Using Data to Adjust Course
Know what actions to take next with data-driven social metrics
Once you’ve gathered the data on your key performance indicators, it’s time to adjust course by either optimizing your strategy or pursuing a different direction. You can think of this process in three parts - gathering the data, analyzing it, and taking action based on the insights the data provides.
What story does the data you’ve pulled tell you? Say you’ve set a goal to increase traffic to your website from your social properties. Using Google Analytics, you can see that referral traffic has increased by 10 percent from one social network, but only by 3 percent from another. Examine the social posts that were successful in leading visitors to your website and think about how you can adapt them to other social networks to generate similar results. Take a look at the posts that didn’t perform successfully. Maybe that type of content didn’t resonate with your community on that network - can it be better targeted? Can it be posted at a different time?
While analyzing the numbers is important, what’s especially critical is taking action. Once a certain strategy proves itself to be less than stellar and you’ve taken the time to optimize it, there’s nothing wrong with switching direction and trying something new. Monitoring the response from your community is also important - often your followers will be vocal about what kind of activity and content they appreciate, and what they don’t, so keep your ear to the ground by listening to their feedback.
Benchmark yourself against your competition as well. Is their following growing at a significantly faster rate? Is their content drawing a large amount of positive feedback? What are they doing that’s working well and can you adapt some ideas to your social strategy? Seasonality will play a role in your data so be sure to check back on your historical results as well as those of your competition.
Lastly, it’s important to review and adjust your overall social media strategy as your company grows and your organizational goals change. Say you’re a small healthy grocer and you want to expand your business to include catering. Your social media resources and objectives will need to adapt and shift to support this new business course. Checking in with other departments and business units on a regular basis will ensure that your social media strategy is well aligned with your brand and finely tuned to your unique business needs.