The best way to improve your brand’s marketing strategy is to take a deep dive into the data, learning what ideas resonate with your audiences across all social media channels. No individual marketer could possibly keep track of all these small details, trends, and connections across so many social media platforms. To do it right, you need the right tools. That means investing in a social media analytics platform that is designed to turn those millions of tiny data points into clear, actionable insights.
While every social analytics solution is different, the best ones all share a similar set of features that make the job of connecting with your target audience easier, faster, and more efficient. Here are five essential features to look for when shopping for a social media analytics platform.
- Social monitoring and listening. Before you can craft a perfectly targeted social media marketing campaign, you need to understand exactly how your current and future customers feel about your brand and products. Social monitoring allows you to identify customer conversations about these topics as they happen, and to automatically track brand mentions anywhere on the internet, enabling you to accurately gauge consumer sentiment and engagement.
- Marketing keyword research. To reach your customers on social media, you need more than a great campaign idea. You also need a rock-solid understanding of the words and phrases your potential customers use when looking for a product like yours. These keywords allow you to create highly targeted and effective campaigns that speak directly to your future customers’ needs. Tools for identifying these keywords and phrases are an essential part of any professional-grade social media analytics platform.
- Audience analysis and insights. How well do you really understand your customers? A great social media analytics solution will provide you with much more than basic demographic data, allowing you to understand the shared interests, cultural connections, and social behaviors that your target segments share. These audience insights allow you to make more informed marketing decisions, adapt your targeting, and improve brand relevance to create high-performance campaigns at scale. It’s a non-negotiable feature for any social media analytics platform.
- Competitor research. Your brand and products don’t exist in a vacuum, and growing your sales often means winning over competition’s customers. To do that, it’s absolutely essential to understand how your rivals market to their customers. With the right tools, you can learn the competition’s selling points, and reveal any frustrations that their customers have with their products. Your social media analytics suite should have tools that provide you with deep insights into all aspects of your rivals’ marketing, audience, and social presence.
- Influencer identification. Making buying decisions is hard. That’s why most of your customers listen to the opinions of influential people — experts, celebrities, popular social media users — before buying a product or service. By building relationships with these influencers, your brand can reach potential customers at a critical stage in the purchasing process. But not all influencers are as influential as they may seem, and just because they have a large social media following doesn’t mean that they can help you reach your target audience more efficiently. To avoid wasting time and money, your social analytics solution needs to include tools that can identify the true influencers in your target audience, estimate their true reach, and even help you connect with them directly.
These features are absolutely essential for any social media analytics platform. They also serve as the foundations of more advanced marketing tools, allowing your brand to combine these insights to create sophisticated audience models, marketing strategies, and in-depth analysis. Not only will they improve your social media marketing results, but they will also significantly increase the efficiency of your marketing efforts, reducing your costs while boosting your marketing ROI.