Twitter AnalyticsWhat is the one thing that will become more important in 2015 for social media and content marketers? ROI (return on investment) tracking. One of the best ways of determining ROI for social and content marketing is through tracking analytics. Analytic tracking is becoming more and more popular each year, and new technologies are constantly being developed. It’s important to know what is and isn’t working on your social platforms, or you could be wasting time and effort. Here are some of the predicted trends for 2015 in tracking analytics on social media and content marketing.

Social Media Analytic Trends in 2015

In the last several years, it has been common for third party companies to track analytics for businesses for a price. Some of these services are pricey, but one trend we will continue to see is FREE. More and more social media websites have developed their own analytics dashboard that can be used for free. In the last year, Facebook and LinkedIn have greatly improved their insight pages. In July of 2014, Twitter joined Facebook and LinkedIn with the release of an analytics dashboard.

Twitter Analytics

Unlike other social media websites, Twitter opened up their analytics dashboard for all users, not just verified or company pages. You can now track your own personal analytics, which eliminates the need to have a different “company” page. The dashboard shows tweet impressions to track visibility. It tracks engagement to see how others are interacting with tweets. Twitter Cards can be enabled, which allows tracking of impressions from your tweets, URL clicks and which sources link to your content. Other sites like Topsy show which keywords have been tweeted most often. The graphic below shows that the keyword (or hashtag) hotel has been used more frequently than hotelroom and resorts. This all can help you better determine what is working for your company and what can lead to the best ROI.

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LinkedIn Analytics

LinkedIn, which was once solely a professional networking site, will continue to grow in its usefulness for businesses. Marketing Tech Blog says that “94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often.” LinkedIn also has improved insights allowing users to see the post reach, engagement, followers and more.

A screenshot of part of LinkedIn's analytics.
A screenshot of part of LinkedIn’s analytics.

Content Marketing Analytic Trends in 2015

Although social media is a part of content marketing, other areas of content marketing are important to focus on this year. Companies produced 50-70% more content this year than they did last year, and this is expected to continue upward with two main trends: video and strategy creation.

Video

With 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each minute, this trend is not going anywhere. The average 7-minute length of a video just a few years ago has shrunk to just seconds (30 seconds – 1:30 minutes). Video has become the best storytelling medium in content marketing. You can create videos that tell your company’s story, how products work or peaks behind-the-scenes. Another very hot trend is videos in email marketing. Remember to track your video analytics. Are the short videos viewed more often than longer videos? Does your audience like videos better than articles?

It all starts with a good plan!

This is the year to start with a great content marketing plan (and we can help). More marketers say they are creating a documented strategy/content marketing plan this year. As important as it is to plan out content daily, monthly or quarterly, it is equally important to keep track of analytic goals. What are your company’s goals for new followers, engagement, retweets, etc.? Planning ahead makes it easier to benchmark what’s working and what isn’t.

It’s a New Year, and it’s time to start tracking some of those social media and content marketing analytics. Are you already using analytics to determine your ROI? What other trends do you think this year will bring for analytics?

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Elizabeth Muckensturm – Communications and Media Professor