Social media marketers can easily get so caught up in measurement and tracking that the impact of the information gleaned can get lost.
The data from analytics and metrics reports may lead to observations, but therein lies the problem: Observations are not actionable. We must strive for insights from data and recognize the difference between observations and insights.
Professor and author Luke Williams highlighted this distinction in an article in The Atlantic by noting, “observations are raw data, the gradual accumulation of information that you have consciously and carefully recorded—exactly the way you saw or heard it, with no interpretation. Insights are the sudden realizations in which you interpret the observations and discover patterns.”
In other words, the difference is the classic correlation versus causation—the distinction between knowing two variables are related and knowing whether one causes the other.
To ensure you’re moving past observations and turning your social media metrics into actionable insights, here are four keys to keep in mind.
1. Establish a measurement system
Insights aren’t obvious. You need a set system and reporting structure to unlock them.
I am a big proponent of a three-tiered metrics structure. The top two layers are made up of business metrics, which measure what social media marketing is contributing to business success, and marketing metrics, which measure general social media and channel-level performance.
The third layer of optimization metrics, though, is the most critical in the search for insights. Optimization metrics are those that provide insights on how to improve your social media marketing or indicate what needs to change....
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