Chances are if you are spending advertising dollars you are using analytical data. Due to the complexity of each channel algorithms, endless updates, and the ever-changing user landscape, social media is also one of the least understood and hard to measure marketing methods. Lessons from social media management are primarily limited to best practices that are not backed by hard set data, but by trends, reactions, and predictions.
When you invest in business strategies, you typically use a long-term set of data to justify the cost, and you have done research on what innovations your competitors are using to their advantage. Social networks make frequent updates to their platforms on average 2x per month, affecting “what works” and in some cases making your planned content obsolete. The never-ending platform changes, the daily shifts in trending content, combined with the multitude of channels creates a lack of consistency in metrics. Throw on the prominence of negative actions in the form of dislikes, un-follows, negative comments, etc. and you face a nasty looking report that shows very little evidence of actual performance. If you want a better picture of your performance, you need to take your data farther with broad scope analytics that measure reach and interaction across all platforms, and referral channels.
The challenges in measuring social media performance is mainly due to lack of control, particularly in regards to organic content which doesn't allow for split testing. Split testing is only available on social platforms via paid ads. While these issues will continue to on-going challenges with the social media environment, insights can be extracted over time by averaging out uncontrolled-for factors and combining data across channels. Regardless of the issues, social media remains one of the most powerful advertising channels and cannot be disregarded because of complexity.
No one can guarantee impressions or reach, not even with paid ads — but remember, the number of followers, fans or even engagement is not the end goal of social media marketing. The end goal of social media marketing is to nurture, inform, direct traffic and build brand awareness and advocates.
Contact us for FREE social analysis. See where you rank, how you stack up against competitors in your industry and region, and where you can improve. Our attribution and mix data can help you keep up and make sure you are hitting goals. Predictive insights from Idea Creative Marketing can help you accurately predict your customer behavior, and accurately forecast patterns so that you have time to PLAN and optimize.
Did you know that url shorteners don’t carry the social referrer with them through the path to your pages? When you use a url shortener in a tweet, or automated scheduling system, web analytics tools can’t follow the path because the referrer gets lost in the middle. By the time the tool records the visit on your site, it has no referrer to reference. When web analytics tools have a visit with an unknown referrer, they categorize the visit as “direct” traffic. It means that you might have 4,000 people click a bit.ly or ow.ly link in your social post and not get any credit for it in web analytics tools.