In short, it’s the study of how people interact with things like websites, mobile apps, television commercials, and more. It can gather data on things like traffic to a website or the amount of time someone spent watching a certain ad. Analytics also tracks where you are when using an app or which pages you spend most of your time looking at on Facebook. These “big data” analytics allow companies to understand their audiences better and make more informed decisions in marketing campaigns.
Analytics has been around for some time now but it has become more popular recently as social media has grown exponentially. In fact, according to Social Media Week, analytics has become the primary focus of many social media strategies.
Analytics is even making its way to smaller companies and startups, as well as into industries that might not expect it to play such a big part in their business model. For example, MIT Technology Review reported on how Target started using analytics to predict which customers might be pregnant and send them coupons for baby products.
Another notable example can be found among small businesses on Facebook, according to Social Media Examiner. Analytics are essential because without them small companies would have no idea how effective their campaigns are or what audiences they should target.
How does social media analytics work?
There are a few different ways that big data and analytics work when it comes to businesses on social media.
First, there is what’s known as “social listening,” which means companies can track their brand across the web, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. They can do this by tracking hashtags or keywords used in posts about their company or products. This allows them insight into how they’re talked about online and leads to better trending topics for campaigns – if people are talking about your brand but not using a particular hashtag, perhaps you don’t need to use that one for a campaign!
On top of that, they can also monitor the sentiment behind these conversations. For example, does most of what’s being said negatively about the company, or is it mostly positive? They can also track which posts get the most likes and comments within a certain time frame.
Analytics like these then allow companies to create content that will resonate with their audience and increase engagement (which we’ll discuss in more detail below).
Second, companies can engage with their audiences by joining conversations that are already taking place about them on social media – known as social listening. This allows brands to show they’re being transparent in how they communicate with customers online.
Third, analytics for social media are used not just for engaging but also for tracking brand sentiment. Social media has allowed consumers to open up about their experiences with products or services in ways never seen before – whether good or bad – and companies want to know about it.
As a result, the feedback from social media analytics can help brands plan new products and services they might not have known existed otherwise.
In addition to tracking customer sentiment, marketers can also use analytics to track user behavior on their sites or apps. This includes things like what pages people spend the most time on or how many downloads a particular ad gets. The data allows them to hone in on which strategies work best with certain demographics and tailor content accordingly.
Lastly, there is online advertising through customized ads that lead directly back to the company’s site – but only if you convert.