Social Media Insights are Key to Reaching the Right People

Content Marketing Data-Driven Marketing Marketing Tools & Tips Social Media Best Practices

You don’t need us to tell you that brands get value from using social media insights. We think it’s the aspect of social media that is especially powerful. Analyzing your content on the channels you’re already using provides robust social media insights in identifying the right target audience.

Major brownie points if you add a competitive context to your social media insights to see where you stand against your rivals in the industry.

Group of people looking at social media insights on their computers

Social Media Insights

Social networks are savvier than ever before; providing marketers with platform data to support brand content and customer outreach strategies. Social media managers can analyze information about their content and followers, and combine it with engagement anecdotes to paint a complete picture of customer interactions with the brand. To put it simply, social media insights enable the marketer to intimately understand the people they’re communicating with at any given time.

Make sense of your Social Media Insights.

With Rival IQ you can get social media insights for your brand’s activity on all the major channels—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Analyze how your brand is performing over time and compare it with the competition.

Below, we’ve outlined key areas where social insights can best help marketers reach the right people, say the right thing, and build brand advocates along the way.

Social Posting Optimization

Social media marketers are putting tons of effort into crafting the ultimate tweet or designing the perfect infographic to share on Facebook, but those efforts won’t pay off if no one sees your post or tweet. Figuring out the best times to post on social media (and how often you should post on social media!) is a key component of your social media insights data. This critical piece of posting information will help you increase your reach and engage more of your followers.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but with a little experimentation and a lot of measurement, you’ll be able to optimize social posting for your brand or organization. It’s also important to remember that posting frequency and timing best practices vary widely from channel to channel, so don’t expect to find that what works for your brand on Twitter is the golden rule on Instagram too.

As data geeks, we can’t say enough about how important it is to set up some experiments and then use native analytics or any one of our favorite social media analytics tools to measure, measure, measure until you find the right balance between optimizing engagement and not overwhelming your audience.

person looking at social media insights on their device

Social Advertising

Targeted ads are effective unless you’re “that brand” (don’t be). Without targeting, marketers are simply throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Why would you guess, when you can know for sure?

By promoting tailored messages to specific user groups, brands increase the likelihood that existing and new audiences will see and engage with content on social media and web properties. Specifically, Facebook and Twitter encourage businesses to micro-target audiences, only advertising to users that fit the user profile defined by the brand. Social media insights will help you best define your target audience. What content has received the highest levels of engagement? How does your audience demographics break down? You may be targeting men over the age of 50 when your core audience members are women between the ages of 21-34. By leveraging social media insights, you can be sure of who you should be reaching and target accordingly.

Note: While micro-targeting is helpful in advertising, too much specificity in the user profile can limit the reach of potential relevant audiences. Brands should carefully select user criteria while casting the widest net possible, testing user response and message effectiveness along the way.

Targeted Calls-to-Action (CTA)

When messages serve the right audiences, engagement increases, including a higher likelihood that the audience will respond to the CTA. When content is relevant to your audience, they’re more likely to respond to the ad’s call-to-action (like, click, sign up, etc.).

Hubspot preaches, “It’s critical to guide your visitors through the buying journey using strategic CTAs.” The best way to effectively guide users is to use insights to determine what messages they like most, inventing messages that are more likely to grab their attention. There are many studies on the psychology of social sharing, and many of these principles apply to creating targeted CTAs, motivating your target customers to respond.

Additionally, here’s a brief checklist that marketers should follow when developing CTAs and the custom-targeting plan:

For all of these to-dos, marketers should take a look at previous social media posts about the topic and see who responded and why. Use these insights to repurpose or refine previously used strategies, and apply them to the advertising campaign. For example, if you’ve asked customers to sign up for your beauty insider newsletter on a regular Facebook or blog post, evaluate the original, organic response you received. Analyze the content and dissect what people liked most based on public feedback and user actions. Find what worked and repeat those steps for your ad campaign.

Email Marketing

Gone are the days of sending mass emails with the same message to your entire email list. When people opt-in for brand emails, they expect content that will be relevant to them. Today, you can closely track consumers’ behaviors and actions online to determine who they are, what they want, and craft a message tailored just for them.

For example, marketers can track products that different groups of customers have viewed, and send a particular email to that customer type. This practice is known as “retargeting” or “remarketing,” and helps brands stay top of mind for consumers who have visited a website but bounced off before making a purchase. Using cookies and Javascript code, brands can anonymously ‘follow’ audiences to other sites they visit (also known as, running ads featuring that great pair of shoes the consumer put in their cart and almost bought). According to ReTargeter, for most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.

Person inundated with emails. Social media insights can help you break through the noise.

A word of caution: many users are uncomfortable with the practice, believing it to be a little too “big brother” for their taste. It’s important that marketers keep privacy concerns in mind and err on the side of personalization rather than unwanted surveillance. To stay on the safe side, always keep context in mind. Use the insights gleaned from social to have a firm grasp of who your audience is and what they want to know from you. By doing so, you will create emails worth reading, leading to higher open rates and an increase in brand loyalty. With any campaign, remember to review and implement email best practices.

Competitive Social Media Insights

Marketers are all too familiar with downloading social media insights from the platform that they use. The biggest downside (aside from downloading excel sheets with a gazillion tabs) to solely studying one’s native data is that you have no benchmarks to compare your performance to. Harried that you’ve been missing a big piece of the insights puzzle? Fear not— our Social Media Industry Benchmark Report will help you truly answer the question, “How am I really doing on social?”

Free social media competitive analysis template

Download now

Armed with automated insights and competitive benchmarking, marketers are better equipped to fine-tune content strategies and targeting for several components of their brand campaigns.

How has social media added value to your brand marketing strategies? We’d love to hear your stories, so please feel free to drop us a line on Twitter.

This blog was originally posted on November 08, 2016, and has since been updated.

Katie McCall

Katie McCall is a strategic communications consultant, working with clients to establish trustworthy and engaging reputations, driving authentic communication with fans and influencers. She specializes in branding and positioning, storytelling and online advocacy networking. In addition, Katie is a lifestyle portrait photographer, serving clients in her community in Texas.

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