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Social Media Analytics: A Beginner's Guide

May 15, 2017

Social media analytics help you gather data from your social media accounts so that you can make better business decisions.

These days, social media is no longer just a place for individuals to connect. It has evolved into a place for brands and customers to interact. The growth of these networks have provided health & wellness companies a new way to get insight into their customers to better make business decisions.

Through social media analytics, health & wellness businesses now have the opportunity to listen, get involved in these conversations and understand what customers are saying online to make more informed decisions. Closely monitoring your social media analytics can have a significant impact on the success or failure of your social media presence. 

Why is it important to analyze social media data?

Social media analytics go beyond the usual analysis and monitoring of retweets or “likes” to gain a more in depth insight into consumers. 

The first step in a social media analytics program is to determine which business goals the data gathered is intended to benefit. Social media is a good medium to understand consumer choices, intentions and sentiments. 

The more common application of social media analytics is to get to know your target audience on a more intimate level, which will help better target customer service and marketing. Other typical objectives include increasing revenues, reducing customer costs, getting feedback on products and services and improving consumer’s opinions of your health & wellness products.

It gives you a competitive advantage

Analytics help businesses gain an edge over their competitors by help them better understand their brand. This includes an understanding of how customers make use of specific health & wellness services or products, what issues customers face while using these services or products, and getting to know your customers’ impression of a particular company or product.

You learn from your customers

It is not uncommon that the most effective solutions to issues faced by a health & wellness businesses come from their customers. For instance, if a product being sold in the market comes with insufficient directions for use, the chances of errors increase. Some users may solve this through trial and error, then post their findings in forums. This helps the company realize that better documentation is necessary and that it should include what their users really want to know.

It helps improve products and services

The huge volume of information contained in countless tweets, blogs, comments and complaints about products and services are primarily consumer sentiment. This can be used to evaluate users’ experience with a particular health & wellness product or service, and can help companies perform better.

What areas do you need to monitor for your social media channels? 

Audience Size

The size of your audience matters, especially if you’re building a relevant audience. You will need to constantly build your audience, which will typically grow gradually unless you use tools or paid advertisements to grow. It is perfectly acceptable to invest in audience growth tactics, especially if you have a way of converting that audience. Assess your audience growth on a weekly basis and compare this with your competitors. 

Audience Profile

While you are growing your audience you will need to make sure that you have the right audience profile. You can run a report to see what demographics are following your profile. From here you can set up ads and other marketing activities targeted to your followers’ interests. 

Reach and Engagement

Reach even without much engagement is still important because this doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested and that they won’t buy from you. A lot of people pay attention to your content but don’t respond to it. Make it your initial goal to make sure your ads or content get to your targeted audience.

As time goes on, you should expect some engagement from your audience. The absence of any engagement at all may mean that you have the wrong content or the wrong audience.

Typical types of audience include:

  • Lurkers - This is usually the majority of your audience. They read and monitor what you share but choose not to interact.
  • Influencers - These are people who have access to a larger audience and have earned a level of credibility and the capability of influencing this audience.
  • Engagers - These are the active people in your community, who eagerly respond to your content and to whatever you share. 

Traffic

Generally you will want to generate traffic back to your website from the content you share and you’ll need to measure the quality of that traffic. For some companies, traffic is enough, but for health & wellness businesses you want to generate leads and sales.

Content Analysis

Creating and sharing content can be rather expensive. You will need to analyze your content on a regular basis to see what’s working and what’s not.

Community Responsiveness

This is particularly important if you’re using social media as a customer service channel. If you’re not responsive to your community, interaction with your health & wellness business will eventually cease. Therefore it is important to measure this. The response rates are equally important as an email support request.

Competitor Benchmarking

Compare your account against your competitors. You should learn from your competitors as they are probably learning from you. This form of active monitoring will give you ideas with regards to what you can learn from them and things to avoid.

Sentiment Analysis

Analyze positive, negative or neutral mentions of your health & wellness product or service. Even if sentiment analysis tools are not 100% reliable, it can be a good indicator when there’s a problem.

Summary 

Social media has definitely evolved from a simple venue to share personal views and opinions to a more extensive platform that assists health & wellness businesses succeed. 

Monitor how the content you share affects your audience. Make the necessary adjustments to make sure that you are able to connect and interact with your customers in ways that align with your overall company goals. T

ake advantage of social media analytics to help you make sound and well-founded business decisions. Your success on social media will depend on it.

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