4 Steps to Better Understand Your Brand’s Social Media Relationships

social-relationshipsMany brands have moved beyond dabbling in social media to implementing more in-depth social media strategies that require more resources. With more resources comes more scrutiny.

A well thought out social media strategy isn’t complete unless there is a plan in place to measure the results. This is where many brands get tripped up because they aren’t sure how to bring all the required data together for accurate analysis. One aspect of the analysis should be to focus on understanding the relationships your brand has with individuals and how these relationships grow over time.

This type of analysis isn’t easy to perform without either an advanced social media analytics tool or some elbow grease by the brand to collect and then analyze all the data.

To gather the information required to conduct analysis at the individual level, brands should follow these four steps.

Step 1: Social Media Monitoring Data

Utilizing social media monitoring data will allow brands to understand the brand related conversations that occur outside of the properties they control. The use of these tools is fairly common as an engagement platform, but fewer brands utilize the data for in-depth analysis at the individual level.

In order to do this, you must retain the data associated with the engagements that individuals have with or related to the brand over time. This will allow you to begin to understand who is important to your brand, the types of engagements you have with them, and how, over time, the engagements impact the relationship you have with the individual.

Essentially, you’re building relationship profiles for the individuals who interact with or about your brand.

Social media monitoring data doesn’t cover all the relevant conversions.

Step 2: Facebook Graph API Data

Brands can get an abundance of data from the Facebook Insights interface, but it doesn’t go to the level that is required for individual level analysis. Instead, you must make use of the wealth of data that is available via the Graph API.

Here you will gain access to all the information about the wall of the brand’s page, which includes all the engagement that occurs. Once you begin to access this data via the Graph API, you will then be able to start storing the historical data related to the page and begin to build up a repository of data related to the engagement that occurs on the page.

This incredibly valuable data contains information on exactly who engaged, when they engaged, the type of engagements they had, as well as what they said or what they liked.

By utilizing this data, you will be able to quantify the relationships that the brand has with specific Facebook users instead of just looking at the aggregate metrics that are provided by Facebook Insights.

Step 3: Twitter API Data

Similar to Facebook, using the Twitter API will you to retain historical data about how people engage on Twitter with your brand.

By accessing and storing metrics related to your full Twitter stream, you will be able to see if you are successful at creating more engagement by gaining insights into metrics such as the volume of retweets and replies over time and if these engaged users are followers or non-followers.

More importantly, you will also be able to see exactly who the individuals are who are engaging with your brand on Twitter.

You will now be able to understand engagement at the individual level over time by seeing what each person retweets and replies to and what each individual says in their tweets when they mention your brand. This allows you to see the relationship that your brand has with individual Twitter users and how the relationships are cultivated and grow over time.

Step 4: Combine the Data

Once you start collecting the data from each of the sources, you can then begin to combine the individual level engagement data across all three sources.

You now have an incredibly valuable data set that can be used to create relationship profiles for each individual. You will also be able to connect an individual’s accounts across platforms to get a more holistic view of your brand’s relationship with each individual.

Once you have a better understanding of your brand’s relationships, you will be able to categorize or prioritize individuals, which should help the brand cultivate long-term relationships. It will also help find key influencers, potential brand ambassadors, promising new relationships, and even relationships that are at risk.

Taking it a step further, you can then work toward connecting these individuals to your email and CRM systems to truly capture the full picture.

It definitely isn’t an easy feat to pull off, but working toward the end goal of having user level engagement data will allow you to fit another piece into the measuring the impact of social media investment puzzle.

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