As a small business owner, you make valuable connections with your customers on social media every day — but the value of this technology doesn’t stop there. Your social media platforms gather and quantify data for you. If used well, that data can help you understand your customers better and expand your reach. In essence, social media can give you the kind of market research that used to take weeks or months to gather. But what kind of data should you focus on collecting?
The Value of Social Media Data
When you acquire social media data, you’re in a good position to decide which product lines to develop or where to expand your services. As you crunch the numbers from Facebook, for example, you can find out what kinds of ads and other content drive customers through the sales funnel to the point of conversion. Your social media platforms walk you through the customer’s journey, so you can see how they’re responding to your message and more wisely invest your money and human resources.
Social Media Data You Should Collect
Your social media platform should already provide basic demographic data, which is highly useful. Knowing your customers’ locations and age ranges helps you pick new products and marketing strategies. Plus, basic demographic data tells you what audience segments to avoid. You might be less inclined to send marketing info about spring break destinations if you learn your audience is mostly women over 45, for example.
But on top of demographics, you can use analytics tools to turn up even more valuable data. Analytics can tell you which websites and social networks send the most traffic to your website. You should be able to request this data for a custom date range, which can help you gauge when to post new content. Using analytics, you can see who’s coming to your site, when they’re coming, and what channels they’re coming from. Are you spending your resources on the right channels?
Also, notice which links you share on your site bring in the most viewers. What topics related to the links drive the most content? As you analyse the patterns, you should adjust your marketing and product development plans accordingly.
How to Use the Data You Gather
Analyzing social media data helps you customize your messages. You can hand off important insights to your sales team so they can follow up with the people you most engage with online, and any behavioural insights you glean can help you tailor your content to draw in more viewers. Data is also the fuel of marketing automation software, which can present a personalized landing page to your customers or send the right follow-up email after they visit your site.
Your social media presence doesn’t just build relationships with customers — it funnels valuable data your way. Take advantage of the tools on each social media platform, such as demographic data and analytics, so you can tweak your message to reach a wider audience.