Social media is a powerful tool. It can be a place for enjoyment, but it is also a place for marketing and influencing. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are key to any social media campaign. If you’re creating a brand, selling a product or simply trying to make connections, then you’ll want to incorporate data into your social media campaign.
Most forms of engagement on social media generate social data. It’s important to know how to make that information actionable.
Where to Gather Social Data
The good news is that you can gather social data from just about any interaction on your social media profiles across platforms. Likes, comments, retweets, shares, mentions and followers are beneficial places to start. If you notice lifestyle posts doing better than promotional content, for instance, you can then make adjustments based on the likes and comments.
You can also use the platforms themselves to dig deeper and get more data. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have analytics and insights pages where you can find things like engagement levels throughout the day. These pages will show you data about the demographics that interact with your pages the most, their locations, genders and even how many people click on your pages and content.
If you want something more expansive though, use Google Analytics. This platform incorporates everything into one location. You’ll have the traditional data insights like engagements, but you can take it much farther. Bounce rates, keywords, SEO strategies and even accounting for device types can now all be part of your campaign.
Find Your Target Audience
After you get the right data from your social media platforms, it’s time to hone in on exactly what audience you’re posting for and engaging with. Remember, your audience may be different across platforms — it’s important to gather social data from all sites.
Figure out the demographics that go on your profiles and engage with your posts the most. Does it vary across your accounts? Are you keeping a consistent aesthetic or persona across these accounts? If not, you may be drawing in different demographics. While this mix isn’t inherently a bad thing, you’ll want to use your social data to figure out who you should be posting for.
If your campaign incorporates selling something specific, like maternity products, then pregnant women are who you should be targeting with your posts. If you’re working on something political, though, you may want to find and target the demographics you’re trying to persuade.
Other times, a campaign can be a sign that you need to expand your scope with your social data. Change up your content, your copywriting and your hashtags if you’re not engaging with the people you need. Then, track it all through Google Analytics and use the changes in data to adjust as you go.
Know Your Platform
Some posts and campaigns will work on Instagram but not on Twitter. The reverse is true as well, which is why it’s critical to know your platform inside and out. Instagram will typically be best for visual content that’s aesthetically pleasing or stimulating. Twitter can cater more to comedy or short tweets that stand out in the crowd. Facebook can sometimes be a mixed bag.
You can track all your posts through your data — whether it’s on Google Analytics or the social media sites themselves. Monitor how your posts do. If one is doing poorly, it may not be the right platform. Instead, use the A/B test to generate data.
This test involves posting the same content at the same time on two or more different profiles. Then, you can use your data to see which generates the best engagement. Pursue that form of posting to keep your campaign running smoothly.
Based on the data, you can also improve your campaign with better SEO optimization. Experiment with some new keywords and hashtags to see what works best.
Expand Your Reach
First and foremost, when dealing with a lot of data, you should understand the cyber risks that come with it, like hacks and breaches. Cyberattacks cause 60% of small businesses to close down within about six months of the initial breach. Instead of putting yourself at risk, only focus on the most secure ways to gather data, like Google Analytics.
Then, you can branch out and try new things to expand your campaign. For instance, combining your social media with email can boost engagement. Newsletters, product information and deals can draw people in. You can connect your email to Google Analytics as well to collect data and see how to improve.
Additionally, focus on landing pages and where your traffic is coming from. Are people going to your website from your social media campaign? Are your emails boosting click rates? Once you understand the social data about where people are reaching you, you can hone in on expanding that connection.
The data reports all happen in real-time, too. You’ll be able to change your campaign as soon as you see new information.
A Social Data Campaign
With these tips in place, you can take action to use your social data in the best ways possible. A campaign takes effort and dedication, but with the right data, it can become an enjoyable and more profitable experience.
Shannon Flynn is a technology and business improvement writer. She is the Managing Editor at ReHack.com and has written for sites like TechDayHQ, Re-Work, Innovation & Tech Today and more. Follow ReHack on Twitter to read more pieces by Shannon.