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How to Leverage Social Media Data for Business Growth

Liam Robinson
January 30, 2023
Last Updated On
October 5, 2023
how to leverage social media data for business growth

In the current era of social media marketing, a digital presence is essential for the growth of any aspiring or established business. Because of the interactive nature of social media, brands are finding it increasingly economical and effective to grow their business by fostering an online community. Whether you’re launching campaigns to celebrate a product launch, collaborating with influencers, or simply trying to sell more, audiences can find a corresponding post on any number of channels. These various functions mean that brands have a wide range of analytics and consumer data to consider when evaluating their strategy. How to use social media for business growth varies, but data is the common thread between every possibility. Read on to learn how to analyze social media insights and why they are integral to growth.

What Is Social Media Data and Why Is It Important?

When your audience engages with a brand on social media, every like, view, comment, and interaction creates an opportunity to gather data. For the same reason a brick-and-mortar business would want to know which advertisements generate higher brand awareness, online businesses with a social presence need to understand what’s working and what isn’t. 

Because social media has become such an essential channel for growth, consumers are inundated with more content than ever before — brands who truly want to grow by leveraging social media will need to stand out amongst the crowd. This means ensuring you’re regularly auditing your channels, providing valuable content and creating positive interactions amongst your audience. To do this effectively, you need to understand how to analyze social media insights and translate those findings into an actionable plan that will raise your brand to the top of everyone’s feed. It’s also a great idea to explore vital tools that make these functions easier — like a list of the best social media marketing tools for brands.

7 Ways to Leverage Data to Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy

There’s no precise formula for social media marketing for business growth, and there’s certainly no shortage of information at your disposal. Below is a collection of some of the most valuable data you can collect. They each have an important part to play in their respective field; beginning to analyze and interpret them will lend itself to your continued growth and success on social media. Their importance will vary based on your goals and preferences, but it’s a great idea to make yourself aware of them all. For an in-depth look at how these tools can be combined into a holistic strategy, explore them in a free trial of Dash Hudson’s social media insights.

1. Customer Data

Behind every customer is a unique set of characteristics that can be leveraged into a better understanding of where to pursue growth, how to communicate your messaging, and who you’re truly trying to reach. You’ll build a social marketing strategy around these fundamental ideas. Tapping into the concept of your ideal customer will save time as you plan social efforts and give you a greater chance of growing your business amongst your target market.

Breaking down customers into specific buckets: age, geography, buying personas, and platform overlaps are all fantastic ways to begin analyzing data. Through this research, you’ll see commonalities that paint a detailed picture of your audience’s habits. If you’re selling to the fast-paced, visually focused Gen Z market, then perhaps you’ll have a greater emphasis on video-based content for TikTok. If you’re creating more videos, and know that TikTok users overlap with audiences on YouTube, perhaps you’ll begin to use both to your advantage, and so forth. As you dive deeper into your data, you might find that customers engage with your content regularly and begin exploring the social media content calendar to tap into higher reach potential

These are just a few examples of how customer data plays a central role in the foundation of your strategy. However, even top businesses will need help to keep this information organized and accessible, which is where social media management tools come in.

2. Cross Channel Marketing Campaigns

One very solid rule for social media marketing is to cast your net wide — if a new product campaign is being released on Facebook, it should likely be brought to Instagram, TikTok, etc. Your audience is constantly shifting platforms, and it’s crucial to understand where your growth stems from. This is where analyzing your cross-channel campaigns becomes key.

Every brand will see a different combination of success when launching a campaign across your social platforms — above all; you’ll want to make sure the ROI for your creative efforts makes sense for any given channel. For example, if you see a massive difference in engagement between Instagram and Facebook, you’ll want to invest in that channel on your next launch. Utilizing customer data can help these efforts in a significant way — where are your Gen Z customers reacting to your content? If your North American customers convert more through Facebook than your European audience, how does that relate to your existing sales strategy? Your audience preferences will become clear as you continue to launch campaigns, and tweaking your approach using cross-channel data will boost growth.

While these might seem like complex analytics to organize and relate to one another, there are a wide variety of campaign tools and social marketing guides for you to automatically benchmark cross-channel content, schedule campaigns, and create ROI reports in an instant.

3. Sentiment Analysis

For any business to grow, word-of-mouth marketing is essential, as a single shared post can increase your brand’s reach exponentially, it’s a massive perk that comes along with social media. Audiences have the chance to engage with the brand publicly and other members of the community as well, which usually goes down in the comment section. Comments and direct messages sent to your account will be full of feedback and a sense of how each post resonates with the consumer. These direct inputs from your audience are invaluable since they help you understand their needs, identify areas of opportunity (or weakness), and are used to tailor your more comprehensive strategy. More importantly, they highlight how your users are talking about your brand, an essential piece of data for any marketer.

While you can attempt to manage your community manually, it can become problematic as your engagement scales upward. Sentiment analysis lends itself to you by automatically providing insights into your community’s mood, emotions, and top-of-mind needs. This lets you view an audience’s reactions and feedback at a glance, whether positive, neutral, or negative. Using sentiment analysis eliminates bias, surfaces comments/DMs that need urgent attention, and showcases when a change in strategy is required. Overall, sentiment is a powerful tool for checking your brand’s temperature in the social climate.

4. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are a mighty and unique portion of any social media marketing strategy. It’s common for consumers to be preferential to a product that a friend or family member recommends, and influencers take that concept to the next level. By partnering with a brand, influencers communicate a branded message and a favorable product review to their audience and can incentivize their community through discounts and tap into an entirely new market of potential users.

Because of their importance, it’s vital to understand which influencers will best use your resources. Typically, partnerships can be arranged through a cash payment or free offerings of your product — in either case, the ROI has to make sense for influencers to be effective. Dash Hudson offers a full suite of influencer management tools that track the reach, conversions, and estimated media value (EMV) of each partnership you make. Where these analytics were previously challenging to uncover, Dash Hudson’s Relationships tool automatically summarizes your influencer partnerships and tracks their ROI in real-time. This way, you’ll have 100% confidence in which influencers to continue working with and which relationships aren’t worth the investment.

5. Social Listening

Social listening, at its core, may seem similar to sentiment analysis, but they’re two unique forms of data-driven brand management. Where sentiment analysis reports on how your audience feels and reacts to your brand, the data behind social listening comes down to key phrases or discussions surrounding your business and its functions. Social listening software scours public commentary on the internet to pinpoint raw discussions that mention key information. This can be anything from the brand name, a product launch, the title of a recent campaign, an influencer partnership, etc.

Using this information, you’ll be able to see the flow of an online conversation surrounding your desired data set and see not only the mood of your audience but where specific feelings and feedback are coming from. It’s an incredibly interesting and fluid way to create learnings about your brand that will help you discover how audience members react to specific sections of your social strategy. While it’s a more manual process than sentiment analysis, it does allow you to get increasingly granular when exploring audience-lead data.

6. Competitive Benchmarking

Gathering competitive data is a critical step to growing your business — it comes with several insights that go far beyond a snapshot of ”You vs. Them.” Through a competitive benchmarking report, you can break down how your target market engages with content from other brands in your industry and highlight potential shifts in your strategy. These insights will give you a jumping-off point for your targets while simultaneously informing you about audience behavior.

When comparing performance directly, you can select the most relevant metric. Typically, this includes a collection of your competitor’s follower growth, engagement rate, and a comprehensive industry average. Using Dash Hudson’s Competitive Insights, you can customize those metrics that are most important to you. This variability allows you to adjust your strategy on the fly and have an up-to-date understanding of your industry’s benchmarks. Useful data for your creative efforts can include which type of content your potential users are engaging with (e.g., static vs. video), how brands use specific campaigns or influencer partnerships, the frequency or timing of posts, and the overall creative strategies that are creating engagement. 

A unique competitive offering of Dash Hudson is our Vision technology, which analyzes your competitor’s content and displays how the same post would have performed on your feed. This helps brands easily surface new types of creative that can immediately impact their growth.

7. Performance Tracking with Google Analytics

Google Analytics will bring you raw, quantitative data from your social media pages to discover where your traffic is coming from, which audience members you’re converting, and identify areas to improve upon. These pieces of data can be challenging to sort through, especially when there are specific learnings you’re trying to uncover manually. Dash Hudson’s integration with Google Analytics will allow you to create campaigns from this data and accurately display your ROI with Google’s data. Not only does this communicate social learnings in real-time, but its ability to be customized can answer questions about e-Commerce efforts, platform investment, and audience behavior. Leveraging Google Analytics for your brand means that you’re doubling down on your growth efforts by ensuring that your ROI is acceptable.

Using Dash Hudson to Gain Insightful Data About Your Brand

Social is a constantly evolving phenomenon, and as platforms rise and fall, new strategies are being developed that require research and analysis of their own. Incredibly, we started by tracking likes and follower growth, only to realize how audiences engage with us on social media goes far beyond those face-value statistics. Analyzing social media data manually is certainly possible, but in today's age, social media management is an incredibly worthwhile investment that lets you focus on the main drivers of brand recognition and success — your creative and your product.

Dash Hudson uses all the data above to create a complete portrait of your performance and creative efforts and handles day-to-day tasks. The platform’s customization allows you to shift your viewpoint and consider new strategic alternatives constantly. Where this much data can get messy, we’re proud to be one of G2’s easiest-to-use, leading social software providers in 2023. The platform is scalable from the smallest business to large-scale enterprise brands, and with a focus on ensuring your creative content is going to perform well, it has resulted in testimonials like a 60% increase in organic video views for our customer, GANNI. Receiving the data is one piece of the puzzle, but arranging it in a clear and actionable way is where Dash Hudson supports your business to shine. These insights, and more, are available for a free trial on the Dash Hudson website.


Why is leveraging the power of social media important for your business?

No matter who your target market is, there’s an astoundingly large chance (59.3%) they’re online and already engaging with brands. With no upstart cost, organic social is an incredibly economical channel with the potential to instantly reach and convert new customers. From our article on 'How to Set Up Instagram Shopping', you can see that those brands who actively sell via this channel are experiencing, on average, a +200% increase in site visits, purchases, and sales.

Aside from benefitting sales, social media is a platform that can express your brand’s culture, vision, and creativity instantaneously. A single visit by a user that resonates with your content could net you a customer for life, one that will likely come with testimonials and recommendations to a unique network of their own. The opportunities for growth via social media are nearly limitless, thanks to the virality of internet culture - to leave social out of your strategy would deprive you of steady brand recognition and word-of-mouth marketing, no matter the scale of which you choose to invest.

How can small businesses leverage social media?

Social media is a fantastic tool for small businesses, in that it costs nothing to upkeep, opens a new channel to reach consumers, and has the potential for viral success. Consistent posting, no matter the content, will help your content appear on feeds and timelines across every platform. If it’s a locally focused business, it’d be great to spotlight employees or showcase familiar landmarks. These actions build brand recognition and create a tighter community, as word of mouth will typically spread faster in your immediate geographic area.

Launching campaigns to visit a storefront or use the brand’s website is an easy way to leverage social for increased traffic - the same can be said for contests and giveaways which incentivize audience members to share posts and tag friends in the comment section. If these ideas seem relevant to your strategy, Dash Hudson has recently created a package for relatively smaller teams who want to begin using social data and platform management in their strategy under the “Grow” package.

What are five benefits of using social media as a part of your business?

  1. Fostering a Community

Social media gives your audience a platform to discuss and share their favorite products, create UGC that can be repurposed into a post of its own, gather feedback, and continually create customer loyalty. It also lets them engage with the brand directly via DMs and comments, therefor creating a more developed connection.

  1. Increasing Sales

Due to the sheer number of consumers on social media, if you’re offering products for sale via social platforms, you’re likely to capture new customers that might have never been exposed to your brand. This in turn increases your recognition, market reach, and traffic to your business.

  1. Promoting Brand Culture

Posting content on social media can broadcast your business’ values, aesthetic, and culture through visual information. These efforts humanize your brand and create authenticity, leading to a warmer reception by your audience who now have a variety of values to associate you with.

  1. Market Research

Taking learnings from your consumer’s data not only informs your efforts across social channels, but provides a window into your ideal users across every possible input. You’ll have a better sense of what is important to them, who is resonating with your product, and how to communicate your future strategy.

  1. Growth and Recognition

By promoting yourself on social media, you’re not only growing your brand from a business perspective, but constantly creating recognition and familiarity amongst anyone who views your content. This keeps your business top of mind for any prospective customer, and over time, adds up to sections of your audience that can generate recommendations and continued growth.

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