Why Social Media Analytics Aren’t Just for the Top of Funnel
If you’re only tracking the impact of your social media activity within the confines of each social network, you’re likely missing key pieces of the puzzle. Here’s why.
“Know your audience.” It’s something drilled into most marketers’ heads from the first day of work. Understanding your audience is key to knowing what your target customers want, like, and think at every stage of the buyer’s journey. And that’s how you convert people into customers, rather than simply collecting a large audience of social media fans.
But most marketers also don’t have the necessary insights and data to understand their audiences well enough for marketing campaigns to reach their full conversion potential. It’s easy to track followers or sales, the start and end of the funnel, but there’s often not much measurement going on in between. And even the final numbers you do measure might not have proper attribution set up to fully grasp your result.
Only tracking sign-ups or sales conversions will never give you the information you need.
What you need is quantitative data and answers about your target customer at every stage of the sales funnel. Instead of just tracking when someone becomes a customer, follow them on the path to getting there. Once you can follow engagement patterns from touchpoint to touchpoint, you can learn specifically where to improve, down to the specific asset or call-to-action.
And you can get all of this information from measuring your social media marketing more effectively. Here’s why you might want to ensure your analytics program is set up as well as it can be to optimize your marketing.
Optimize and improve active campaigns
As the customer journey continues to get less and less linear, and your audience increasingly interacts with you in multiple places at once, social will become more closely integrated with other channels in marketing promotions and campaigns.
In the past, social media was viewed as a brand awareness and top-of-funnel strategy for building an audience to be moved elsewhere for conversion. But now, as customer touchpoints spread to more and more platforms and formats, social media plays a larger role further down the sales funnel in multichannel marketing.
Take the three questions Single Grain’s Eric Siu recommends asking for each stage of your marketing funnel, particularly the ones around how customers find you and what they need from you to move to the next stage. Increasingly, that answer will be found on social media, whether it being how someone found you, or interaction and connection helping guide them to the next stage.
As social media continues to seep throughout the marketing funnel, not measuring it will create wider and wider gaps in your understanding of your effectiveness.
Find focus in your messaging
Social media analytics can help you hone in on your marketing messaging to better appeal to your target audience. You can do this in multiple ways with multiple types of data.
For example, when creating a new marketing campaign or promotion for any channel (or more likely, multiple channels), you can create different content topics and versions of copy based on what social content tends to perform well and what you learn from social media insights. But that’s the least of what you can do.
For messaging targeted at a warmer, familiar audience, you might want to test content with your company’s social audience. But with a colder campaign, you can leverage employee advocacy and your team’s personal networks. Smarp has found the average employee advocate can reach at least 300 people per social channel and drive nearly 13 clicks per Facebook share, so this can be a powerful, low friction way to put test ideas in front of cold audiences.
Social media marketing and measurement also lets you quickly test different marketing and messaging ideas, see how they engage different audiences, then optimize and iterate on them for a full funnel or campaign. You can even customize this process based on what type of audience you would like to test.
Add insights and context to the bottom of your funnel
In addition to measuring your organic and paid activity performance, you can use data available from social media to better understand the bottom of your funnel, even when social media isn’t directly involved. Thanks to the information made available from social platforms on your target audience and people engaging with you already, you can get the information you otherwise wouldn’t have access to with your own numbers.
For example, think about how your strategy and funnel can benefit from Facebook Audience Insights and custom audiences based on what stage of the sales funnel someone is in.
You can use your pixels to track activity on different pages, building ad targeting audiences of new leads, warm prospects at the bottom of the funnel, those who found you through a certain source, and more. There are tons of segmentation possibilities.
The background data you can get from things like that are completely different from what you might get from measuring email or sales page clicks and conversions. So when you track everything from social profiles to email behavior and look at it all together, you can add more context and understanding to the stages of the buyer’s journey that are lacking in demographic insights.
Convert with social
As social media becomes even more closely integrated with the rest of conversion marketing, incomplete measurement will become even more detrimental to your other marketing channels like paid ads and email.
Improve your tracking today to not only prevent that gap but also add new strength to your entire marketing strategy.
Article and image(s) via Social Media Week