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5 Reasons Why You Need Social Reporting

In 2011, over 40 percent of companies were turning to social media platforms to market their brands, according to a Regus survey. However, where they’re really missing a trick is by failing to effectively analyse the data that these sites generate. This in turn means they’re failing to maximise ROI on social media engagement — and that’s a serious mistake. It is all too easy to just assume that the effort is translating into having an impact, but in fact what brands need to do is  specifically examine what is and isn’t working and why, to craft and maintain their presence.

Here are five reasons why social reporting is key.

1. You can identify conversions. The evolution of web analytics and the insertion of proprietary tags on digital properties, allows brand managers and CMOs to measure and monitor which calls-to-action are currently the most successful on their websites. This way they can track exactly where they’re excelling and where they may need to boost their efforts.

2. It can help you to spend your time more wisely. Engagement, reach, and other quantitative data help marketers to determine where to invest more time for the maximum effect.  Social Media Examiner’s 2011 analysis found marketers who spend six hours or more per week on social media have stronger lead generation, and 78 percent report an increase in website traffic. But the key to using their time effectively is knowing exactly where their energies are best directed. Using analytics can help brand managers maximise results while minimising effort.

3. You can better understand your customers. Analytics can provide insight into what, when, where, and how customers are interacting with a particular brand. For instance, Mashable reports that businesses who post outside normal business hours see a 20 per cent increase in engagement. After all, if a brand is targeting working professionals, posting updates during the business hours for this segment is ineffective as a brand will be unable to engage with prospective customers during the working hours. This is a great example of why brand managers need to use analytics to get a more comprehensive picture of their target audience.

4. You are empowered to look at the big picture. Beyond the day-to-day, analytics help you look at long-term growth. Too often data analysts focus on narrow data sets and forget how the data is applied to the rest of the business. Kaushik.net praises data analysts who report on economic value, conversions, and profitability (big picture metrics) because these metrics are usually what's most important to businesses. For example, the analytical ability to have deeper insights across the consumer life cycle journey could potentially lend itself to other areas of business, such as the supply chain, which can benefit from better inventory planning based on these insights.

5. You are able to calculate the real benefits of social media. At the end of the day, the one question that CMOs and brand managers want an answer to is, “Are my campaigns increasing the bottom line?” With social reporting, brand managers are able to track revenue and costs associated with specific campaigns. Key to this is understanding how a campaign can be delivered at lower cost through increased re-use of digital assets, automation of repeatable tasks, increased standardisation and better compliance.

Businesses not monitoring social metrics are missing opportunities to refine and focus messages to their target consumers, drive conversions, and boost ROI. Ultimately, utilising social reporting is something they can’t afford not to do. Businesses need to go that step further and translate the collected information to actionable insights.