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The social media landscape and its importance in the larger marketing strategy of business are growing all the time. It’s not just the Big 4, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, that are acting as branding mouthpieces of B2B and B2C brands. Other social media channels are also making their presence count. Case in point being Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.
The number of active users across different social media channels boggles the mind. As of September 2012, Facebook had 1 Billion active users and a relatively new social media phenomenon like Pinterest has over 20 million active users and counting. You know where I am heading. Businesses can no longer afford to pick and choose from the various social networks available. Each one of them has its own unique selling proposition.
While Twitter is a great platform for professional branding using personal communication, Facebook helps businesses provide a comprehensive social media message replete with pictures, videos and all kinds of textual content. If you want to directly take your brand to industry professionals, a presence on LinkedIn is a must and Google+ is a coming together of tremendous benefits that Google brings to the table. If you are looking for sales ready users, Pinterest is the platform to beat.
Monitoring Social Media Channels
Use Multiple Social Media Channels
Today you can’t do without well-rounded social media presence. All channels are interrelated and each of these channels is a touch point in your customer conversion funnel. There are social media channels that support traffic generation, while there are others that manage your business’s reputation, and there are still others that help you identify potential leads.
You can’t afford to ignore any one of them. The mix of social media channels that you prefer to work with can differ depending on your business’s niche but there is no doubt that you can’t ignore the use of multiple social media channels to drive business profitability.
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Problem of Plenty
If you want your social media presence to deliver value, you need to be able to make sense of all the turbulence and frothiness associated with social media. Social media can offer incisive customer insights, identify critical buying behavior patterns, improve customer services and increase customer retention. But only if you are able to monitor social media and track all your social media channels and analyze and evaluate their results. You must be able to organize and manage your social accounts seamlessly to ensure the continued success of your social media presence.
The idea is to control your social work flow, identify the actionable intelligence from the word clouds and automated reports that are more of distraction than anything else. This is a huge challenge.
It’s a challenge because your business’s presence is spread across diverse social media channels. Your presence on different social networks like Facebook, Twitter etc. will be tracked using diverse metrics and will yield different results.
For example, if you are evaluating your YouTube presence, performance metrics like video views, audience retention (amount of video watched by target audience), number of subscribers, ratio of views to number of user interactions come into play. On the other hand, the performance of your Twitter presence is dependent on metrics like follower count, number or retweets, comparison with peers and others.
The sheer diversity of metrics makes monitoring a real challenge.
Does the Answer Lie in Social Media Monitoring Tools?
The simple answer is that it does.
But, there is a problem here. No, the problem isn’t the quality of the available tools but the sheer number of different social media monitoring tools available in the market. Most of us end up using different tools for different social media channels. In such cases, what we are essentially doing is using different dashboards to track different results, a recipe for disaster, if there was one.
To keep track of all the results and social data pouring in from different dashboards is a situation made in hell and something that cannot be kept up with for any amount of time. So should we use them or shouldn’t we?
Of course, we should and this isn’t a debatable point but the focus must be on using a single dashboard for keeping track of all your social media channels and monitor social media from one place.
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Benefits of Following the Single Dashboard Strategy
Monitoring social media business metrics from a single command center allows you to take control of all your business data from one place. You don’t have to access different tools every morning to see how your business is doing. You can simply create a customized dashboard to track all the information you want.
A business analytics tool like Cyfe is a good example of a one-stop dashboard that helps you track business performance form a single place. Apart from getting brand-specific Facebook Insights data you also get access to YouTube Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Google Trends information and a range of other social and search data and all this from a single location.
As the assimilation, evaluation, and analysis of all information about your brand performance on different social channels takes from one place, you get a clearer picture of your brand presence and its engagement with its target customers at various levels. You can make better sense of all the actionable intelligence at your disposal. You spend less time monitoring social media results scattered all across the Web, and more time using this data to improve your social media presence.
It Just Makes Good Sense
You don’t have to be a genius to realize monitoring social media data using a single dashboard is way better than using different social media monitoring tools to track your social media presence. It just makes better sense.