The Benefits of Social Media Monitoring and Measurement?

It’s hard to find a marketing magazine or blog now that doesn’t mention the importance of social media - to a greater or lesser degree. It’s widely acknowledged, by most business owners, that having a social media presence is important, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. So why is there still a reluctance from some corners to embrace it in the same way as print or broadcast media?

Although still relatively new as a means for businesses to reach their audience, Social Media is becoming increasingly important as a marketing tool, especially to SME’s. According to the Clutch 2017 Small Business Social Media Survey, 50% of businesses plan to invest in Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. This is a definite move forward compared to just a few years ago, when social media was seen as lightweight, and not necessarily a business or marketing priority.

Looking for actionable insights

But compared to just a few years ago, one of the biggest barriers to social media investment by businesses remains; proving impact and influence. This is perhaps best seen by the fact that over half of businesses rely on in-house staff to engage in social media for them, rather than employing a dedicated provider. It’s also interesting to note that many marketing executives are under the impression that data gained through social media monitoring and measurement is not actionable, and look no further than referral data in website analytics or direct sales data.

Thankfully these barriers are coming down, largely due to the emergence of companies providing comprehensive social media monitoring and measurement services. Businesses and professionals are now waking up to the wealth of information, and insights, that can be gained from engaging with social media monitoring.

Lifting the lid on your audience

Competitor Intelligence – Understanding what your competitors are doing can give you a significant edge. Social Media Monitoring can deliver better competitor analysis and a greater understanding of customers’ purchase behaviour. It can also put a spotlight on brand advocates and influencers in any given sector. Information that can then be fed back into a marketing plan.

Sentiment – As well as reports full of meaningful data and statistics, the best Social Media Monitoring providers will also employ trained human analysts who are able to measure positive and negative sentiment around a brand, product or business. Very often it’s this level of reporting that provides the most important actionable insights.

Putting a price on it – Engaging with your audience via Social Media channels has been shown to increase sales and customer retention. It makes sense that regular interaction with your customer base, regardless of whether they are at the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’* stage, encourages brand loyalty and also establishes you as an authority in your field. This effort to establish regular communication with a large audience has many long-term benefits, but perhaps most importantly it ensures that when a person needs your products or services, you are the provider they are more likely to turn to.

The Times They Are a Changin’

As the growth of social media continues, and consumers use these channels for everything from product research through to recommendations and reviews, businesses will need to take note and look beyond website traffic and sales for the most useful information about their audience. Marketers too will need to engage with this data more proactively if they are to offer a clear and accurate picture of any activity they are engaged in. Social Media Monitoring can offer proof that using social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has benefits beyond just top line figures, and can significantly impact a way business engages with people on a day to day basis.

*Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – A term coined by Google in 2011 to describe the online research a person will undertake before buying a product.