Competitive Social Marketing: It’s All About That Data

May 10, 2017

We don’t need to tell you just how important social marketing is for your business, but what you may not realize is what all the associated data can do for you beyond benchmarking how successfully you utilize a particular platform.

Data-driven marketing is successful marketing, and social data can play a big role in how competitive your business is when reaching out to customers. Today’s post will explore this type of data and how you can leverage it to your benefit.

Where to Find Your Data

In terms of “Big Data,” social data is considered to be unstructured, which means it can be a bit hard to contextualize. Fortunately, the leading social platforms have tools in place to help you find this data easily and present it in a way that helps you make decisions within the platform itself.

Facebook Insights

Facebook is a social powerhouse, so it should be no surprise that Facebook Insights offers a deep look into user behavior with regard to how they engage with your brand. Thanks to other tools, like Facebook Pixel, you can even extrapolate that out to how Facebook users are behaving across the web, including your website.

Instagram Insights

Before being purchased by Facebook, Instagram didn’t have an in-house analytics platform. However, the social prowess of Facebook can now be applied to Instagram as well, which is especially useful when you consider the fact that Facebook also controls the Instagram ad platform.

Twitter Analytics

For Twitter, the analytics dashboards provide ways to view metrics about your native posts, explore demographics and other information about your followers, and understand the effectiveness about the Twitter Cards you have running. Although it doesn’t feature as much depth as Facebook, the offerings are still fairly rich.

LinkedIn Analytics

As a business-driven platform, LinkedIn Analytics offers fairly basic metrics. It does help you to analyze trends across those metrics, as well as to contextualize the activity and traffic for your company page with user demographics.

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest strives to provide a fairly rich and actionable analytics platform, and even offers tools to connect your Pinterest data to website activity. This builds a stronger relationship between activity in platform and conversions to your site while also allowing you to analyze key activity metrics and user information.


Unfortunately, Snapchat is the platform equivalent of a social butterfly, and its ephemeral nature can make contextualizing standard metrics in a useful way from within the app very difficult. You’ll need to check into it daily to manually pull figures such as unique views and screenshot figures. However, other analytics apps are available that help with analytics monitoring, such as the SaaS brand Snaplytics.

Data You Should Be Collecting

Once you know where to find the data, you need to know which data matters most. Each platform will provide something of a clue by simple virtue of breaking down key metrics for you to view. However, you need the right perspective to avoid relying on the metrics that seem useful but don’t actually further your strategy or prove ROI. And remember, a proper competitive analysis of these metrics against your competitors can reveal a lot.

Engagement rates are a key metric to examine because they reflect how users are choosing to interact with brands and help you key into whether they may be influencing other users. This plays into another metric that keys into your influence— reach—as well as your share of voice and brand awareness.

Furthermore, it reveals which types of content are successful. Response times will help reveal industry standards, user expectations, and whether your business is working hard to meet that need. When the platform or other tools permit it, attribution metrics can reveal how well a platform is pointing back to your site or even the role it plays in conversions. Demographics are also important, but social also invites the opportunity to capture psychographic data as well.

How This Can Inform Your Strategy

Collecting social data and contextualizing it, especially against competitors, can help you strengthen your marketing strategy overall. You can develop rich segmentation based on more than simple demographics; psychographic data like interests helps you personalize your outreach, while social listening can help you key into segmentation for different stages of the buying cycle.

There are tools you can use to observe some of these metrics in your competitors, which opens the door to in-depth competitive analysis to see what your competitors and the industry at large are doing right or wrong. This also reveals the best performing content to help you align your content strategy accordingly and boost engagement, along with changing trends among users.

Perhaps most importantly, however, it allows you to identify the most engaged and qualified audiences for your marketing and where they’re already looking for information. This can help you key into which of your competitors are most influential, but also build a foundation for developing an influencer marketing strategy as part of your social marketing.

Ways to Implement Social Data

Here are some actionable implementations to start utilizing your data in a meaningful way.

  • Review Traffic: Audit your social platform traffic, CTR, and website traffic with an eye to attribution.

  • Create Influencer Programs: Identify brand advocates, industry influencers, and other sources of influence on audience behavior. Tap these individuals to extend your reach to their follower base as well as to leverage their credibility to your benefit.

  • Create Buyer Personas: With such thorough data at hand about locations, interests, and behaviors, you should be developing buyer personas that accurately depict up-to-date profiles and the associated buying decision process and purchase cycle.

  • Respond in Real Time: While this is limited by the size of your social media team, accurate data that’s available in real time will constantly reveal new opportunities, threats, and changes. You are given the power to position your brand in real time.

  • Focus on User Experience: Given that this data is entirely about users, use it to surpass user expectations in terms of design, content style, and interaction. Enhance the user experience to stimulate brand trust and control brand perception.

  • Manage the Budget: If you’re using your data to improve engagement and conversions, that should ultimately result in ROI lift. Avoid wasting your social budget by focusing on successful tactics.

Social marketing is more than a way to get friendly with your customer base; it’s a critical touchpoint in a cross-device, multi-channel strategy. It’s important to remember that this isn’t just because of basic marketing tactics, like maintaining frequency and a point of influence. Social data also unlocks a host of information that can make your business more competitive than ever.

Start Making Your Social Marketing Competitive Today!

  • Start by reviewing your social marketing strategy. How are you benchmarking your success using these channels?

  • Fully review the tools each platform provides and make sure your team knows how to glean the social data from each.

  • Use that data to do more than simply determine ROI. Mine it for information that can strengthen your customer relationships across touchpoints and improve marketing in all areas.