Every day, your customers spend time scrolling, clicking, talking, and creating on social media. The almost non-stop use of social media results in endless amounts of social data for marketers to take advantage of. Still, only 23% of marketers use their social data to measure ROI, and 16% use it for competitive insights.
The data and insights available through social media can and should power an entire company. However, social data is only powerful if you can use, analyze, and apply it. That’s why more and more companies are hiring social media analysts.
Whether you have an in-house social team, offer social media management in your agency, or outsource social networks, a social media analyst is a valuable player on your team.
Familiarize yourself with data.
It is your armor.
– Christina Garnett @ (@ThatChristinaG) December 18, 2020
What is a Social Media Analyst?
A social media analyst is someone who continuously evaluates your brand’s data, campaign and content performance, and social listening data and translates that into actionable business recommendations.
The basics of their role include:
- Convenience with social media analysis tools for reporting on critical KPIs
- Problem solving to support overall social performance and achieve goals
- Understand social platforms and how each of them impacts audience behavior and content performance in a unique way
- Realize how social data can expand every aspect of their business and help others see social networks differently
Often times, companies will move analyzing social media data to other roles in social media and community managers. By adding an analyst to your social media team and giving them most of the data-related tasks, people in these other roles can get back the bandwidth they need to do what they do best – target audiences, create innovative content , Providing customer care, and more.
It’s true that every social media marketer should have a basic understanding of key performance indicators (KPIs), reporting, and goal tracking, but not all of us are numbers people. Social media analysts are. Data is what it does best.
These are the basics of a social media analyst job description, but the analysts that really go way beyond that contribute to business growth in these six ways.
1. You bring data to secure decisions
There are so many moving parts in any social strategy that you want to be confident that your strategy is working. A social media analyst can make sure the numbers are there to support your decisions.
Analysts track how your content, engagement, and publishing strategies are evolving. But they don’t just wait for results and then report back: they actively track data as it happens. They always have the pulse and the insights to contribute to content, digital, social and other marketing strategies. Ultimately, they can help others do their jobs better.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing.
What works for one brand may not work for another.
You need to be the one setting your goals and using data to decide which approaches are best for your brand.
– Jon-Stephen Stansel (@jsstansel) December 29, 2020
For example, suppose a content creator wanted to understand what types of graphics and images to start, stop, or continue creating. The social data analyst would provide their own data that validate or question assumptions about what is working. You’re not just saying, “People like GIFs.” They test variables, find patterns in your performance data, highlight specific examples, and bring their historical knowledge of receiving content to the table. They then follow up on their recommendations and keep an eye on the data. So if things don’t go as predicted, they are ready to adjust, refine, and make new recommendations.
2. You bring the team together
Analysts also actively bring people together to share their insights without waiting for others to come to them. They invite strategists, creatives, community managers, paid media specialists and other stakeholders to the table. In these meetings, it is the job of a social media analyst to share data in a way that everyone can understand. Not only do they share numbers, they tell a story, share visualizations, and cater to all learning styles.
For example, if an analyst said, “In February, our top engagement types on Twitter were likes, up 9.5% month-over-month, and link clicks, up 15% month-over-month. However, responses went down to 137 for the month. “To a visual learner or someone who is not that familiar with your benchmarks, this may not mean much. Fortunately, tools like Sprout Social have automated data visualizations so analysts can show engagements crumbling instead of just narrating.
3. They not only share what is happening, they also analyze why
It is not enough to share raw numbers or qualitative data and say, “It is what it is.” The best social analysts also investigate why.
Let’s say your content has reached a plateau and social engagement has been going down month by month. Analysts put on their detective hats and get to work. Using analytics tools like Sprout Social, they can look back on historical performance, identify anomalies, and examine specific variables that can affect engagement metrics.
You can take certain actions, such as: B. Sentiment towards your brand and change over time. If it shrinks or drops dramatically, analysts can go deeper to review negative news and find more detailed information that might shed some light on why your content is performing poorly.
4th You can predict results
With so much social media marketing, it’s about planning content calendars and looking ahead. But how can you safely plan for the next three to six months when things are constantly changing? The answer is social data.
With social data, analysts can turn hunches into real and actionable ideas. You’ll notice recurring patterns, analyze relevant hearing data, evaluate the types of content that consistently engage your audience, and see how the performance of content across channels changes over time.
With this information, you can create more targeted content for your target audience, apply collective insights to larger marketing campaigns, and even display valuable product feedback.
5. They don’t just focus on their own brand
To understand your own brand health, you need to compare your social performance and exposure to the top competitors in your industry.
Competitive analysis is a crucial skill for analysts. It helps them give you a deeper insight into what strategies work in your industry, how products and services are differentiated, where there are gaps in your content, and how you need to adapt to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Analysts can manually review competitors in Sprout using competitor reports and social listening tools to simplify the process.
Analysts also search industry trend reports, social channel data reports, and internal customer data to secure your social data. In addition, they use social listening data to add an extra layer of cultural context – a benefit that social media offers in a unique way.
Once analysts have the data, they should share their findings far and wide so teams across their organization can use this competitive analysis to create new or improved products, campaigns, or creative resources.
6. They help you cope with a crisis
In addition to being useful for retrospective reporting, social media analysis can lead to proactive decisions – which is vital in a crisis.
For example, Indiana University (IU) analysts used Sprouts Premium Analytics to help manage an emerging crisis. When a half a million follower Twitter account spotted some insensitive tweets from a permanent IU professor, the social team set up a listening thread to track data like the volume and reach of conversations related to the topic.
Your social team was then able to provide insight into the progression of the crisis, the social narrative, the turning points and their causes. With this data, the team came to the leadership with recommendations on the actions to be taken. And their leaders listened.
Within almost 24 hours of the problem really escalating, the IU provost issued a statement, staking out the position of the IU condemning the professor’s tweets, and easing the crisis thanks to the analysis and intelligence of the social team.
Build an all-star team that sees social data differently
Deeper data analysis can break social networks out of the marketing silo and impact every area of your business. So if you are able to add a social analyst to your social team, take the opportunity. However, if you are still working together as a social team, then you should use the skills and habits of an analyst to become a well rounded and influential marketer. And when you need more powerful tools to get your job done, Sprout Social is the place for you.
Want to learn more about how to get the most out of your social data? Download this guide on 40 of the best ways to use social media data that you may have overlooked.