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With 77% of businesses using social media to reach customers, social media marketing is at the front of everyone’s mind. With a good social media strategy, you can raise brand awareness, increase sales, and build customer loyalty.

But, with different platforms, algorithms, and content types, how do you know which metrics to track? What does a social media report include? Is your influencer marketing campaign working, or is it not worth the price tag?

Fine tuning all your data points can provide a better picture of the customer experience with your brand online. I’m here to help you make sense of the data provided by your social media analytics software so you can reap that ROI.

The Fundamentals Of Social Media Analytics

Defining Social Media Analytics

Social Media Analytics, as defined by Gartner, is the practice of collecting data from various social media networks and systematically analyzing it to make informed business decisions.

It goes beyond tracking likes and shares; it's about converting the vast ocean of social media data into actionable insights that can steer you towards success.

To put it simply, social media analytics can be the North Star for marketing teams, leading to strategic decision-making and optimized results.

3 Key Social Media Metrics to Track

To harness the full potential of Social Media Analytics for SaaS, it is imperative to focus on key metrics that resonate with the specific needs and goals of these companies. Let's take a closer look at the metrics that matter most.

1. Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate measures the level of interaction and involvement your content receives on social media platforms.

Most often, social media professionals will add up their total likes, comments, shares, and saves, and divide the total by the number of followers. Then, simply multiply by 100 to get a percentage. While TikTok has the best engagement rate, a good one to shoot for across all platforms is, on average, 1.75%.

2. Conversion Rate

The Conversion Rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action, such as signing up for a trial or making a purchase. A good conversion rate for social media is considered to be between 2% - 5%. Understanding and optimizing this metric is pivotal for assessing the effectiveness of marketing efforts and fine-tuning strategies accordingly.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Gauging customer satisfaction through sentiment analysis is a qualitative metric that holds immense value. It’s the reason why so many brands ask you to rate your experience using their website or customer service portal! And that’s exactly how you can measure it too.

Create a one-question survey to rate your customer’s satisfaction with your service. Add up all the scores and divide the sum by the number of responses. Then multiply by 100 to get your CSAT score as a percentage.

Positive sentiment in social media conversations can be a precursor to brand advocacy, while negative sentiment may highlight areas that need improvement. Aim to have your percentage between 75% and 85%.

Social Media Analytics Tools & Platforms

There are native analytics tools provided by social media platforms themselves, as well as third-party tools that offer a more comprehensive view of performance.

Native Analytics Tools

Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all provide native analytics tools. These tools offer a basic overview of metrics such as likes, shares, follower growth, and comments. While they serve as a good starting point, they may lack the depth needed for a nuanced analysis.

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Third-Party Analytics Platforms

For a more sophisticated and detailed analysis, SaaS companies often turn to the best social media analytics tools. Tools such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer provide a more comprehensive view of social media performance. They go beyond basic metrics, offering features like social listening, competitor analysis, and detailed demographic insights.

Hootsuite

Known for its user-friendly interface and advanced scheduling capabilities, Hootsuite allows users to manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. Its analytics features provide in-depth insights into engagement and audience behavior.

Sprout Social

This platform is applauded for its robust analytics suite and real-time brand monitoring through it’s social listening tools. Sprout Social empowers SaaS companies with data-driven insights for informed decision-making.

Buffer

Ideal for startups and smaller teams, Buffer simplifies social media management with its straightforward interface. While not as feature-rich as some competitors, it excels in social media post scheduling and offers basic analytics to gauge performance.

How To Interpret Data & Take Action

Collecting data is only the first step; the real value lies in interpreting that data to derive actionable insights. Effective interpretation requires the use of data visualization techniques and a deep understanding of the context in which the data is generated.

Data Visualization Techniques

Raw data can be overwhelming and challenging to decipher. Data visualization techniques, such as charts, graphs, and heatmaps, transform complex datasets into visual representations that are easy to understand. Visualizations not only simplify information but also reveal patterns and trends that might be missed in raw data.

Case Studies in SaaS

Netflix

Netflix did a case study to figure out how to better retain their customers. To work towards that goal, Netflix collected data from every interaction with its 150+ million subscribers. The company then used analytics tools to process the data and evaluate everything from how customers navigate the platform to what they watch.

Netflix has found that a substantial 80% of viewer engagement can be attributed to their recommendation algorithm. Through effective data collection and the application of marketing analytics, the company has refined its recommendation engine, compelling viewers to prolong their watching habits and maintain subscriptions. 

The financial impact of this focus on marketing analytics is evident in revenue metrics, with Netflix estimating that its algorithm contributes a staggering $1 billion in value annually, primarily through enhanced customer retention strategies. 

Notably, Netflix has outperformed competitors like Hulu and Amazon Prime in terms of customer retention. With an impressive 90% retention rate, the majority of subscribers consistently choose to renew their Netflix subscriptions month after month. In contrast, Amazon Prime exhibits a 75% retention rate, while Hulu lags behind with a rate of 64%.

Progressive

Progressive is another great example of a case study where marketing and data collided to create happier customers. 

After launching their mobile app, Progressive sought to enhance user experience, streamlining logins to boost satisfaction, customer loyalty, and acquisition. 

Utilizing Google Analytics 360 and Google Tag Manager 360 for data visualization, they prioritized mobile devices for testing, cutting testing time by 20%. Examining crash data, Progressive swiftly addressed a server issue, preventing further disruptions. Creating a custom funnel in Google Analytics 360 to assess login paths, they refined workflows, notably increasing logins by 30%

This case study showcases Progressive's data-driven approach, resulting in streamlined operations and improved user engagement.

Leveraging Analytics For Customer Engagement

The true power of social media analytics is unlocked when it's used to enhance customer care strategies. From identifying customer personas to customizing content, you can use your analytics to create more meaningful interactions.

Identifying Customer Personas

Social media analytics allows SaaS companies to go beyond demographic data and understand their audience demographics on a deeper level. By analyzing social media behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns, companies can create detailed and dynamic customer personas.

These personas serve as invaluable tools for tailoring marketing messages, product features, and customer support strategies to align with the specific needs and preferences of different customer segments.

Content Customization

Personalization is the key to capturing and retaining audience attention, and social media analytics can help with customizing content based on user preferences. When 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when it doesn’t happen, that's important.

By analyzing which types of content resonate the most with different segments of the audience, you can create targeted and compelling content that drives engagement and builds brand loyalty.

Measuring ROI And Impact On Growth

While engagement and customer satisfaction are essential metrics, marketers must also quantify the return on investment (ROI) of their social media efforts. Understanding the financial impact of social media campaigns is critical for demonstrating value and making informed decisions about resource allocation.

Calculating ROI for Social Media Campaigns

Social media ROI is needed to measure the success of your marketing campaigns. To begin, determine the total cost of the campaign, including expenses for content creation, advertising spend, and any other associated costs. Next, track the campaign's gains, such as increased website traffic, engagement metrics, and conversion rates. 

Once you have both the costs and gains, apply the ROI formula: ROI = (Net Gain from Investment / Cost of Investment) x 100.

Net gain is calculated by subtracting the campaign costs from the revenue generated or the value gained. The resulting ROI percentage provides an understanding of the campaign's profitability.

Additionally, consider using tracking tools and analytics platforms to monitor KPIs throughout the campaign, allowing for real-time adjustments and optimization to maximize ROI.

Impact on Customer Lifetime Value

As a campaign generates positive ROI, it not only signifies immediate profitability but also contributes to the long-term value of customers! Engaging and converting customers through social media can lead to increased loyalty, repeat purchases, and a higher likelihood of them becoming brand advocates. 

A positive ROI suggests that the resources invested in the social media campaign are sustaining happy customers, thereby extending the customer's lifetime value. By consistently delivering valuable content and maintaining an active online presence, a business can enhance customer retention, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately maximize the overall lifetime value of customers.

And hey, 76% of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor. This underscores the importance of strategic social media campaigns as integral components of a broader customer-centric business strategy.

Analytics for Scaling Strategies

As a SaaS company grows, so do its social media needs. Analytics provides the insights necessary to scale marketing strategies effectively.

Scalability of Campaigns

By analyzing the performance of past campaigns, you can identify scalable strategies that can be replicated for new products, features, or target markets. This data-driven approach to scalability ensures that marketing efforts align with your company's overall growth objectives.

Audience Expansion

Social media analytics helps you understand the demographics and preferences of your existing audience. Armed with this knowledge, you can strategically expand your audience by targeting new segments that align with your product offerings.

As technology continues to advance, the future of social media analytics is poised for exciting developments. Here are some key trends that are shaping the next frontier of data-driven decision-making.

AI and Machine Learning

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) into social media analytics is revolutionizing the way companies glean insights from data. The AI market in social media is expected to reach $3.71 billion by 2026! These technologies can analyze vast datasets at incredible speeds, identify patterns, and even predict future trends.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics, powered by AI and ML, allow you to anticipate trends and user behavior. By analyzing historical data and identifying patterns, predictive analytics provides a proactive approach to decision-making.

In the same way that Netflix can predict what movies you may like based on what you’ve already watched, you can stay ahead of the curve, adjusting strategies before the competition reacts.

Sentiment Analysis Advancements

We’re well past combing through positive, negative, and neutral mentions as a percentage of total mentions. AI-driven sentiment analysis and social listening is becoming more sophisticated, enabling companies to understand not just the sentiment but also the context behind social media conversations.

This level of nuance ensures more accurate insights, guiding companies in crafting responses and strategies that resonate with their audience.

Ethical Considerations

As we embrace the power of social media analytics, ethical considerations must be at the forefront of your strategies. Privacy concerns and responsible data usage are paramount to maintaining trust with users.

User Privacy

Respecting user privacy is non-negotiable. You have to be transparent about the data you collect and how it is used. Implementing robust data protection measures ensures that user trust is maintained.

Data Security

Ensuring the security of the data collected is essential. SaaS companies should invest in secure infrastructure and follow best practices to protect user data from unauthorized access or breaches.

Responsible Use of AI

As AI becomes more prevalent in social media analytics, companies must ensure that these technologies are used responsibly. Bias in algorithms and unintended consequences of AI-driven decisions should be actively addressed to maintain ethical standards.

The Main Takeaways

Bottom line, from understanding user sentiment to crafting personalized content, the insights gained from social media analytics can elevate marketing strategies and take your campaign performance to new heights.

By embracing these trends and leveraging the full potential of social media analytics, you'll not only stay ahead of the competition but also foster stronger connections with your audience.

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Melissa Glazar
By Melissa Glazar

Melissa specializes in growth marketing and digital marketing. With experience at small to medium sized companies, she has driven social media growth, optimized a sales funnel to work with overall company marketing efforts, and seen enough KPIs to make your head spin. She’s excited to bring her knowledge to you, and knows you’ll find it valuable!