If you think of Big Data as a massive digital recipe of numbers, behaviors and interests, then social media is quickly becoming the secret ingredient needed for marketers to bring everything together in one tasty, profitable pie. But like with any recipe, the end result stems from the quality of ingredients and how you mix everything together. The reality is, that most standard reporting tools lack the customization needed to develop the right insights to optimize social media campaigns and make meaningful business decisions. And if you're a larger company, multiply this conundrum by the number of brands in your portfolio—each of which potentially has a different goal, focus and consumer.
Dashboard Dos and Don'ts
Before we get into specific metrics, let's take a moment to discuss a few things marketers should consider, and some things that should be avoided in order to lay a solid foundation for meaningful social campaign intelligence.
- Set brand specific goals
- Evaluate social campaign pacing across channels and brands
- Get your hands on real-time (or as close as possible) social analytics
- Develop your own "view from the top" by rolling up each social campaign and its goals to top-level initiatives
- Make sure you're taking time management into account, so that your team spends more time creating content and developing strategy
- Only look at reporting for specific or single social media campaigns. Your dashboard should be flexible enough to offer a "view from the top" (i.e. a roll up by brand, promotion, product) as well as a more isolated, detailed perspective
- Use the same goals for every campaign. Sadly, by and large, social media marketing is not amenable to a "one size fits all" approach
- Rely on emails and excel sheets. While very common, these methods are susceptible to human errors.
Identifying The Ingredients For A Prosperous Point-Of-View
So, what kinds of metrics should you be looking at anyway? With social offering more options and data than its bigger brother display advertising, it can be tricky to keep your eye on the prize. Here's a helpful visualization that shows four great places to start:
Most marketers are challenged with optimizing multiple brands, initiatives and ad campaigns, and this is especially true for senior executives and CMOs. To achieve optimal results, companies must go beyond basic reporting practices to implement fully versatile and customizable insights. Oh yeah, and ideally without a lot of extra time and effort. Not only this, as the social media landscape changes (which it will), brands should update and optimize their approach over time.