If you work on or with a social media team, you know all too well the challenge of measuring the performances of your campaigns.
How do you fight through the noise to truly understand the success of your social campaigns and relate it to the overall performance of your brand or campaign?
There’s no shortage of “best practices” articles out there, but what you need is a best tool to match those best practices.
That’s how social listening enters the picture. Unlike most campaign analytics offerings out there, social listening platforms don’t just track likes and shares. Sure, engagement is important in understanding if a campaign resonated with online audiences. But it doesn’t tell you the full story.
In this article, we will go over how to use social listening to analyze your social media campaigns, that way you and your team can have both the right tools and the best practices in place to present to your team what’s working and why.
Step 1: Determine your goals
You’re likely well aware of the importance of setting goals when conducting social media analysis of your campaigns. But it’s always good to remind ourselves the need to set the right objectives for your campaign and then document them.
Having clearly defined goals will help you align your campaign analysis with your campaign goals. Is your goal to promote an event, grab a larger share of voice against competitors, or increase brand favorability?
There are hundreds of different goals you can set for your campaign, but no matter the one you choose, use the S.M.A.R.T. method for goal setting: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Based.
Here are some examples to get your mind turning about the types of questions you can use to build a SMART goal:
- ____ campaign increases ____ audiences’ purchasing behavior mentions by ____%
- ____ campaign should increase the positive mentions about our brand by ____%
- ____ campaign should receive ____ number of mentions across Instagram and Pinterest
- ____ is the number of mentions of the campaign hashtag by end of the campaign
Social listening can help you see who online is discussing buying your products or if they are expressing a potential purchase or are in consideration mode. Furthermore, you can get biographical information about those audiences like demographics, key trends, sentiment and emotions, consumer behaviors, interests, important topics and influencer insight.
One of the biggest challenges with social media analysis is that there is often a blurred line between a campaign goal and measuring whether you met that goal. Ahead, we’ll take a look at better metrics to analyze so you can break out of your campaign analysis rut and get true insight for your team.
Step 2: Determine the metrics you want to track
You’re probably well familiar with the typical social media analytics. But what they often miss is insight about how consumers think and feel.
Rather than focusing on likes or shares, which take half-a-second to perform and offer little need-to-know information about the engaged audience, go deeper to look at conversational metrics.
Here is a list of social listening metrics that will help you better determine the success of your campaign and what each metric tells you about how the campaign is performing.
Engagement - If you want to measure engagement, look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. Not just likes and shares-- what do the audiences say when they engage the brand or influencer online? Are they using specific hashtags? Do they express buying and consideration behaviors?
Share of Voice - If your goal is to increase your brand’s share of voice, then track your positive brand mentions relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall positive conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?
Reach - If your goal is to increase the number of people who know about your brand, it is important to measure both your positive brand mentions and the mentions of your campaign handle/hashtag. That way you can understand both in a data driven way.
Consumer Behaviors - Likes and shares are nice, but they don’t tell you how consumers are talking about your brand. Are they mentioning making a purchase or being a loyal shopper? On the other hand, are they mentioning you and/or your competitors in a negative way, talking about churning or negative price?
Emotions - An often overlooked metrics around campaigns are emotions. Did you know that trust correlates with purchase intent, so measuring the amount of conversation that involves trust can directly correlate with sales? Measuring emotions whether they are good or bad, can show the relevancy of your brand for consumers. Emotions to consider reporting on: love, trust, joy, anticipation, surprise, anger, sadness and hate.
Read this case study on Brooks Running and how they measured their #runhappy campaign for Share of Voice, Purchase Intent, Churn, and Reach.
Social listening allows you to track online conversations, including comments and replies on social channels, to measure specific themes expressed.
Step 3: Most crucial - determine a unique way to track your brand
Let’s backtrack to step 1 and revisit your goal setting. Finding the most effective way to accomplish your goal is key.
Below are some ways to track mentions of your specific campaign:
- Hashtags - A campaign specific hashtags gives your brand the ability to track a unique identifier instead of relevant keywords. When hashtags are used by your audience you can use text analytics to analyze the conversation around the campaign for themes and sentiment.
- Brand or handle mentions - The best way to track a campaign is with a hashtag, but if that isn’t available, using a combination of brand or handle mentions and keywords can help you find relevant campaign conversations.
- Post level tracking - how many likes, engagements, comments did you receive on a specific brand post.
- Take this a step further by analyzing the comments on the post for sentiment or buying themes such as purchase intent.
Take a look at these #hashtag campaigns that hit ultimate success: https://adespresso.com/blog/15-best-hashtag-campaigns-time/
Step 4: Analyze Each Channel
Conversation about your brand or campaign isn’t just happening on Twitter. You have to measure your campaign effectiveness across multiple channels to measure success.
Why? Because the conversation varies depending on where it is taking place online. The audiences, their demographics, interests, and topics of conversation differ based on where they are.
Twitter, for example, typically brings in much more customer service related conversation than other channels, making it less important for campaign analysis. Instagram carries more conversations about lifestyles, helping you identify how consumers live their lives and the impact of products and brands on their lifestyles. Pinterest is where audiences go for discovery and to share ideas.
Here’s how we were able to report on the conversation’s channel distribution in a recent report on beauty and cosmetics:
For your campaigns, you should always seek to understand where the conversation about that campaign is taking place and on which channels the campaign is most resonating. This way you know which channels to keep an eye on, learn about your target audiences, and best measure performance.
Step 5: Monitor and Adjust
Once you have your goals, desired metrics, and a plan in place for tracking, you can set your team up for success by quickly and often analyzing your campaign.
Is one hashtag or combination of brand mentions taking off? Combine that with your branded hashtag for even more recognition.
When you have a good regimen for analyzing campaigns, you can start putting into place plans for adjustments to make once you start seeing the data and establishing a base for your campaign performance.
Experts at Neil Patel’s marketing blog put it like this:
"The final step is to carefully review your measurement program. How are these metrics doing? Are you missing anything? Was anything superfluous or unnecessary? Figure out what you can improve, make changes, and then measure some more. Check back in with the goals you set initially and make sure your new metrics actually help you address those goals."
Then, head back to your campaign planning and make changes based upon the data you’ve uncovered. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Step 6: Report in Real Time
So, you’ve established your goals, performed your social listening research, determined how the conversation is going related to your brand and campaign, and started to make adjustments.
But one last crucial step is reporting. You have an uber talented team and awesome bosses or clients you want to report to impress, right?
Well, the good news is that these social insights can quickly be added into a social listening dashboard that updates always and in real time. This means analysis updates for you in an ongoing way with no additional heavy lifting. Never waste time building reports in powerpoint again!
Step 7: Choose the Best Social Listening Tool
Now that you’ve seen how to more effectively analyze your social media campaigns with social listening, you need a tool that does it best.
Click here to learn why Infegy Atlas is the best social listening platform for your unique team needs.
Conclusion: Why Social Listening is a Powerful Tool for Campaign Analysis
With social listening, you become a researcher. You don’t just analyze. You hunt for answers.
Instead of just looking at numbers and graphs, you seek to understand what the data is telling you. Social listening is all about context. After all, if you want to know how well your campaigns are performing, you need to find the why behind the data.
That’s the great thing about this type of social media platform. It helps you report on that context. You can explain to your team, bosses, or clients the impact your social media campaigns are having on the bigger picture, not just on growing Twitter followers.
To learn more about how social listening can help your unique situation, follow this link to get a free, personalized demo of Infegy Atlas today (I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I hear our team is providing free trials of our premium platform for a limited time 🤫).