notice that your coupons and promotions do little to increase new purchases and give a slight bump in the form of current customer sales. You might notice that your coupons get ‘Liked’ but not ‘Shared’ on social.

By reporting on the number of people who shared the promotion against the number of people who saw it (impressions), you’re only gaining insight into how many of your fans are “news spreaders” or “sharers”, not how many new customers are likely try to your product based on seeing a coupon they wouldn’t normally see. To get that, you’d have to look at how many people clicked on a coupon link, who have not visited your website before, or are not already following you. By finding out this information you have a better idea of your promotion’s reach or the number of unique people that created posts or interactions around your promotion.

Another example is when a retailer sees a negative sentiment trend forming in earned social media or free media about one of its products and immediately pulls it from the store shelf, only to receive even more negative sentiment from their fan base. It’s not the brand’s primary responsibility to convert detractors via social media. By using social media reports to identify negative comments in the context of their source, companies can make more-informed business decisions and understand what types of things are causing the negative sentiment trend from forming. This analysis allows companies to easily avoid or repeat trends from emerging in the future.

It’s like looking at the shade of dark navy that looks black until you put it up against something that is actually black.

Don’t put numbers up against each other because that’s what everyone else does, or because it’s the most convenient number available. Challenge yourself to find a helpful mile marker that tells you how far you’ve got to go

Every company has its own unique set of business questions it is trying to answer as it faces new and evolving challenges.  If your business needs help identifying your own mile markers, let’s set up a consultation today—contact us at:

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