How Social Media Analytics Can Inform Effective Strategies
by Juanita Chavarro Arias
With Facebook’s algorithm determining what users see on their news feeds, it can be difficult for attractions businesses to get their content in front of customers. During Monday’s “Analyze This – Tracking Success in Social Media” session, Kevin McNulty, president and CEO of NetWeave Social Networking, broke down why companies should care about social media metrics and analytics.
“If you aren’t setting a business goal for your social media and you’re not measuring, then you’re wasting time and effort on social media,” he said. “If you know in advance what you’re going to measure, then that informs your strategy. So, if we know our goal is to increase online mentions—we’re trying to build buzz and brand awareness—then I know I’m going to develop strategy around maximum reach.”
McNulty explained metrics “tell you what,” while analytics “tell you so what.”
“You need to go beyond just numbers,” he said. “Metrics answer questions like how many people did we reach. Analytics tell you if we’re reaching the folks who are our customers.”
For example, with a video, metrics will show how many impressions it received, but analytics will tell if the video led to sales or visits to a website. For this reason, McNulty said analytics can be useful in discovering new or existing markets to grow, products to develop, or audience segments to pursue.
“The beautiful thing about social media is your audience will tell you what they want to hear; you just have to listen. The emphasis is on social, not media,” he said. “What’s important is to understand what the audience wants, and that’s what analytics can tell you.”
McNulty recommended all attractions have a Facebook page, particularly if they are targeting an audience of 35 and older. He suggested looking at Instagram to reach a younger audience, although that audience is now getting older, he added. Additionally, McNulty said Facebook gives the broadest and deepest analytics of social networks and blew attendees’ minds by sharing tips and tricks for Facebook analytics, especially when showing how to uncover sources of likes and unlikes.
“You’ll always get unlikes; don’t let it keep you up at night,” he said. “What you want to look for are big spikes.”
Advertising on social media is a tool all attractions should tap into, according to McNulty.
“Social media advertising is uncomfortably cheap, and it’s not going to stay that way, so do it now,” he advised. “Last month, for the first time, social media ad spend exceeded print in global ad spend. Also, advertising is the quickest way to build an audience of potential customers.”
To end the session, McNulty identified Facebook analytics areas attendees should check every week to ensure results are aligning with strategies, including likes, reach, posts, and people.