With the advent of the internet making the world a smaller place, businesses are becoming increasingly global and in turn competitive. Uncovering, measuring, and applying social insights is becoming more important, which means you would need the right tools for that specific job. Using the right social media analytics tools knowing how to use the information uncovered can help small business have a strong voice when competing against bigger brands.
What’s social media analytics? NetBase describes it as the gathering of data from online content and social channel in order to guide business decisions. Social media analytics can take many forms, but the goal is always to gain actionable insights in order to guide the business strategy. While things can sound rather complex, there are 3 stages at the core.
The first one is identifying primary business goals – such as growing traffic, building a positive perception about your brand, or increasing downloads. The 2nd stage is determining social key performance indicators, meaning sentiment (how the audience feels about your business), conversion (how social strategies are impacting revenue and sales), engagement, and more. The third stage is measuring and analyzing social data. At this stage, you will apply a social media analytics tool in order to assess the state of the business and thus make the informed modifications that are needed.
There are plenty of options when it comes to tracking consumer opinions, behaviors, attitudes and overall sentiment, which allow businesses to stay ahead of their competitors. Finding the right one depends on what specific needs have to be fulfilled. There are options designed for every goal and every budget, which means what you have to do to begin with, is understand what you’re looking for. What details you are looking to measure and how in-depth do you want those measurements to be? Of course, budget also comes into play, but fortunately there are also options available which are completely free.
When it comes to “free vs paid”, it all depends on what your needs are. In some cases, you can get by, at least for a period of time, with free tools. On the flipside, when you’re saving money on the right tools you might have to make it up with extra effort in order to gather all the information by yourself, which is why a premium program could be quite the time-saver.
If your brand’s social media presence is limited to the top social networks, than using the analytics tool that they provide could be a good starting point when it comes to understanding your audience. Your options would be Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, YouTube Analytics, Facebook Insights and Instagram Insights.
If you want to take things a step further, and your brand is active on networks that don’t offer built-in analytics or you might be active on a number of channels, which would make gathering all data very time consuming, then it’s time to use a 3rd party options. There are free tools available which span across multiple platforms, and are offering more detailed insights, such as Boardreader, Followerwonk, Hootsuite, Likealyzer, SumAll, TweetReach, and more. While free analytics tools can get you far, and some of them even offer paid plans, not all of them have advantages of comprehensive tools designed to grow along with the industry.
If you have the budget necessary for something more powerful, then trying something like NetBase could be ideal. When it comes to social media analytics tools, NetBase focuses on consumer sentiment, which is the driving force behind all social media posting. In addition, platform uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) in order to decipher multiple languages, online slang, and also emojis. NetBase offers real-time monitoring, as well as several options designed for various needs and budgets.