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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

The Importance of Data to Social Media Marketing

More than ever before, data is driving marketing strategy, tactics, and messaging, and that includes social media marketing. The proliferation of data is only set to rise as more people and businesses continue to share information about themselves on channels like social media.

It’s in this information that a business can learn more about their audience, especially on sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where there is more sharing than on other channels. Social data metrics include information like the number of likes and shares and changes in followers as well as hashtag use and engagement rates.

Besides the fact that your audience is using these social media sites, there are other reasons why you should incorporate data and analytics in your social media marketing strategy:

Create More Engaging Social Content

The data you collect from social media sites will let you know what type of content your audience responds to in terms of liking, sharing, and commenting. When they do, that’s when you know they are interested and attracted to your brand.

The findings from your own posts and the ability to assess how other content ranks on social media can help you optimize your social media content strategy. This includes identifying the topics your audience is searching for online or what type of questions they are asking in social media conversations.

Determine Ideal Platforms and Timing

Social media data also tells you which platforms your target audience uses the most and when they like to read content. Analytics provides a way to track the day of the week and time of day that posts are most read. That way, you can plan and schedule your social media content to align with these preferred viewing locations and time.

Improve Your SEO Tactics

SEO tactics should not just be guided by your search marketing strategy; it’s social media data that can also be leveraged to make improvements in other aspects of your marketing efforts. Rather than using a generic list of keywords that may fit your industry but don’t get to your targets, the social media data you collect includes the keywords that your customers are using to search on social media for specific content.

Track Brand Reputation

Since most conversations occur on social media platforms, it’s the place you need to track if you want to know if there is anything good or bad being said that could impact your brand image. Having the ability to receive this real-time social media data that includes praise and complaints is an opportunity to engage and converse with your audience directly.  

Locate Influencers

Influencer marketing plays a critical role in today’s marketing due to the fact that so many within your target audience look to others to help shape their opinions and purchase decisions. While you can engage and make inroads as a brand, it’s these influencers that tend to make the most headway. Again, social media data can help by helping you identify the most influential people on social media for your particular audience so you can get to know them.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Because social media platforms collect so much data, it makes keeping tabs on your competition so much easier and less time-consuming. You’ll be able to see their likes, followers, influencers, and content strategy to determine what you can do differently -- and better.

How to Create a Data-Driven Social Media Marketing Strategy

To achieve these benefits from collecting social media data, you’ll need to create a social media marketing strategy to direct your efforts.

First, start with what you want to accomplish with social media marketing: Is it increase your brand awareness and reach? Do you want to enhance your brand image? Or, do you want to grow web traffic? These goals guide the type of social media data you gather and analyze.

Once you know your goals and the metrics from the social data to collect, then it’s on to assessing which data analytics tools work for those goals and metrics. Many tools offer free trials so you can try them out, see what they do, and determine if the insights from them align with your objectives.

From there, the results should direct the changes you may need to make to your social media marketing strategy, tactics, and messaging. It will be an ongoing process of refinement in terms of the metrics, target audience, and content alignment, but, over time, it should further the level of benefits you receive from social media data.

Take another deep dive into how to craft a winning social media marketing strategy with “6 Steps to Becoming a Social Business.”

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