A rose by any other name — social media listening, social media analytics, and social media intelligence are all the same. Right????
Well, not really. While all 3 elements of social media analysis should be an ongoing part of your social media marketing strategy and they feed into each other, they’re actually distinct elements of your social media analysis — as suggested in the Brandwatch post linked above.
Social Media Listening
Social media listening involves monitoring what’s said about your brand across social networks — both owned networks (your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and public networks, such as complaints voiced by users on their own social platforms.
Several issues are critical in social media listening:
- Sentiment – how your brand is perceived across social networks.
- Influencers – who impacts brand sentiment and conversion by sharing, commenting, Liking, etc. Influencers not only amplify and impact your message, their impact affects others because they have substantial followers who trust their opinions.
- Content – which content resonates better with your market; what’s the optimal content marketing strategy?
Social media analytics
Social media analytics tracks the success of your social media marketing strategy. Obviously, there’s some overlap between social media listening and social media analytics, like sentiment analysis, but the goal of social media analytics is to monitor your success. Hence, rather than measuring sentiment, you’d likely be more interested in trends in your brand sentiment, rather than a static figure — the sentiment metric.
The most critical metrics within social media analytics are those impacting your conversion funnel — based on the specific goals of your social media marketing strategy. Things you should measure include:
- Network connections — Fans, Followers, etc.
- Engagement — Likes, comments, shares. You need to create a system for handling negative comments and your social media analytics tool should allow you to easily assign comments for follow-up. But, think about a process for rewarding engagement. I find a simple thank-you to folks who engage with your encourages them to engage further. A process for encouraging your community to answer questions or defend the brand — becoming brand ambassadors or evangelists is a good addition to your program.
- Performance — newsletter sign-up, CTR (click-through rate), referring sites, etc helps improve your social media marketing by telling you what’s working and what isn’t.
Social media intelligence
To me, social media intelligence involves making strategic decisions based on your social media analytics. Strategic decision-making means both using human intuition and experience to interpret analytics, as well as using predictive tools to turn simple metrics into more meaningful insights. Social media intelligence also means doing more with simple analytics — create heatmaps and other graphics to make insights more obvious and using elements like qualitative tools to deep dive into the data.
Social media intelligence also means communicating findings from social media analytics to decision-makers in a format and level of analysis appropriate for their decisions. For instance, a brand manager needs a deep dive into all metrics impacting his/ her brand, while the CMO wants an overview of how each brand performs digitally. A dashboard, such as Cognos, helps because each manager can view data at the level of specificity necessary.
It’s within the realm of social media intelligence that we talk about tracking competitors and how their social media analytics look — how are they performing?
Reaching marketing goals
OK, this is the point in my social media marketing strategy where I pay the rent (LOL) and invite you to subscribe to my email newsletter so you can get other great tips to make your marketing SIZZLE. Or, if you need more personalized attention, let us put together a proposal showing how an inspired content marketing strategy can increase your ROI.