How Your Agency Can Support Clients Better with Social Data
The State of Social Media Marketing 2017: Agency Edition
In our 2017 State of Social Media Marketing Agency Report, we discovered that social marketers at agencies are doing a lot for their clients: creating content, monitoring social media profiles, and building strategies from the ground up, while providing social analytics support and data and campaign analysis.
While social analytics is an important service that agencies provide for clients, agencies are struggling to find the budget necessary to gain access to all relevant social data. Once the data is obtained, agencies are unsure of how exactly the data should be used to better support their clients.
Our survey found that 43.6% of agencies said they disagree or strongly disagree that they know how to use social data to adjust their clients’ social strategies.
Data is a social marketer’s best friend, and it can be used to inform more strategic and effective social campaigns. Our survey revealed that more than a third of agencies provide social analytics support to nearly all of their clients, indicating that social data is crucial in reporting back to clients the success of their social campaigns.
Since social analytics is so integral to how agencies support clients, we wanted to learn more about how agencies are collecting social data. Our survey found that most agencies (47.2%) are using native platform analytics to gather social data, followed by external social analytics softwares. A small number of agencies (10.4%) are manually monitoring social media accounts to gain insight into campaign effectiveness.
However, these options still don’t seem to be enough, as agencies also reported that analytics software was their greatest need in order to do their best work.
That said, budget is a huge barrier to gaining access to all of the social data that agency marketers need. Only 16.3% of agencies report that they have the budget to acquire all of their needed social media software. A majority of agencies (83.6%) either have limited budgets or no budget at all for social analytics software.
The conversation surrounding social data in agencies is looping us around in a giant circle. Social analytics is a large part of how agencies support their clients, yet agencies do not have the budget to fully support these efforts. Current methods of collecting and analyzing data do not quite meet marketer demands, as additional analytics software is reported as the greatest need.
Our survey reveals that agencies are in a bit of a conundrum. Clearly, larger budgets would enable agencies to provide their clients with the best possible social analytics, but I’m sure many of you out there find that advocating for resources to support social media is a difficult task—one reason being that marketers just don’t know how to use social data to its fullest potential, as mentioned earlier.
So here’s a question.
If agencies knew how to use social data to enhance the ways they support their clients’ social strategies, would finding the budget for social analytics software would be easier? Just to be safe, here are three ways social data can help agencies better support their clients.
Listen More Effectively, Create Better Content
Social listening will help you gain a great amount of insight into the minds of your clients’ followers to inform a more effective social strategy. Here’s what you should listen for when monitoring social media:
- What your audience is talking about and what they are sharing most often
- What your audience is saying about your brand, industry, products, services, and competitors
- What your audience is sharing (including on dark social)
- What your audience’s engagement level is with influencers, trending topics, and relevant events
Here’s how we at Simply Measured can intently listen to social in order to create content that resonates with our audience.
Using Simply Measured Listening, we can identify keywords that are used most often when people mention or talk about Simply Measured. The most noticeable keyword is our owned hashtag #SOS2017, which was created for our 2017 State of Social Marketing Report. While it’s humbling to see that our annual report is making noise on social, we are more interested in identifying conversations that are occurring organically so that we can join in on those trending conversations and expand into new audiences.
Other keywords being used when people mention or talk about Simply Measured include content marketing, budget, sales, and influencer marketing. These would all be great conversations to join, and by using those hashtags, we are more likely to be found by people already interested in those topics. Going deeper into the data, we can narrow down the influencer marketing conversation even further.
Word clouds like the ones above enable us to identify broad topics related to our brand or industry that are causing a lot of conversation on social. We can then narrow down those topics even further by segmenting smaller conversations within the broader topic. This word cloud showcases the keywords used when people are talking about influencer marketing, including “analyze” and “strategies.”
From the data collected, we now know that our audience is interested in influencer marketing and can create content that aligns with that topic. For example, we can create and promote content that provides specific strategies to implement an influencer program, or can provide insight into how social marketers can analyze the success of their influencer programs.
Track Client Content to Identify and Invest in Their Strongest Channels
Using a social analytics solution, you can track the journey of your clients’ social content and identify which platforms generate the most value, specific to the type of content you share.
In this example of Simply Measured Content Share Tracking, we are able to determine where content is being shared most often, and on which channels, including dark social (private messaging via Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc.). Content Share Tracking also helps you quantify the business value of your clients’ shared content, by social platform, so that you can report back to your clients how much social is contributing to their bottom line.
For example, Facebook is this our best performing social channel and leads to the highest earned business value. We can dive deeper into the types of content being shared, and the conversations we are joining on Facebook, to create new content specifically for that platform, based on what is being shared most often.
Analyze Client Campaigns and Adjust Accordingly
Refer back to your social listening and content share tracking solutions to gauge the effectiveness of your clients’ social strategies. Analytics solutions can guide you through specific pathways to discover challenge areas or gaps in their social strategy, and can help identify areas where their social marketing efforts are most rewarded. You also are provided insight on audience engagement, reach, and impressions.
Here’s a look at the Simply Measured Facebook account and the total engagement between July 1 and August 31, 2017. Our Facebook posts generated 276 total likes, comments, and shares in July and August, with peak engagement days on August 3rd and August 9th.
To guide our future Facebook strategy, we can dig deeper into the data to determine why engagement spiked on August 3rd and 9th. Below are the top five Facebook posts from July and August, with the top post generating 18 likes, comments, and shares. The most engaging piece of content was a Facebook Live video, broadcasted on August 9th, one of the peak engagement days. During our Facebook Live broadcasts, we discuss the latest news in the social media industry and include links to the articles we talk about.
From a broader perspective, we can conclude that live video is a strategy we need to continue because it performs well. Narrowing down our perspective, we can then look into the content included in the video to determine whether the topics discussed and the news shared contributed to higher engagement. Or was this particular video shared on a day or time when our target audience is generally engaged on social?
Asking these types of questions will provide us greater insight into why some content performs better than other content, and we can better gauge the success of our overall social strategy by analyzing the components involved.
If you are an agency supporting your clients’ social efforts, social analytics solutions will enable you to more effectively listen to conversations and identify topics of interest for your clients’ audiences. You can track client content to determine which channels are generating the most engagement and contributing the most business value. Using social data, you can continuously evaluate social campaigns and adjust strategies to meet the needs of your clients.
If you’re convinced that social data can help you better support your clients, check out our new Agency Partner Program and let us help you do more for your clients.
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Bryan is the Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. He spoils his dog, is a fitness fanatic, and loves research and writing.