We spend so much time screaming out into the void: "LOOK AT ME!" "BUY MY PRODUCT!" "AREN'T I AWESOME?"
When we really should be thinking about what matters to our customers. Our audience. Your brand might have thousands of followers on Twitter. Who are they? What do they care about? Are they even your customers at all? When you craft content, you're looking to make an impact. Likes and retweets aren't enough to know if you're resonating with your followers, or the information you're providing is even relevant.
The good news? There's plenty of tools out there to help you answer that very question on social media. These will give you the most complete picture of who you're talking to so your social content can actually connect your brand to customers, rather than shout uselessly from the rooftops.
Follower Wonk dives into the profiles of your Twitter followers to bring you location of followers, time of day they're tweeting, and who they're following. With it you can track your basic demographics and understand which overlaps occur. This is the most comprehensive tool you can get. The only way to get more detailed would be to go through each follower manually (and who has time for that?)
You might know where your follower base is or what times they're tweeting, but what times are really the best times? Just because someone is online doesn't mean it's the right time to tweet, especially with Twitter's new "While You Were Away..." functionality. Tweriod analyzes when your tweets get the most exposure and engagement based on your followers and can help you pinpoint the exact times you should be scheduling (or, in the case of a global brand, how many times you should be reposting).
Klear helps you identify and harness the power of influencers: those magic people with more reach than you. What's powerful today in social media is not what brands say, but what advocates say on their behalf. Klear provides a springboard to build relationships with key Twitter power users so that when you're tweeting, the right people are listening--and speaking up.
Once you know your key influencers, you can use this tool to dig much deeper into what they're talking about. Tweet Topic generates a word cloud for each user you input in the system, who they mention, and groups of topics they tend to cover. See for yourself what you talk about most, or figure out from your influencers what topics you should be adding to your content.
SocialRank allows you to sort, filter, and organize your followers in a way that makes sense based on your latest campaign. You can more accurately create lists to build segments and personas, sorting them to find your power users and who is most (or least) engaged. It gives you the ability to more easily see at a glance who you should target and a high level view of what they care about.
Understanding your audience is a vital part of any social media marketing campaign. Making sure you're providing content that matters to your followers and ultimately, delights them, will set you apart from the pack. Put down your megaphone and start building content that creates real impact--armed with data from these tools.
(Note: this works for your personal brand, too, not just your corporate brand. Read more about that from this Ivy Exec article I wrote.)