This is a guest post from Erin Wagner – Social Media Analysis for Cision Global Analysts.
Effective social media campaigns begin by asking the right questions, so, today, Cision is launching a new Social Analysis Suite designed to identify and answer your brand’s most important social media questions. In honor of the occasion, here are four foundational questions to ask yourself about your social presence, the analyses you can use to answer them, and the kind of action these insights empower you to take.
- What are people saying about my brand?
- To answer this question, we look first at your social media activity (the number of times your brand was mentioned each day). We discover conversation drivers by looking at peaks in social media activity and reviewing the posts, noting stories or comments that have “gone viral”. Then, to understand ongoing conversation, we pull a statistically significant sample of mentions, and code them for theme (what topic they are discussing) and sentiment (positive, negative or neutral).
- With access to every social media mention, you can respond directly to complaints, or retweet compliments of your brand’s products or services. Furthermore, you can take their feedback into account when drafting future communication campaigns or making strategic business decisions.
- Who is leading relevant conversations?
- As we all know, 140-character tweets are very different from blog posts. Because each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, we look first at your brand’s mentions by media type (social sites, micromedia, blogs, forums, etc.) Within each platform, we identify conversation leaders (those people who have created the most buzz by posting about you frequently or posting to a large audience). Then, knowing where you stand, we broaden our scope to look at what social media users are saying about your category. Influencers are identified by the number of posts relevant to your business and their large, active following. Eventually, a following becomes a community with its own attitudes and behaviors; that culture is outlined in a community profile.
- Community leaders are a particularly great place to listen for insights that may spark innovation within your company. Beyond listening, you can establish partnerships to gain access to the leader’s audience, offering them exposure, recognition or compensation in return.
- What is my competition doing in social media?
- Next, to gauge and improve your performance, we look closely at your competitors’ platform presence to know how large and active your following is compared to theirs. If they are leading the pack, a competitive strategy analysis reviews all of the actions they’ve taken in social media over at least the past three months to reverse engineer their social strategy. When possible, the analysis indicates which tactics worked and which did not.
- Build upon your competition’s efforts by learning from their successes and victories, incorporating what works and skipping past the failures. You can easily side step the competition and target communities they are missing in their campaigns, or (better yet) use targeted advertising to get your content in front of only those users who have liked your competitor’s Facebook page or joined their LinkedIn group.
- What am I doing that works?
- The very best data comes from your own platform presence, which allows you to know each day how many users have seen your post or visited your website. A campaign evaluation identifies three metrics for each campaign so you know how far your campaign reached, how many people it engaged, and how many ultimately acted on your message. Often, it is possible to translate your social media efforts to a dollar-by-dollar return on investment.
- Honing post content, posting time, calls to action and landing pages will ultimately lead you to greater measurable success.
Through their daily social conversations, your clients, customers and constituents are labeling themselves as interest communities whom you can target through advertising, influencer relations, properly using hashtags, and a dozen more social media campaigns. Just by arming yourself with the right tools, you too can become an expert social media communicator for your organization.