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“Social media is a complex topic of conversation.”

This is a myth that needs debunking.

Sure, we’ve all seen social media data get lost in translation. When you read a 10-page analytical document without any context or explanation, it’s sure to elicit a few head scratches. But, what if we told you there was a way to make any social media conversation not only easier, but more productive? The formula goes something like this: understand the terms, determine the relevance and apply the data to your brand’s core business objectives. Here are a few tips for better understanding your social media analytics for more productive, results-driven conversations.

  1. Start with the Basics

Social media concepts like “Engagement Rate” and “Impressions” are easy when you distill them to their most basic elements. For example, “Engagement Rate” can easily be translated to “How many people Like, Share or Comment on a post divided by total reach,” or, simply put, a key indicator that your brand is resonating with your audience. If you’re looking for some inspiration, Orange Label has created a Glossary of Social Media Terms that defines a variety of key words and phrases in a clear and accessible way.

  1. Know Your Audience

The second key to unlocking social media analytics is knowing your audience. Creating in-depth audience descriptions can benefit social media strategies in several ways: They inform content at a creative level, they influence audience targeting and they provide key insight into social media trends. Accounting for those little details – location, age, hobbies and behaviors – will help your content reach and resonate with people who are most likely to engage with your brand. If a post didn’t perform as well as you had hoped, refer to your audience description and ask, “How relevant is this content to my core/target audience? Is it phrased in a way that strikes an emotional chord with this audience? Do I need to customize my target audience even further?” Answering these questions will enhance your social media strategy moving forward.

  1. Use Charts and Graphs

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65 percent of people are visual learners, meaning they comprehend information more efficiently when it’s presented as an image. If you’re having trouble grasping a social media concept, try mocking it up in the form of a diagram, chart or graph. Using a visual aid will showcase the social data in a new light, bringing clarity to complex topics. Since visual learners remember 75 percent of what they see, these visual aids are also useful for retaining these social concepts in the long-term.

  1. Stay Up-to-Date on Social

Social media is constantly evolving – every day seems to bring new terminology and services to the table. To stay up-to-date and educated on new social media trends, keep your finger on the pulse of the social media conversation. From policies and legislation to innovative features and programs, the latest headlines offer endless opportunities to enhance social strategies for maximum impact. If you haven’t already, setup mobile news alerts for keywords like “social media” and “social media marketing.” As you learn these new topics, be sure to share information with team members, so they, too, can clearly and effectively speak to current social media trends.

  1. Always Consider the Big Picture

Think of it this way – social media is just one piece of a very large strategic puzzle, and, in order to understand its value, it’s important to see how it contributes to the big picture. When you have your brand’s long-term vision in mind, it’s important to understand where your audiences are at all stages of the buying cycle and how key indicators of success relate through social media touchpoints. If the key business objective is to expand brand awareness, relevant outcomes, like engagement and reach, should be reviewed first and foremost. Doing so will put the numbers into perspective and clearly demonstrate how social impacts the brand as a whole. Reporting that, “our brand saw high engagement rates this month,” is not enough and understanding how that data provides value: “High engagement means people are liking and sharing our social content, which means more online exposure and more sales, bottom line.”

At Orange Label, we translate social media data into actionable, ROI-driven strategies. If you want to learn how to maximize the impact of your social media analytics, click here.

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