Social media analytics (SMA) are of four different forms, namely, descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics. There is a lot of data floating around on social media. Social media analytics is used for extracting valuable business insights from social media data. Social media analytics turns big data; semi-structured and unstructured data, into useful actionable business insight for making money and to take informed strategic business decisions.
Descriptive analytic also referred as exploratory analytics, helps to aggregate social media data in nuggets forms of:
This helps to identify business problems.
Descriptive analytics is reactive in nature and answers to what – What has happened till now? Why it happened in a particular way?
Descriptive analytics work on readily available data such as user comments on social media to understand the market trends, needs, preferences, moods and sentiments of the current market. The simplest form of analytics we can think of falls under the category of descriptive analytics and it is more suited for historical account or past data.
Importance of Social media analytics (Descriptive analytics) for businesses
The most common use of descriptive analytics for social media as we think of could be to mine the user sentiments, their needs and preferences to support strategic marketing and to improve customer service satisfaction.
Through user comments, liking and disliking, the hype that is created on social media for a product or service of a business, allow the business to learn from past behavior, and understand how these things might influence future outcomes for a business and ultimately how to improve and provide highest level of satisfaction to its customers. And undoubtedly all this is possible because of descriptive analytics.
In the present scenario, every business marks its presence on possibly every social media platform as social media data can be useful for businesses to understand not only about its customers but also about its potential competitors also help to discover an untapped opportunity for businesses.
The role of descriptive analytics comes later as first it is important to know your social media objectives and goals inside out as more clarity you have on what you want to achieve from social media, the better the results can be obtained through descriptive analytics.
The key metrics regarding social media as to when you use descriptive analytics are:
Engagement – It tells about the level of engagement your social media posts manage to receive in terms likes, dislikes, shares, comments, etc.
Mentions – It tells about how often your brand name or about your product and service has been mentioned on various social media platforms.
Sentiments – It draws attention on the kind of social media users have towards your brand, products and services and even towards your competitors.
Viral – It tells how viral or sensational your social media post is and how fast it is being shared across a network.
Visual Mentions – It tells you the number of times your brand logo in visuals posted on a particular social networking site.
Percentage Share of Voice – It tells about the percentage of mentions related to your brand on social media compared to your potential competitor’s percentage of mentions.
The comments people leave on social media posts, comes under descriptive analytics. When you analyze social media comments, you tend to understand user sentiments and thereby offer things in a way to improve customer satisfaction.
Use of descriptive analytics on social media
Most of the social media analytics are descriptive analytics and are based on standard aggregate functions in database and data mining functions. Descriptive analytics help to summarize things based on simple counts of some events. The number of likes, mentions, posts, fans, followers, these are mere event counters. The metrics used for social media analytics are average number of replies on every post, average response time, number of views on page, etc. The outcomes received from social media through descriptive analytics help to understand what actually happened in the past and use past results to make calculated decisions to make improvements based on basic parameters like page views, comments, etc.
Descriptive analytics helps in sentiment analysis engagement
Sentiment analysis is one of the most important cases for descriptive analytics. As the access to social media is very easy, the customers and even the employees write about industries/ brand about their products and services and in case of dissatisfaction they vent out their sentiments and when they are satisfied they praise that particular brand, by analyzing the sentiments of people help know about reach and popularity of that brand whether in positive or negative way and so as to take corrective actions and understanding how best to engage people. Every industry wants to engage people in them this is best possible by analyzing their sentiments and the results can be shown in form of bar/pie chart form depending on type of need or question.
Ways in which Social analytics (descriptive analytics) help
Descriptive analytics help to measure the overall success of your social media content and help to achieve much more than the efforts made.
Here are 5 ways in which social analytics can help:
To serve audience better – There are various ways to understand your audience by analyzing their followings, likes, comments, shares and to serve your audience accordingly in the best possible way. And this can be better done by social analytics as it will help to know in what direction to steer marketing efforts. For example there’s a lot of talk on what is the best time to post any social media content. As you leverage social analytics and analyze your existing contents, you will get to know what time has worked for you in the past. In this way we can understand our audience better and can improve their experience by serving them according to their needs.
Social analytics tell what Social networks should focus on – Every social media platform is unique with unique audience. So every social media platform will work differently for you. Some social networks have huge number of users such as Twitter, when compared to smaller social network such as LinkedIn. Here social analytics will help to know which social network is driving more engagement, traffic and may be even sales to your business. In this way you will get to know on which social network to focus on and spend time and budget to achieve better results.
Helps to know about your competitors – Even if you are operating in niche, you will have competitors who may be leveraging social media very actively. By analyzing the contents and strategies of your competitors, you can refine your own contents and strategies and earn higher return.
Formulate better social media posting strategy – By using correct social media metrics, you can have better social media strategies. By regularly looking into your social media analytics, you can find out mistakes and avoid them when creating and posting social media content.
Helps to save time – It is important to save time while doing marketing on social media. By keeping track of your results and making use of various tools will help you get better results, faster.
As seen above there are several benefits of descriptive analytics. It can help to improve your customer service satisfaction by analyzing customer sentiments and serving them in the best possible way. It also helps to support marketing strategies and take calculated business decisions.