Crunching the numbers on your social-media efforts - SmartBrief

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Crunching the numbers on your social-media efforts

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This post is by SmartBrief’s Doris Nhan.

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question:  To what extent are you willing to invest in analyzing your company’s social-media results?

  • We rely on free, automated numbers from various social platforms — 39.39%
  • We have someone in-house to do more in-depth analysis —  25.25%
  • We don’t have a monitoring program in place — 23.23%
  • We’ve hired a consultant or a paid service to evaluate our performance — 12.12%

This week’s poll analysis is a probe of social-media analytics. Simply put, using social-media sites without measuring your company’s success — or failure — in these platforms, is like getting feedback questionnaires from your customers but never bothering to read them. The 111 SmartBrief on Social Media readers who responded this week indicated that, while widely recognized, social-media analytics have yet to capture as much attention as social media itself has.

The 23% who said they do not have a monitoring program may represent the few who use social-media tools without analysis, but it’s also important to note that some of these readers may not use social-media tools at all.

While a good chunk of those polled said they have some sort of analytics process in place, the largest share say they rely on automated numbers generated by social-media tools. And while the statistics collected from these sites represent a good start, that’s all it is. The nearly 40% of respondents who use automated numbers shows a positive awareness of the importance that analytics has within social media, but that is just the beginning.

Like poll numbers and feedback questionnaires, automated statistics need to be analyzed for trends — then reacted to — if anyone has a hope of using social media to its greatest potential. While it seems expensive to devote one person to crunching online numbers, analysis should be an integral part of any social-media program. Connecting automated figures with a human touch allows for greater insights into the data while keeping the company’s interest in mind. Social media should be embraced as both the website interface and the monitoring tools. They are meant to work together and gather feedback in a realm where many customers — and their opinions — are flocking.

Have you begun to re-evaluate where your company stands in its commitment to investing in social media — monitoring, analytics and all? Is it the future, as some tout, or is it just a fad like bell-bottoms and acid-washed jeans?