- Posted by Erin O'Bannon
- On February 16, 2017
Business leaders want to understand the return they are getting from social media marketing investments, just like all other marketing channels. Additionally, they want to understand how their brand’s efforts are doing compared to the competition and overall industry.
Today, brands can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to see real-time performance of their social media efforts and to develop a social media competitor analysis.
Use social media analytics to improve your marketing
Most social networks offer analytics and insights for the profiles you manage. Plus, there is no shortage of social media management tools that import data into a centralized dashboard.
Advanced social media tracking tools use APIs to gather data from multiple sources in real time and eliminate the manual process. Instead of logging into each different platform one by one, then wading through Excel spreadsheets, you can access the data all in one place, with the key metrics front and center. A process that used to take days or weeks is cut down to the minute it takes you to log in.
But the data always requires some level of digging to surface the metrics most important to your business. Is your audience growing? Is your audience engaging with your content?
In social media, the major metric is engagement.
Major social networks use algorithms to bubble higher-engaging content to the top of users’ feeds. Therefore, if your audience doesn’t find your post engaging, no one will even see it, and you won’t reach your business goals. While Ana Gotter was speaking specifically about Instagram in 3 Instagram Analytics Tools for Marketers, “tracking engagement will help you serve quality content that keeps you at the top,” also applies to Facebook and most other networks.
You need to track which content is getting the most engagement and with which audience segments. As Dominique Jackson explains in 9 Ways Social Media Measurement Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy, “social media measurement enables businesses to make better decisions. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can make changes to improve your strategy going forward.”
Knowing what content engages people, you can begin to produce more relevant posts that your target audiences will love.
Use AI to gain a competitive advantage on social media
Social monitoring tools give an idea of what competitors are doing online and what consumers are saying about them. “Social listening will give you insights into what your main competitors are doing online,” as Dara Fontein describes in A Guide to Social Media Listening for Your Business. But most social listening platforms can’t provide any benchmarking metrics to compare your brand’s performance.
That is changing. The next generation of marketing software will not only listen to what people are saying about your competitors, but analyze individual pieces of their content to see what is resonating. With that information, you can optimize your messages and communication for more personalized engagements.
Use AI to surface the elements that make a post more engaging
In the past, finding the patterns in highly-engaging content required more time spent in spreadsheets.
But now Machine Learning looks for similarities across much larger data sets and in much less time. The advanced capabilities of big data analytics, like natural language processing and image recognition, give computers the ability to surface patterns in deployment elements (publish date, time, frequency), content (keywords, hashtags, media type, colors, subject matter, etc), and promotion (advertising spend) within top-performing posts.
“Real-time, quantified insight is one of the great competitive advantages of monitoring social media” argues Ryan Holmes in his post 3 Ways to Use Social Media to ‘Listen’ to the Competition. With AI, you can skip sorting through millions of data points and automatically get a social media report on what is working.
The same way social media analysis programs, like Crimson Hexagon, “can present customers with insights they can understand without them having to think about trawling through millions of pieces of data,” AI for content marketing can go a step further and present recommendations for what to post next.
That means you will have a blueprint for highly captivating content based on the historical performance of all your posts (plus your competitors’ posts and the industry as a whole with Cortex). The best part is it instantaneously updates with new information.
Recommendation engines have been improving our lives for several years by applying historical insights to current and future actions. Think product suggestions on Amazon, show suggestions on Netflix, route suggestions on Waze, who to follow suggestions on Twitter.
How many times have you required the data behind these recommendations before you follow them? If it is right, do you even need the data?
In conclusion, the importance of social media within the marketing mix will only grow, but the need to tie efforts to results will increase as well. As technology continues to advance, leading organizations will adopt AI marketing software to enhance their social media measurement, gain competitive intelligence and optimize content performance.