The Data Cocktail: Social+Content+Engagement Metrics
Research suggests that the average internet user has 5.54 social media accounts. However, on an average, people actively use only 2.82 social platforms.
Let’s just go with that statistic and look at the top 3 networks- Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for our analysis.
At any point of time, your branded content, whether it’s a video, a blog post or a podcast, is competing with those numbers which in turn are made up of funny memes, enticing Buzzfeed listicles (productivity killers, those!) and cute videos of baby elephants that are impossible to ignore.
“So how really does a brand break through all that and get noticed?”
As marketers, we often get caught up in our own metrics instead of trying to understand what the audience wants to see. We create listicles because they look good, we post podcasts because they sound cool.
Meanwhile, that’s probably what it looks like on a timeline.
How about flipping that around and creating what the audience is asking for, instead of what we think they want?
JR Little, Global Head of Innovation at Carat, in a recent podcast with Link Humans, makes a very interesting point about where marketers get listening wrong. Quoting him, “ I think starting with the idea today of ‘What can I say?’ versus ‘How can I help?’. I think we still have a lot of marketers that trust their intuition and gut and what they’ve done in the past, as opposed to what will really resonate today, ignoring instances that are already showing interest in them, but they may not even know it.”
Content discovery tools like EpicBeat Plus showcase what resonates with your target audience and help create tailored content. For eg. Using the country filter helps in finding geographically targeted content rather than looking for all the content that comes up for a topic.
Pick the countries of your choice and download a list of top content that’s getting the most engagement. It wouldn’t take too long to choose the right topics to focus on if you’re targeting a similar audience.
Tie it all together
In a recent post, Neil Patel talks about the need to go beyond plainly measuring metrics to really understand what those metrics are telling you. Quoting Neil, “Marketers record metrics but never do anything with them.”
As brands, we get caught up in the maze of data metrics- vanity and others, instead of taking them further and acting on them.
The increase in your follower count is a consequence of what you posted on your page. This in turn, is connected to what’s popular among your target audience and hence translates to high number of shares or comments.
None of your metrics exist in isolation. They shouldn’t be analysed in isolation either.
The only way for you to make sense of what’s working and what isn’t is investigating a metric in conjunction with another.
So if you ended up getting 500 new followers on Twitter after your last blog post, don’t just sit back and enjoy the feeling. Once you’re done revelling in your achievement, investigate which blog post caused the spike.
- What was it about?
- Did you use a better suited format?
- Was it the funny video that did the trick?
Translating social metrics to content metrics helps in breaking down success so it can be replicated in the future.
Investigate and Analyze
10,000 people reached on Facebook.
1750 impressions on Twitter.
Sure, they saw it. But did they engage with it?
Social media metrics are like the trailer to the movie. If you have to make any worthwhile conclusion or judgement, you’ve got to dig deeper to find out what those numbers mean.
Engagement metrics like the number of comments, number of likes or retweets paint a more realistic picture of content performance and can help guide future behaviour.
The following insight chart shows the result for a search on fashion related content on EpicBeat Plus. It is evident that if you’re a fashion blogger, one of the top channels to promote your content is on Pinterest and the best place to publish content is on Instagram.
Modern marketing metrics are pointless in isolation. The key is to constantly question yourself about the purpose of any piece of content. Once you’ve identified the purpose, let data guide your creation process and measure the results accordingly.
The data cocktail is made up of a heady mix of metrics that are just as elusive as they are exciting. While the right tools can help in reporting these metrics, to make sense of the data requires marketers to analyze the data cohesively in the context of their own brand and the industry.
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