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Social media marketing can be a highly effective tool for facilitating marketing practices. But if you’re not keeping track of your analytics and conducting useful social media analysis on a regular basis, then your efforts could be in vain.

Does one social media network deliver a significant amount of success towards your marketing metrics? Is one tactic or strategy exceptionally effective at converting visitors? Is the format, timing, delivery and management of your social messaging optimal?

Simply put, you’re flying blind if you don’t measure and analyse your efforts. And this should be standard practice for anything that consumes investment.

Conducting regular social media analysis is the only way that you can measure your progress, understand whether your efforts are optimal, and decide if you’re on track to work towards gaining a return on investment from your social marketing campaigns.

Consider the following points as reinforcement as to why social media analysis should be a critical practice in your campaigns.

Help Make Sense Of Social Media

You need to understand the way all the social media platforms work and how people use them. This part of your social media analysis will help you determine whether you’re using the platform optimally and whether you’re addressing your audiences needs sufficiently.

Once you make sense of your social networking platforms, you can make sure your content works for each specifically. Something you post on Facebook is not necessarily going to work on Twitter or Google Plus.

Topics and Trends

Your social media analysis will indicate certain trends around your niche or industry that could provide opportunities otherwise missed. You can check to see if there is certain content formats, types or placements that do better at certain times of the year, and whether you should periodically adjust your content to suit trending topics.

Your social media analysis needs to separate unique trends and topics for the various networking sites you’re active on. For example, breaking news tends to trend very quickly on Twitter, whereas it might be relatively untouched on Pinterest.

To make life easier, sites like Twitter and Facebook have built in functionality to make it really easy to see the most popular topics of the day. Over time, you might discover patterns that you can work to your advantage..

Populating Reports

Reports are always important to demonstrate the value your activities produce. Conducting effective social media analysis will provide the data and knowledge to include in your reports.

If your position or company demands routine reporting, like almost all medium-large businesses inevitably will, then social media analysis is a prerequisite to the reporting process. Remember, your reports are only as good as your analysis.

Look Into Ways to Evolve With Your Coverage

As you progress in your use of social media, your coverage will develop and grow. Are you progressing with your campaigns and delivering upon your objectives, or are your plodding along and doing what you must?

Your social media analysis needs to address this. The ways in which you develop your capabilities will depend on many factors. Ultimately, this will be highlighted after conducting solid social media analysis.

Refining, Improving and Adjusting

As you delve into your social media analysis, you’ll find areas of your marketing that need improving and refining. There will usually be areas that aren’t working as effectively as you expected and hopefully some areas that have succeeded your projections.

Either way, learn from your experiences and make adjustments to help the areas improve. Don’t just acknowledge this – use it to your advantage and actually implement changes.

The next time you analyse your social media campaigns, you can compare progress to past performance to identify any developments and updates. If nothing has really changed, then you’ll need to go back to the planning and refining stage.

If you see a downward shift over time, even after making changes you thought were going to improve the campaign, then you need to think about the reasons behind this. Is your analysis practices identifying the wrong data? Are you interpreting it wrong? Are there any external factors, whether business, personal, technological, social or economical, that are effecting your campaigns? Are these in or out of your control?

How To Analyse Your Social Media Efforts

Check out this infographic by The ODM Group about how to analyse your social media efforts.

Improve Campaigns Through Social Media Analysis [Infographic]

Infographic Courtesy of: odmgrp.com

Start Using Tools

Now that you know how important social media analysis is, it is time to use social media monitoring tools to assist in your efforts. There are many available, and they make the watching and learning process so much easier. Consider further complimentary tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite to help in collecting your social media data for analysis.

Are You Improving Your Campaigns Through Social Media Analysis

If you’re not moving forwards, you’re moving backwards. Start analysing your social media campaigns and you’ll be in a much better position to make strategic decisions and get the most out of social media as a tool for business.

Are you conducting effective social media analysis on a regular basis?

Has the outcome of your social media analysis impacted on your campaign progress?