Digital analytics can transform small media outlets' social media use. Here are five tips on how to refine your activities.
Social media is making it easier than ever before to interact directly with readers, viewers, and listeners. DW Akademie’s new Social Media Analytics Guidebook helps media professionals engage more successfully with their online audiences.
These tips show how you can make better use of your social media channels with the help of digital analytics:
1: Use social media with a purpose
Explicitly link your social media activities to your overall business goals. Put in writing why you are using social media and how social media can help your business. For example: “Younger people are less likely to listen to the radio than older people and are more likely to consume entertainment and news through their phones. By using Facebook, we aim to create a connection between our station and under 30-year-olds to support the station’s long-term viability.”
2: Decide what you want to measure
Avoid being overwhelmed by the many things you could measure and increase your impact by focusing on what really matters to your station. If you want to reach more women, track the monthly growth of female social media followers. If you want to increase traffic for your website, look at how many people click on your links. The most relevant measurements for your station will be the ones that can be linked to your business objectives.
3: Understand your audience
Often, audiences for on-air and online media are not the same. Social media analytics can help you understand who your online users are, where they live, when they are online and what kind of content they like. By analyzing your social media channels, you can create content that is more relevant to your audience and reach them when they are receptive to hearing from you.
Analytical data looks at what you have done in the past, but it’s down to you to develop new, creative ideas for the future. One of the dangers of social media analytics is that it can lead you down a path where you only do what has worked before. This can be detrimental when trends or technology changes. Therefore, occasionally try something new — for example for a few weeks — and measure how your experiment is performing. You might discover a new trend!
5: Build in-house capacity to make informed decisions
By investing in training and designating staff to regularly check your social media data, you will gradually build the capacity to recognize and understand long term trends. The key is to tie this to your activities and goals, and empower your staff, so that their analysis can directly inform necessary changes.
Timo Lüge is an independent communication expert and author of DW Akademie's social media analytics guidebook.