Social Media Insights: 25 Tips on Leveraging Them for Growth

Social Media Insights: 25 Tips on Leveraging Them for Growth

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Social media is an invaluable tool in today’s marketing landscape, but not everyone leverages the insights that come along with social media platforms, to make adjustments and continually improve. I have put together 25 tips to effectively leverage social insights to increase and improve your rate of growth as a brand or business. To understand exactly how to do this, however, it is important to fully understand what social insights are, and how to use them effectively. 

What are Social Media Insights?

The phrase “social media insights” describes the different metrics designed to deliver information about how your social media presence is performing. A discussion of insights typically involves analytics, metrics, and data, all of which can be used to glean information about how to proceed with your social media to effectively leverage it for marketing purposes. Businesses should not ignore the value of insights, because they indicate how successful marketing efforts are or are not, and point a marketing team to the best possible place to go when creating a campaign.  

The Power of Data-Driven Decision-Making

the impact of social media data and insights on business priorities
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Data is one of the single most important considerations to take into account when creating a marketing plan and moving forward with a business venture. Data drives the decisions of the marketing team, the sales team, and even the production team, as it informs all of these departments of current trends, customer needs, and the direction most likely to prove successful. Data is the core of all decision-making in business today, and data mining and gathering is one of the foremost concerns brought before a business’ team. 

Social media insights are a significant source of data. The data gathered from your social media platform will help boost your engagement rate, inform the way you structure your social media channels, and identify the trajectory of your marketing strategies. Social media insights derived from social media analytics tools can do far more than inform social strategy; they can also help inform branding, website pages, and far more. 

Building a Foundation for Social Media Insights

building a foundation for social media insights
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There is no shortage of social media analytics tools, but learning how to read them effectively and determine which tools are right for you is not always easy. Before diving headfirst into the world of social media channel insights, there are several components you should consider to build a strong foundation. Setting clear goals, selecting the right metrics and tools, and engaging a sentiment analysis can all help develop a solid foundation on which to build your social channels’ insights. 

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

The basis of your social media presence is best off being rooted in a purpose. Why are you opting for using social media? Clearly define the purpose of your presence on social media before beginning a campaign. Once you know your purpose, you can begin to set measurable goals that will align with the business objectives you have set. When setting these goals, make sure you create items that are specific, realistic, and bound to a specific timeframe. Creating goals this way allows you to more effectively determine when you have accomplished them, which helps create momentum and move you along. 

Although it is important to set clear goals and objectives in general, it is also important to define goals and objectives for specific social media campaigns. In creating goals for individual campaigns, and further developing those goals using your insights, you can more effectively align the feedback coming in with your business objectives and both targeted goals (think marketing goals), and overall goals. 

Choosing the Right Metrics and Analytics Tools

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are one of the first considerations to be looked into when identifying which analytics tools and metrics to focus on. KPIs that align with your objectives will be any that provide actionable insights from your social networks and other sites; if, for instance, follower growth is one of the KPIs you want to focus on, make sure you select a tool that encourages growth, rather than one that focuses on delivering valuable insights for engagement. 

The analytics tools you select need to be able to measure and track the metrics you have chosen to focus on effectively. This may require multiple tools to cover all of your areas of focus, or only one; determining which ones to select requires that you have your objectives and goals clearly in place. Tools should also have scalability and ease of use as a consideration, as you do not want a tool that measures effectively but feels next to impossible to actually utilize.

Most major social media networks have their own built-in analytics tools that offer their own valuable insights, and this is often a great place to start. In addition to the tools that come along with your social media accounts, you can choose tools that gather data from your social media content and profiles to help you develop a deeper understanding of where you stand on the platform, and deliver insights about how to increase your content performance. For some, a social media management tool is the preferred method, as it tracks analytics while offering a home base from which to operate, while for others, a series of individual tools is best suited. 

Sentiment Analysis: How to Understand Public Sentiment

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Sentiment analysis tools are used to gauge the sentiment toward your brand, services, or products overall, rather than focusing on specific, small instances of positive or negative feedback. Positive and negative sentiments are both identified in sentiment analysis tools, in order to effectively identify where you are succeeding in your social efforts, and where you need to improve. Capitalizing on your strengths can seem simple enough when you have a tool definitively identifying what works in your current efforts, while making changes can be straightforward when an analysis clearly shows where you have struggled to build engagement or your campaign has been poorly received. 

Over time, monitoring sentiment can help detect trends and adjust ongoing strategies according to those sentiments. Monitoring tools function as predictive tools, to some degree, as they allow you to adjust content and even customer service approaches according to public perception. Public perception is powerful, and can make or break a brand’s ability to move forward, so sentiment monitoring can be an essential part of keeping your brand afloat. 

25 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media Insights for Growth

Social media insights are pivotal to developing an effective social media marketing strategy, and social media managers typically leverage these insights to their advantage. From audience insights to algorithm insights, there are important ways to view and implement the knowledge that comes from the data produced by social media metrics and analytics. I have put together 25 of the best ways to leverage social insights to promote growth, to help social media managers and other marketers effectively utilize insights derived from different analytics, metrics, and measurements. 

1. Understand Your Audience Demographics

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Social media insights can help you better understand your audience demographics. Age range, gender, location, and active times and active days can all help inform a more effective social media strategy, and can help you gain a deeper understanding of what your audience may be searching for. Knowing these metrics can help you identify your social media audience and more easily determine what they want. 

2. Analyze Content Performance

Track your engagement, reach, and impressions metrics to thoroughly identify the different types of content that your audience resonates with. This is an important metric to consider when looking at campaign performance, and how to design future campaigns for your social platforms. When a certain content type, length, or subject performs well, you can continue to pursue that line of thought and enjoy the benefits of a greater likelihood of follower engagement and growth. 

Social media conversations can be evaluated to see what your audience is talking about and interested in. Behavioral data can be analyzed to uncover new needs, or needs and preferences that have gone unmet by your company or brand or your competitors. Trends and preferences can be evaluated by social monitoring tools, but they can also be found right on your own pages. 

4. Optimize Posting Times

Insights can also be helpful to determine which times are the most effective ones to post content to ensure maximum visibility to your audience, and the greatest amount of audience engagement. Optimizing your post times can mean posting only at a certain time of day, posting certain days of the week, or both. 

Further Reading: What REALLY are the Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2024?

5. Monitor Brand Mentions

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Using different social media insights, you can track conversations about your brand. This type of insight is useful, because it can help brands understand how their audiences perceive their brand and manage their brand reputation. Monitoring brand mentions can be done in several ways, the simplest of which is to watch hashtags and brand tags on social platforms. Social monitoring tools can also be used across different sites and platforms to get a more thorough idea of how your brand is being discussed, and how you are being perceived. One of my fave tools to help you do this is Brand24.

6. Identify Influencers

Social media insights can also be used to identify any influential individuals who can help your brand by amplifying your messages and reaching a wider audience in the process. Social media users like influencers and even just standard followers can all come together to help increase your reach and influence the ideas and opinions of others in favor of your brand. 

7. Improve Customer Experience

Social media insights deliver information about customer sentiment and feedback which can, in turn, be used to improve customer experience and increase the likelihood of receiving positive feedback. Any issues that have consistently arisen can be addressed or remedied, and overall customer experience will have improved. 

Further Reading: 5 Ways Panera Bread Creates an Engaging Customer Experience – A Case Study

8. Track Competitor Insights

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Conducting a social media analysis of your competitors can help you better understand what people like about competing brands. Competitive intelligence through competitor insights provides possible windows into how other brands’ customers are responding to them, how you can apply their techniques to your own campaigns, and how you can experience business growth on the same level.

9. Refine Targeting

Insights can be used to refine your target audience. Insights can help you better understand social media users’ interests, preferences, and behaviors. This can further narrow down your marketing targets and goals; from customer service to how you manage your social accounts, refined targeting is one of the most significant ways that consumer insights can help your brand. 

10. Optimize Ad Campaigns

Social media insights can help optimize ad campaigns. Insights identify which of your ads perform best and clearly resonate with your target audience. Those insights can then be taken into account to edit ongoing campaigns or inform upcoming campaigns, whether that means altering individual posts or changing the marketing approach entirely. 

Industry trends can be difficult to discern without additional help. To make sure your social media efforts are paying off, use tools to stay on top of industry trends through monitoring social media conversations, and emerging topics and hashtags. This type of social media activity significantly drives the direction of marketing materials and campaigns. 

Further Reading: 13 Social Media Trends You Need to Understand in 2024

12. Enhance Product Development

Social insights can be used to gather feedback on any products or services that you offer, which can then be used to make informed decisions for future development. Common complaints, frequent questions, and more can all influence how you develop products and services in the future. You can also develop different social media marketing efforts based on those social media reports, to make sure marketing and product and development practices are in line. 

13. Improve Customer Support

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Monitoring social media insights can help identify customer issues and deliver timely support. By paying closer attention to customer issues, you can effectively enhance customer satisfaction and build loyalty, even in the absence of stellar social media performance–though, of course, that doesn’t hurt. 

14. Measure Brand Awareness

Metrics like brand mentions, social reach, and brand sentiment can all be measured to determine the impact of your current and ongoing brand awareness efforts. Social media marketing efforts are nothing without being measured against social media benchmarks, and brand awareness is a substantial one to keep tabs on. 

15. Optimize Social Media Strategy

Insights can help evaluate the efficacy of existing social strategy. If your social media monitoring is showing that you have a few areas in need of some changes to business decisions, or some small marketing tweaks, insights can help you make data-driven adjustments to improve the results you are bringing in on your social media posts and general marketing efforts. 

16. Identify Content Opportunities

New topic and content ideas are often uncovered in social media intelligence gathering efforts like insights. Insights help marketers and business owners stay on the forefront of recent trends and ideas, whether it comes through conversations happening in your comments, or general trends on social sites. Coming by content this way will help ensure that your posts resonate with your audience. 

17. Measure Campaign ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is a vital part of determining the success of your marketing campaigns, and business owners are typically eager to take a closer look at their ROI. Fortunately, insights like engagement metrics and referral traffic can help measure ROI, and determine which campaigns are successful, and which may need to be altered or retired. 

18. Identify Customer Pain Points

how can businesses use social media analytics to identify customer pain points and address them effectively
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Social media conversations can be analyzed to help identify the most common customer pain points for your goods and services. Once they have been identified, you can address them directly, or address them in production and service development, or you can address them in the form of improved customer service, altered policies, and more. 

19. Improve Crisis Management

Social media insights can detect and even address potential crises and negative sentiments building around your brand. Because social media insights can be used to identify issues in real time, including the presence of mentions on review sites, these meaningful insights can be used to address crises as they happen and address any negative sentiment that has developed. 

20. Enhance Influencer Partnerships

Insights can help evaluate the effectiveness of influencer collaborations and identify any areas in need of improvement in your influencer partnerships. Influencer relationships are an important part of current and future marketing campaigns, so keeping a close eye on their dynamics can help make sure that your relationships stay stable and intact. 

21. Optimize Customer Journey

Understanding how customers engage with your brand at different stages of the overall customer journey is another useful product of social insights. Your social media followers’ journeys can be optimized using the insights you’ve developed through your plans, or native analytics on your respective platforms. 

22. Measure Customer Satisfaction

Social insights can be used to measure customer satisfaction by analyzing brand sentiment and client or customer feedback. Once these key metrics have been evaluated, you can have a greater grasp of your customer’s satisfaction levels and adjust your practices accordingly.

23. Identify User-Generated Content Opportunities

User-generated content is highly valuable content, for several reasons: user generated content demonstrates a brand’s value, shows customer loyalty, and indicates product or service interest. Social media insights can help identify any user-generated content present, to help bring that to your brand and utilize it for the purpose of marketing. 

24. Improve Content Strategy

Your content strategy will be highly informed by all of the insights you gather. Insights can help you evaluate content performance, in order to make data-driven decisions with which to improve content strategy. Your content strategy is the backbone of your marketing efforts, and without effective content, you cannot reach your social media goals. 

Further Reading: 9 Steps to Build an Effective Social Media Strategy for 2024

25. Stay Informed About Industry Conversations

Social media insights can be monitored to make sure your brand is updated on all industry news, conversations, and trends. Creating content means staying abreast of what is going on in your industry, and knowing what is happening will allow you to more effectively participate in your niche and engage with your audience. 

4 Advanced Techniques for Leveraging Social Media Insights

The tips I have compiled are great for using social insights to manage your social campaigns, strategy, and processes, but there are also more advanced ways to use insights to support your brand strategy and improve your marketing efforts. I have put together some advanced options for utilizing insights to help your brand below, to help take insights to the next level and improve your social platforms. 

1. Harnessing the Power of AI

Exploring AI-driven social media analytics tools can help you develop an even greater understanding of how your social media presence is performing, with the addition of automation tools to deliver rapid alerts and make the process of implementing changes easier. AI can analyze much larger volumes of social media data than standard tools are able to, which means that an AI-driven insights tool can pool from a greater library of resources, and deliver sharper, and more thorough insights. 

AI-powered sentiment analysis is far more powerful than simply poring over your comments and searching Google for mentions of your name or brand. Using an AI tool, you can scan a wide array of sites and platforms to identify any brand mentions or customer sentiment (positive or negative), in order to determine how your brand is being perceived and discussed online. Predictive analyses are also possible with AI; using AI tools, marketers can determine when and what to post in order to improve engagement rate and increase visibility. 

Further Reading: 15 Best AI Social Media Post Generators to Check Out

Niche platforms and trends can be used to uncover insights from emerging social media platforms (think TikTok at its inception). By making sure you cast a wide net with regard to the platforms that you frequent or post on, you can develop targeted marketing campaigns that do not receive as much competition. Current social media trends can be used on emerging platforms and long-used platforms alike, in order to increase the likelihood of increasing visibility and engagement. 

3. Collaborating Across Teams

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Social media insights can also be used to collaborate across different teams within the company or brand. By integrating social media insights across different departments, you can make sure that all members of your team are on the same page and adhering to the goals set forth by the brand or company. Collaborating marketing teams can help optimize social media performance and ensure that all strategies are being used correctly. Sharing insights with sales teams and products teams can ensure that all departments are unified across the board, including on any needed product, service, or customer service changes. 

4. Measuring Impact and ROI

Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) is vital in measuring your impact and ROI in your brand or business. Tracking and analyzing the impact of your brand’s social media efforts is one of the main purposes of taking in insights to begin with; insights are designed to help demonstrate how effective your marketing efforts are. Measuring the impact of your marketing and your return on investment takes your insights intake to the next level, to make sure you are spending money where it is most needed; after all, if your social platforms are using up a large portion of your marketing budget, but not bringing in a good deal of business, you will know to change up your social strategies, or strike out to a different platform altogether. 

Conclusion

Social media insights exist in varying levels of intricacy, depending on the tools you use and the depths of your analyses. Insights are typically offered from each social site itself, in a milder form, while more comprehensive tools exist to conduct a more thorough investigation into any given social platform, or across multiple platforms. Going through social insights can at first be daunting, as there can be a great deal of information stored within these reports, but knowing precisely how to leverage them can ensure that your insights are being put to good use, and your company or brand is consistently experiencing growth through adaptation. 

Do you use social insights regularly? Let me know below! 

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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