Do you use the ‘throw it against the wall and see what sticks’ strategy in planning content?. Do you post a Facebook update or pin a photo and wait to see if someone likes it or repins it.
While this can provide a superficial indication of what content gains traction in social media, it does not provide enough insight to determine the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activity. This is the actual value in using social media analytics properly.
The challenge, of course, is that there is so much noise in social media and discussions move quickly over hundreds of different platforms. Add to that, the complexity of following many different content formats: text, video, audio, gifs, and more. How do you know what to track and when to track it?
The key is to sift through the data to find connections, relationships and community hierarchies. This is a complex task and there are no end of software vendors looking to solve the problem with dashboards, widgets, extensions and apps. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, but for content marketers, those that put your own content at the centre of the picture are most useful.
The point is not to understand the whole social media universe, but to understand YOUR social media universe. What really matters in this context? Where do you fit into those online discussions and communities that are key to your success?
Once you have a handle on this, you can understand better which content resonates most and can foster social conversations around it to expand its digital footprint. You’ll gain insight into who has actual influence (not just popularity) in your community to focus on building relationships of real value.
And that’s the ROI of content marketing: creating relationships of value. Such connections deliver online awareness and brand preference which leads to website traffic and sales. It sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it’s not. It’s difficult because the data is complex.
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