4 Social Media Metrics Your Business Needs to Track

Simply having a social media account is not enough to grow your business. Just like everyone else, you probably want to get more followers, more likes, more retweets, more click-through, etc. But are all of these things going to help you boost your business?

In this jungle of social media metrics, it could be confusing for you to choose which metrics are actually important for your company. But don’t look at this in a bad way. You have a lot of data in your hands, so use this data in order to understand your audience.

Luckily there is a solution. Take a look at these four metrics that will help you achieve growth.

Engagement: Do people actually like your content?

How many times did someone take action on your posts? Sharing, clicks, comments, reactions – all of these things matter.

These actions validate your content and they will show you if your posts are important to your target audience. If you keep tracking these metrics, they will help you plan your content strategy and see what kind of post you should create, but also which post you should avoid.

The simple step is to use average engagement rate that will take your metrics a step further. It will show you a true value of your content and how it impacts your followers. You can also identify optimal time for engagement. Knowing when your audience is most active will raise your engagement, so keep tracking and post when they are online.

Never underestimate your competitors because you can learn from them. See what kind of content works for them by tracking their engagement rates.

Mentions: Does anybody talk about your brand?

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All mentions are important, whether they are written in a positive or negative manner. Your goal is to promote actual online conversations and discussions, but try to give your best to induce positive reactions.

For starter, you should become a part of that conversation and show people you care about their opinion. But when it comes to monitoring mentions, you should use these metrics in order to find out how many people are talking about your brand and more importantly – who is talking. A simple step that can inspire you to boost your mentions is to take a glance at your competitors’ mentions. Don’t steal their idea, just let yourself be creative. People will value your uniqueness.

Nevertheless, if you are having a trouble with social mention monitoring, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.

Conversion: Do you have enough traffic to your website?

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How many people took an extra step and visited your site via your social media page?

Tracking a total number of conversions will show you if your social media strategy achieves its purpose. To convert, you need to engage people by giving them a strong call-to-action. You can use analytic tools such as Google’s URL builder and collect all important data about the specific link. This will help you realize what kind of social media content is attracting the greatest amount of traffic to your page.

So, track the number of conversions that happened within a month or a week and match the data with particular content. These valuable metrics will tell you how fast your business is growing. So, if your conversion numbers aren’t where you want them to be, you can do something about that immediately. Start looking for new trends and change something in order to improve your strategy.

Sentiments: Do people like your products?

You can actually get into the mind of your customers while you are online. With a little help of sentiment and emotional analysis, you can track online conversation from all social networks and see how people feel about your products.

You would probably love to see just positive comments, but tracking negative ones will help you improve your business. A sudden spike in negative sentiment will show you what you should change. Moreover, you will be able to resolve this problem and calm people down. Maybe your brand is well-liked, but there is always a room for improvement.

These metrics bring as to a whole new level of marketing. Sentiments and emotional analysis will help you create a positive social media presence your business needs.

Track What Matters

Everyone obsesses over how many followers they have. Yes, it’s nice to have a large number of followers, but that doesn’t matter as much as you may think. What you want is for people to become familiar with your brand and your message. You want them to go to your website and buy your products. So, use these metrics in order to get to know your audience and grow your business.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Benefits of Implementing Business Intelligence for Small Businesses

In the past, small business owners had to gaze in a crystal ball to get their hands on big data, while the CEOs of larger corporations bathed in it. However, this is no longer the case as business intelligence is now more readily available for small businesses as well. For years this powerful tool was the backbone of many successful companies as it allowed them to act on data-driven insight rather than pure speculation. What’s more, BI has the ability to process huge streams of data that otherwise wouldn’t be humanly possible, and seeing as how there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being generated every day, this has almost become a necessity. What are some actual benefits a small business owner can expect from implementing such a tool? Let’s find out.

Understanding customer behavior

Knowing who your customers are, their shopping habits, and more importantly, their likes and dislikes is essential for providing excellent customer service. This is where BI comes into play with its capacity to understand customer behavior by going through all of the company’s sales records, as well as other, more public data sources, such as social media and various other blogs and forums, to provide valuable insight. With the data collected, small business owners can work on upgrading and personalizing their customers’ experience further, in hopes of driving more sales. A happy customer is a loyal customer, and knowing exactly what makes them tick will ensure that a successful retention strategy is in play.

Identifying and predicting trends

Sometimes anticipating customer needs before they even arise can be hugely beneficial. Picking up on the latest trends before your competition is a real game changer. Luckily for us, BI can actually make sense of big data to the degree of finding clear patterns which are relevant for identifying trends, as well as predicting them. This predictive analysis is absolutely vital for making informed business decisions that would, otherwise, be mere guesswork. It will, therefore, allow small business owners to funnel their resources into something more lucrative with almost no risk involved and significantly increase their profit margins in the process.

Improving operational efficiency

Another thing worth mentioning is how BI helps you organize the internal structure of your business. Small business owners simply don’t have the luxury of paying staff members that don’t deliver but they have no real means of knowing who these low performers are. Well, sophisticated business intelligence software can help you to get rid of such managerial inefficiencies by pointing out the areas that need improvement. Naturally, this saves entrepreneurs a lot of time and effort and opens up their business for expansion. Indeed, growth is the most exciting aspect of any small business venture and allocating resources smartly plays a huge role in its development, especially early on.

Scouting the competition

Unfortunately, understanding all the intricacies of your business is simply not enough for achieving success because your business isn’t located in the vacuum but in the open market with thousands of similar enterprises vying for domination. Consequently, you need to be more aware of what your competitors are up to if you wish to outsmart them. What are their services and products? What’s their target audience, and how does it differ from yours? These are just some of the basic questions you need to answer. In addition, once you’ve gathered this intel you can then proceed with the implementation of strategies that will effectively set you apart from your immediate competitors. This, of course, will enable you to stand out from the crowd a bit more and get you noticed.

Determining optimal pricing

Finally, the pricing of your products can affect the final outcome of your sales and whether or not you’ll earn a profit at the end of the day. Yet, the answer is somewhere out there buried beneath terabytes and terabytes of data you need to dig through. This is why big corporations had the edge for all these years as they reaped the rewards of their BI pricing strategies and inventory management. By analyzing big data, it is easy to determine the right price tag and identify the products that are not selling very well.

To sum up, with big data not shrinking in size anytime soon, powerful tools such as BI are a necessity for adequate business operations nowadays. The benefits are there, small businesses just need to reach out and grab them.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

Get More Out of Your Online Business Today

If it feels like your online business is starting to get stuck in a bit of a rut, it’s important to take action to change that. You can’t expect your business to remain on an upward trajectory forever; there are always going to be bumps in the road. It’s how you respond to and handle these bumps that matter. Be proactive and take steps to drive your online business forward and get more out of it today. Here’s how.

Put More In

To get more out of your online business, you first need to put more into it. By putting more into the business, you’ll find that you eventually start to reap the rewards. But more of what? It can be more financial investment, it could be more time or it could be other resources. But don’t let your online business remain static for too long because that never ends well. 

Learn the Value of Analytics

Analytics can’t be ignored any longer. If your online business is not currently making use of analytics tools, that has to change sooner rather than later. There is no getting round the importance of this. So, if you want your company to succeed, start using the right analytics tools. You can approach embedded BI and analytics from many angles. Get informed and work with people who know what they’re doing.

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Consider the Way Your Customers Use Your Site

 Your website should always put the needs and wants of the visitor first. These days, people don’t just sit at their desktop when they want to buy something online or browse your website. Instead, they use smartphone screens and tablets. You need to be aware of these trends and allow potential customers to use and interact with your website in the way they want to.

Improve Scalability

Scalability is one word that you should become more familiar with if you want to push your business in the right kind of direction. This often applies to the logistical side of your business’s operations. You can’t expect your company to keep growing if you don’t know how to scale things up and keep producing strong outcomes. Learn more about this and clean up the logistics that your business relies on each day.

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Cut Out the Middlemen

Middlemen often serve no real purpose. If you have a lot of people acting as intermediaries for your business, you will find that cutting them out and getting to the point saves you a lot of time and energy. There is no need to persist with people that are offering you nothing in the way of value and contributing very little to the success of your online business. Many people feel they’re necessary, but that doesn’t mean they are in practice.

There are so many ways to get more out of your business and help it to grow. These 5 ideas offer you a good starting block. From there, you can develop your own methods to get more out of the online business going forward.

How To Improve Your Marketing Strategy Today

As marketing is a vital part of business development it makes sense to take time to work out a sound marketing strategy and to implement regular business reviews for ensuring it’s not stalled.

To succeed in the modern world of business it is important to use all the tools of the trade so to speak. Internet is one of the main ones that business people turn to today to ensure their businesses can grow and develop.

Marketing strategy should not be confused with business plan or marketing goals. While business plan describes the whole business structure and process marketing strategy deals with the steps or measures that are necessary to implement to achieve the goals.

Here are some things to consider before proceeding with the business startup.

  • When starting a business it is possible to go through most of the process online. Instead of going through the rigmarole of newspaper and magazine printed ads business marketing can be done on computer which significantly reduces the timeframe for launching new ventures.
  • Establish your target market from the start so you can tailor your strategies and services or products with maximum efficiency which will give you the cutting edge.
  • In the competitive world of corporations small businesses get a fighting chance the moment they join the force of the internet. Search engines (SEO) and websites are the modern tools of any trade whether it’s roofing, bricklaying or cake baking. Modern fashion, design and technology, science and literature industries have already changed beyond recognition due to the wonders of the internet and computers. In other words, the internet has given the small businesses the chance to fight their corner with the help of small business web design and SEO that’s straightforward.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the social media. Apart from networking and direct marketing it can also create influence waves which can increase sales within hours after posting an image or fact about your products. Remember to use this potential to the full if you want to get ahead of your competitors.
  • Keep your marketing objectives focussed on your customers. This should involve everything from product/service development, packaging, pricing and delivery as well as post-sales care where appropriate.
  • Detailed and in-depth market research will be invaluable both in short and long term planning. Companies usually conduct analysis of performance, customer analysis and pricing scans.
  • It’s impossible to create a marketing strategy without a marketing plan. The marketing plan is essentially the manifesto of your business marketing strategy. It should explain all the necessary steps to put your strategy into action as well as set out marketing budgets, goals, profit margins and time targets.
  • A marketing strategy wouldn’t be a strategy without future vision for the business. It should include where your business is going to be in a month, in a year and in 5 years. So any future developments can already take shape now within the marketing strategy.
  • Be sure to create a contingency plan for any possible market changes as nothing is set in stone.

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Get Closer To Your Customers

Optimising your customers’ experience is one of the best ways to foster greater loyalty, and attract new customers in the process. Despite the massive importance of this, countless marketers and business owners are managing to neglect their customers both before and after a sale. You need to be leveraging customer engagement data to inform your marketing strategy. Here are some great techniques for gaining a better understanding of your customers…

Apply Smart Customer Engagement

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A great customer experience is extremely valuable for customer retention and your overall revenue. These days, engaging with the customer in real-time has become easier than ever, thanks to a variety of modern tools. Chat window platforms are becoming more and more popular, with various programs allowing you to talk to customers in real-time as they browse your site. These channels can be a great means for collecting customer insight. The data you reap from simple interaction, regardless of the channel, can allow you to understand your buyers better. Whenever you’re using these kinds of channels to gain insight, try to remove your own bias as much as possible, ask questions that will get a clear answer, and keep your interactions focussed on one element of the customer experience.

Get Data from Customer Analytics

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From clicking a link to spending more or less time on a web page, every little action your customer performs is going to offer some invaluable insight into their behaviour. To get a clear picture of how your customers are interacting with your business, you’ll need to apply the right tools. Things like Google Analytics, used in combination with SQL server modernisation and similar services, are excellent for organising insights such as the time customers spend on your landing pages, their bounce rate and how much each conversion is worth to your business. The behavioural trends you pick up on will show you what your audience does and doesn’t understand, what they do and don’t respond to, and the best ways for you to create a more enjoyable website experience. If people spend more time on a certain page, try and pin down what it is about that content that’s keeping them there. If there’s a high bounce rate, find out why people are leaving.

Fine-Tune Buyer Personas

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A lot of small business owners make the big mistake of developing their buyer personas with generic factors such as age, geographic location and gender. These things are certainly important, but aren’t enough to support messaging that resonates with your audience on an intimate, emotional level. One great way of fine-tuning your buyer personas is using analytics tools to see the kind of social media outlets and industry news channels your site is getting the most traffic from. This information can be applied to your current personas, allowing you to figure you how, where and when you should be reaching out to customers. Acquiring keyword data can also be very helpful to this. The more intimate you are with your customers, the easier it will be to hit your marketing on the head.

 

AI Is Building Brands, Right In Front Of Our Eyes

It seems as if artificial intelligence is never out of the news. Practically every single day, there is some new breakthrough that promises to change the world. Just in the last month, for instance, Google Deepmind announced that they had created AI with a memory – meaning that their systems could learn something, remember it, and then learn something new straight after.

In other news, AI is now able to take a photograph and recreate it in the style of a painting. For instance, suppose you’ve got a photograph of your mother-in-law. This new AI will allow that photograph to be re-imagined in the form of a Picasso or Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Given that branding is all about visual imagery, it makes one wonder whether AI could be used to improve how companies do their marketing. After all, if AI is able to understand a company’s visual characteristics, it could presumably come up with a bunch of marketing materials automatically.

AI-Curated Content

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We already see this kind of technology being deployed to help companies choose stock photos. On most business websites, stock photos are pretty generic and don’t really do anything to enhance the appeal of the company. But now, thanks to AI, it’s possible to automatically classify photographs according to their brand relevance. In other words, you don’t need a digital designer on your team to tell you whether a particular photo will work or not; you just need to run some software.

AI-Assisted Audience Targeting

Another way AI is helping companies is through audience targeting. Using conventional statistics and data, companies are able to track their customer’s preferences and make predictions about their behaviour. But without a thinking system behind the analytics, there’s only so far they can be taken. Often, analytics appeal to the average, rather than the specific customer, based on their specific tastes.

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The good news is that smart algorithms are a lot better at parsing data than people, allowing them to make branding more personalised. Companies will soon be able to offer customers banner ads that speak directly to them, rather to their audience in general. This could lead to a world in which companies are able to offer customers prices on a customer-by-customer basis, depending on their overall spending patterns.

AI Brand Generation

Artificial intelligence isn’t just combining art with photos to create strange chimeras; it’s also coming up with its own concept art. The first example of this was Google Deep Dream, a strange algorithm that tried to invent new images based on animal images in its database. What it ultimately produced looked like something out of the seventh layer of hell, but over time, the ability of computers to come up with their own artwork has improved.

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For many marketers, this is a promising development. What it means is that it will soon be able to generate photorealistic content without having to go to the source. New content from the brand could be created every day at virtually no cost whatsoever. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?

9 of the Top Social Media Analytics Tools

Chances are that social media marketing in a major component of your overall marketing strategy. But, to find out if your social media marketing efforts are paying off and to identify areas where you need to improve, you must deploy social media analytics tools.

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The following is a list, in no particular order, of 9 of the top social media analytics tools.

1.    Cyfe

Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard application that helps you monitor all your business data from one place. This helps you make better business decisions and save countless hours tracking your data. Cyfe lets you monitor individual departments, projects, multiple websites and anything else using dashboards. Once the social front, Cyfe has social dashboard thatallows you to pull data from popular services like Google or Facebook using pre-built widgets or custom widgets. Cyfe is free to sign-up but to unlock its full potential, you need a $19 per month subscription.

2.    Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a social media analytics tool that assists you to explore and develop your social graph. With Followerwonk, you can dive deep into Twitter analytics and find out who your followers are, where they are located and when they tweet. You can also find and connect with new influencers in your niche. Followerwonk has great visualizations that make it easy to compare your social graph with your competitors. It is also super easy to share your reports with the other people. Followerwonk offers a free account for one profile. For up to three profiles, pricing is $29 per month.

3.    Buffer

Buffer is a great tool to save on your social media tasks. With Buffer, you can schedule, publish and analyze all your posts in one place. Buffer also allows you to share your content at the most optimal time of the day so that followers and fans can see updates. This is in addition to other tools such as their image creation tool that allows you to create images with the perfect size and format for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Buffer is free for individuals managing one account. Pricing for teams and agencies starts at $99 per month.

4.    SumAll

As the name suggests, SumAll is a number crunching tool. With SumAll, you can connect  connect unlimited Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Analytics accounts for you or your clients. You can then organize them into as many reports as you like from a single SumAll account. Pricing is $99 per month.

5.    Quintly

Quintly is not only a social media analytics tool but a benchmarking tool as well. With Quintly, you can easily see your numbers compared to your competitors’ and hence take action where you find you aren’t doing well. This is a great tool if you want valuable competitor insights and data. Quinty offers a free 14-Day trial for all packages and pricing starts at $129 for 5 profiles.

6.    Keyhole

Keyhole is one of the best analytics tools to track social conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Their products include hashtag and keyword tracking as well as account tracking and reporting. If you want hashtag analytics, then Keyhole is definitely the way to go. Pricing starts at $132 per month.

7.    Klout

Want to know how influential you are on the social web? Klout measures your influence by examining your ability to drive action. To improve your impact online, Klout suggests shareable content that your audience hasn’t seen yet and track how retweets, likes, and shares change your Klout Score. The Klout Score is on a scale of 1 – 100. Klout is free.

8.    ViralWoot

Viralwoot is purely a Pinterest social media analytics tool. With ViralWoot, you can grow, manage and monitor your Pinterest account. Use ViralWoot to boost your Pinterest presence and get discovered by thousands of active Pinterest users across all types of niches.You can also increase your reach by scheduling Pins for maximum exposure and engage Pinterest influencers. Signing up is free but to unlock all the features, you need a paid subscription that starts at $10 per month.

9.    Addictomatic

Addictomatic helps you monitor your influence and online reputation. You can instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic. Simply enter a topic in the search bar and the tool finds the most recent articles, images, videos and news items from Google, Bing, Twitter and over a dozen other sources. The results are broken down into easy-to-navigate headers. Addictomatic is free.

Conclusion

There are many other social media analytics tools that you can use to make sense of your social media marketing efforts. But, these nine are definitely in the top tier.