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The ability to track and measure campaign performance is as important as any campaign itself. But how do you effectively measure the success or failure of campaigns run across various channels, using various mediums, as today’s marketing campaigns often are?

The best way to gain an accurate and complete view is to use social analytics and other tools to understand every aspect of your campaign – before, during, and after.

But what does thorough campaign analysis consist of? What matters most, what indicates the need for immediate action, and what tells you whether you reached your target audience or not?

There are several metrics and methods you can use. Here are some key ones to include:

The Role of Sentiment in Campaign Analysis

We talk about sentiment analysis a lot – because it cannot be overstated. Social sentiment is the top qualifier for nearly every other metric you can measure. It’s the map that tells you which roads are clear, and which need rebuilding.

Sentiment tells you where to focus your efforts by highlighting consumers’ strongest emotions. For instance, Amazon, the #4 brand on our most recent Global Love List, generates a lot of consumer love in many areas – but books still hold the biggest place in consumers’ hearts:

This is information Amazon can use to approach how they market their books – and everything else.

In exactly the same way, brands must look at the way consumers talk about them, and the feelings expressed in these conversations, to understand whether a campaign is hitting its mark.

Use Consumer Conversations Online to Understand Campaign Impact

This is where sentiment becomes a layer informing other analytics data.

Social conversation plus sentiment tells you what topics engage consumers most. And this isn’t just about your brand, but about them, and everything they love talking about. Understanding what conversation your campaign messaging inspires is key to making smart next moves.

It also helps delineate audience segments you can get even more personal with. You can’t hit every individual consumer mark with a single message – so segment your audience and reach them accordingly.

Where conversations happen is another important factor. Be ready for surprises, and to shift campaign direction if your Facebook Live video isn’t getting the excitement you expected, or if your Instagram Stories take off like wildfire. The whole point is to know such things in real-time and be nimble enough to adapt and maximize your efforts wherever they’re succeeding.

Don’t forget about image analytics, as images account for much of the online conversation – sometimes in lieu of any words at all. You don’t want to miss out on this data because your tools only analyze text.

Finally, combine data from other sources – like sales, CRM, surveys and star reviews – for a comprehensive understanding of campaign effectiveness related to all Voice of the Customer (VoC) data. This may happen over time, as well as in the moment. Both measurements have their place.

The idea is to use both real-time and historical data to track owned, earned, and paid efforts against brand goals, and adjust as needed.

It’s easier to understand when you see how other brands have done it. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of examples to illustrate common use cases. Check them out below!

Conversation Volume

The simplest place to start is with overall volume of conversation. Is your campaign resulting in people talking about your brand? How much? And what is the nature of that conversation?

Using NetBase Pro, we see a spike in conversation on June 11th for the IHOP brand. This is the day they rolled out their new IHOb campaign, and it definitely got people on social talking.

IHOP built anticipation with an announcement about their new name on June 4th,  sparking a bit of interest, looking at the spike on that day. Of course, the real volume occurred on the day of the big reveal.

Looking at Posts, Engagements, and Impressions isn’t enough, however. Sentiment is necessary to provide context to the volume. Here’s a look at overall sentiment for #IHOb over the past month:

You can see there’s nearly as many negative conversations as positive ones during the June 4th and June 11th spikes, putting overall Sentiment at -12%. Drilling down into the conversations themselves, it turns out many thought pancakes were being removed from the menu, and that the new branding was permanent.

Once it became clear that wasn’t the case, things evened back out again. Here’s a look at the past week:

And people are still posting about the pancakes:

What People Are Saying

The IHOb case reminds us what people are talking about matters when evaluating a campaign. You might think you know what will appeal – but you have to leave room for the discovery of other ideas.

For example, Chick-fil-A agency Moxie was focused on “winning” breakfast for their client – but it wasn’t until they saw what diners were saying that they knew how to proceed.

Most of the conversations being shared about Chick-fil-A’s breakfast included pictures of a chicken sandwich covered in honey. Moxie used that information to create a GIF of honey dripping slowly down a stack of Chick-fil-A biscuits.

It became the most-engaged GIF they’d ever produced for the brand, boosting brand awareness by 46%.

The takeaway? Don’t presume to know what will get consumers excited. Follow the conversation and meet your audience wherever they are.

Other Interests Within Your Audience

But you don’t have to limit your analysis to the campaign as a topic. It’s always important to understand all aspects of conversation surrounding your brand – and to let that conversation inform the actions you take.

In Arby’s case, social conversations inspired a new product, based on a newly-identified audience segment: hunters.

Arby’s had already started a new campaign to drive home their varied menu with the slogan “We have the meats!” Identifying the passion of the hunting segment gave them the idea to add a venison sandwich to the menu. This was something they thought hunters would enjoy, as celebrating over venison is part of the hunting experience.

They were right. Not only did they generate positive buzz from this new audience segment, they saw transaction growth in test restaurants. People still ask for it – even as Arby’s has moved on to new endeavors, like adding Coke to their menu:

 

Any brand can do this – you just have to use social listening and sentiment analysis to find out what moves your audience. Then respond.

Demographic Distinctions

The best way to understand consumers’ hearts is through psychographic information, as illustrated above. The attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of social consumers tell brands how to relate to them on a human level.

But that doesn’t mean demographics don’t factor into the equation as well. This is often where you’ll first see your audience isn’t quite what you expected. Whether it’s noting that World Cup fans are primarily focused in the U.S., U.K., and South Africa, or that Comic Con’s audience is 34% women, you need to know.

 

From there you can look deeper to learn what attracts each group specifically, and segment further. But first you have to know they exist.

Track Social Analytics Before, During and After the Campaign

Campaign analysis isn’t something that only happens after a campaign has run its course, as if it’s a separate entity. Instead, campaign analysis is simply an extension of social listening, with campaign-focused parameters.

Before you launch any campaign, you need to understand the lay of the land. That’s where your all-the-time social listening comes in, telling you where there’s audience interest in certain topics, trends, etc.

This is the information you use to build a campaign predictively, rather than guessing at what might work. If you take your social data seriously, you should have a pretty accurate idea of what will work.

Still, nothing is guaranteed, so you must continue tracking results throughout your campaign to be sure you’re getting the reaction you anticipated and desired. If you are, great! Keep going. If not, look to your social listening and sentiment analysis to tell you how to adjust for a strong finish.

And after your campaign is over, is that it? Not at all. You should continue to track the results of your campaign to understand any lingering online chatter, calculate the effect of your campaign on your goals – i.e., conversation volume, engagement, sales, etc.

For example, our new Media & Entertainment Industry Best Practices Guide outlines some interesting differences that occurred during and after a recent UEFA Champions League Final.

During the game, fans mostly stuck to text-based discussions – whereas after the game there was a spike in image and video sharing.

And during the game there was a lot of conversation, but after the game was where engagement really took off.

Things on social media can and do change that quickly, so you should always be monitoring results. And when the time comes for a periodic social media audit, campaign performance should be part of your evaluation as well.

How Is Intent to Purchase Affected?

If sales are a campaign objective – and ultimately, they always are – you want to know your marketing is creating that drive in your audience. Luckily, social analytics offers that view, along with everything else you can measure.

In fact, you can track every part of your sales funnel from brand awareness and perception, to intent to buy, actual purchase, customer service, and consumer loyalty via social analytics tools.

 

And all the rest of your data can be combined with your social data for a full spectrum understanding of your customers and prospects at every stage.

This is the value of campaign analysis – and of social analytics overall. Every business decision is supported by the insights you uncover, and every business endeavor can be measured along the way.

So put campaign analysis to the test if you haven’t already. The only way to lose is by opting out.

This has been part 3 of our Social Media Analytics Guide for 2018, designed to keep you in-the-know on the tools, metrics, and skills necessary to compete in an increasingly global arena.

Read the other parts of this comprehensive series by clicking below:

  1. What is Social Media Analytics and Why Is it Important?
  2. What Is Social Media Monitoring?
  3. What Is Social Campaign Analysis?
  4. What Is Social Sentiment Analysis?
  5. What Is Social Listening & Why Is It Important?
  6. What Is Image Analytics?
  7. What Is Audience Analysis?

Want to learn more? We’ll walk you through a demo of our campaign analysis tools. Just reach out!

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