Tag: analytics

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Success on social media can often feel like a secret science. Something that only the few can achieve. But creating a successful social media strategy is a skill that can be learned. Mastered, even.

And you don’t need a flashy brand or a big budget.

What you need is a deep understanding of what your audience cares about, and how to get your content in front of them in the right places at the right times.

That’s why analytics are so important. Analytics help you to make better decisions and get better results. And today, I’m excited to announce our latest feature:

Analytics for LinkedIn Pages!

Together with our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter integrations, this makes Buffer’s analytics an all-in-one solution for these four popular social networks for businesses.

Want to see what’s new and why 3,000 customers use our analytics to boost their social media strategy?

Let’s take a look.

Buffer’s social media analytics and reporting solution

If you have been using Buffer for your social media planning and scheduling but not measurement and reporting, I think you’ll be thrilled to try our analytics. The analytics in Buffer lets you track your performance, analyze your posts, and report your results. Ultimately, we want to give you more data and help you get better results.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Let’s talk about the new feature first.

How to analyze and report your LinkedIn performance

We intentionally designed our analytics to be simple so that you can easily get what you need and create reports in a few clicks. For this feature, we managed to work with the LinkedIn team as we built it.

“I’m excited about this new feature by Buffer because we have seen many small businesses leverage their LinkedIn Page to build thought leadership and recruit new teammates. This new feature will help them understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn,” said Ting Ba, the Group Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn Pages.

Here’s a quick 2-min video walkthrough of using Buffer to analyze your LinkedIn posts and showcase your results. If you prefer a more in-depth explanation, feel free to read on.

This new feature will help [small businesses] understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn.

– Ting Ba, Group Product Marketing Manager, LinkedIn Pages

1. Know what’s working to optimize your LinkedIn strategy

If you know what content resonates with your followers, you can create more of those content to engage your followers and grow your following.

But how do you know what’s connecting with your followers?

Buffer allows you to easily see your top-performing posts sorted by your most important metric: impressions, likes, comments, shares, or engagement rate.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

I like to sort my posts by engagement rate because it tells me how often people engaged with a post after seeing it. To me, a high engagement rate is a sign that the content resonated with my followers. But you can also sort your posts by other metrics, depending on the goals of your strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here.

Once you have sorted your posts, you can immediately see which posts have performed the best (according to your chosen metric). Next, analyze the top posts to see if there’s a clear recipe for success. Think about:

  • What’s special about these posts?
  • Is there a post type (e.g. video, image, article, text) that my audience seems to prefer?
  • Is there a topic that my audience seems to like?
  • When were the posts published? Is there a trend?

To make things even easier for you, Buffer analyzes your posts for you to tell you which day, post type, and posting frequency gave you the highest engagement rate. This lets you experiment with different posting strategies without the hassle of analyzing your posts yourself.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

2. Understand your LinkedIn growth and results

After you have analyzed your posts and come up with more content, you would also want to know if the new posts are bringing in better results.

  • Are we getting more followers?
  • Is the number of impressions growing month-on-month?
  • Or simply, did all the metrics increase?

There are several ways to do this in Buffer, depending on what you want to achieve:

First, if you want a quick overview of your LinkedIn Page performance, you can this at a glance under the Overview tab. This is a summary of your Page’s key metrics and how they have changed compared with the previous period.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Second, if you want to see how these metrics have changed over time, you can look at the metrics insights chart under the Overview tab. This is one of our customers’ favorites because they can visually see the growth of the metrics. It is also a great chart to show others in your reports.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Finally, if you want to see how your posts have performed on aggregate, you can look at the post summary table under the Posts tab. It tells you the number of impressions, likes, etc. received by your posts and how those metrics have changed compared with the previous period.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

3. Showcase the value of your work

After all your hard work, you would also want to put together monthly reports to share your results with your team, your manager, or your clients. It is also a great way to show that you understand your numbers.

Every table and chart can be easily added to a social media report in a few clicks.

First, click on the plus button in the upper-right corner of the table or chart.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Then, if you want to create a new report, enter the title of the report. If you want to add the chart to an existing report, select the respective report.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

And there you have it—your social media report! (And not a spreadsheet in sight.)

To make your report more comprehensive, I recommend adding a description of the report and notes for the charts in your report. This will help people who view your report make sense of the data and understand your work.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Once the report is ready, you can export it as a PDF file and share it.

Here’s a pro tip: Instead of creating new reports every month, you can simply change the date period of your report to get the updated data.

Everything that I have described above is also available for your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter channels. You can create multi-channel reports by adding charts from various social channels into the same report. You no longer have to go to each social network to download the data and compile them in a spreadsheet!

A recap of our latest analytics features and improvements

Besides analytics for LinkedIn Pages, we have also added several other analytics features this year, which I thought you might be interested in:


More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Social media is not just about posting X times a day. Top brands plan campaigns that span multiple social networks. You can now plan your social media campaigns and get automated campaign reports in Buffer.

Boosted post insights

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

If you boost your Facebook and Instagram posts, you would want to know how they are performing. How does it compare with your organic results? You can do this comparison right inside Buffer.

Best time to post on Instagram

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

The age-old question: when is the best time to post? Our team developed an in-house statistical model to predict your reach potential on Instagram according to your previous posts and your follower activity. This is personalized to your brand specifically. To save you time, we also suggest the top three dates and times to maximize your reach on Instagram.

Hashtag analytics for first comments

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

While we had hashtag analytics for Instagram posts for a long time, we were not able to analyze the hashtags in the comments. Many customers put their hashtags in the first comment to keep the caption tidy. To ensure that they can also benefit from the hashtag analytics, we made it possible to track and analyze hashtags in the comments.

New date period options for faster reporting

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Here’s a small improvement that saves lots of time. Previously, the date period options available were “Last 7 days”, “Last 28 days”, “Last 30 days”, and “Last 90 days”. We realized they were not that helpful because what customers really wanted was to look at their data for the week or the month. So we updated the options to “This month”, “Last month”, “This week”, and “Last week”. This has made weekly reviews and monthly reporting much simpler.

Get more data. Make better decisions.

Doing social media without analytics is like running with your eyes closed. You will get somewhere but probably not where you want to go. We want to equip you with the data you need in a simple and accessible way so that you can make better decisions. Better decisions on what content to post to grow your reach and engagement.

If you already have analytics in your Buffer subscription, the new LinkedIn integration is already available to you.

Otherwise, feel free to grab a 14-day trial of Buffer and start making better decisions.


Where can I find the analytics in my Buffer account?

If you already have the analytics in your Buffer subscription, click on “Analyze” in the upper-left corner to see your analytics.

I have a Buffer subscription but why do I not have access to the analytics?

It might be because you do not have the analytics in your Buffer subscription. You can try the analytics for free for 14 days before you decide whether you want to keep it.

Can I connect my LinkedIn personal profiles?

It’s currently not possible to connect your LinkedIn personal profiles to Buffer’s analytics. If you need this, would you be up for sharing your feedback with us?


How Pinterest is Fueling Inspirational Ideas with Story Pins

On the heels of breaking its daily download record and earning a top spot on the App Store rankings due to the release of iOS 14 and flurry of home screen design ideas, Pinterest is taking major steps to connect creators and Pinners around inspirational content.

Following over a year of work, the platform is launching Story Pins in beta and a new creator profile with analytics tools for improved performance tracking. Pinterest is the latest platform to hop on the Stories bandwagon following Snapchat’s lead in 2013 and Facebook and Instagram putting their own twists on the format in 2016. More recently, Twitter introduced “Fleets,” and LinkedIn began testing its own version of Stories earlier this year.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest Pinterest updates and how you can start to build them into your marketing mix.

Turning ideas into Stories

A key difference between Story features on other platforms and Pinterest’s approach to the format is that Pin Stories are very much tilted towards utility, discovery, and inspiration. “Story Pins are designed to show you how people are trying new ideas and new products. That means the features and intent are dramatically different, David Temple, Head of Content, Creator and Homefeed Product said in a statement to reporters.

This new content format blends videos, voiceover and image and text overlay will make it possible to create step-by-step stories, such as tutorials for recipes or DIY projects. Early users of the feature include Coco Bassey, Camille Styles, Shiquita from Unconventional Southern Belle, and Jazmine Ford of Finding Uphoria. An added bonus? Detail pages can be added so materials and ingredients can be revisited later and fuel action on the ideas and tips.

Pin Stories are also not ephemeral, meaning that won’t disappear after a set period of time as is the case on Instagram or Facebook Stories. Much like a standard Pin, Stories can be saved to boards for later use and distributed across the home feed, search results, and relevant tabs including “Today.” Creators will also have the ability to tag their Story Pins or videos with topics or interests which the visual discovery engine can use to match ideas to Pinners who have similar taste.

“We want to be deliberate and thoughtful with the growth that we have here, to ensure that the tone for the content and the community remains positive,” Temple added. In other words, creating a space in which you can be inspired but inspire others in meaningful and actionable ways through content.

Creator profiles

As part of the push, Pinterest is also introducing creator profiles — making the platform a more seamless option for sharing creator content directly as opposed to distributing it once its shared elsewhere.

A big emphasis with the profiles is interaction between Pinners and creators. Specifically, a new display format and updated contact options make it easy to stay connected. Pinterest also unveiled a range of positive reactions like “Great idea,” “Love,” “Wow,” and “Thanks” to provide feedback to creators via a Message or Contact card. This is a subtle but significant update that nods to the current environment — one in which digital empathy is more important than ever and it is harder to express how we feel in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

Maximizing engagement and measuring reach

Finally, in order to ensure creators and brands can easily track how their audiences are responding to this format, Pinterest is revealing an engagement tab, where users can solicit and respond to feedback, and an updated Analytics hub outlining the performance of their Pin Story content. Impressions and engagement are two core metrics, but the re-designed dashboard will also provide a sense into how categories and interests are shifting over time and which audiences are engaging with the most.

With its community growing, searches up 50 percent year-over-year and board creates up 40 percent year over year as of this past July, it makes a lot of sense for Pinterest to want to lean into the Stories format to help people better connect amidst the current global pandemic. It also represents an opportunity for Pinterest to learn more about its community, align with trends and behaviors, and identify the white spaces that exist to drive creativity.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How Pinterest is Fueling Inspirational Ideas with Story Pins appeared first on Social Media Week.


Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

In just three simple steps, you can boost a post on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. Choose a post
  2. Select an audience
  3. Set your budget

That’s how easy it is.

As organic reach on social media continues to fall, businesses have started to invest more in social media advertising. For some businesses, that’s creating ads. For smaller businesses, the easier approach is often to boost Facebook posts or promote Instagram posts. Here’s why this works so well:

By putting some money behind our organic posts, we can get more results from the same amount of work.

(And if you aren’t advertising yet, boosting your Facebook and Instagram posts is a quick way to get started with advertising on those platforms—before you move into more sophisticated advertising.)

But simply throwing $5 here and $10 there isn’t enough. You need to have a strategy behind your boosted posts, and you also need a way to measure your results to ensure you get the most return on your investment.

That’s why today we’re introducing boosted post insights to Buffer.

(If you are paying for the analytics solution in Buffer, you should have this in your account already!)

How to get the best results from boosting posts

Before we get to analyzing your results, here’s a tip for choosing the best posts to boost:

Choose the posts with the highest engagement rate.

Boosting your posts is essentially paying Facebook and Instagram to show your posts to more people, according to what you have specified as the audience.

So you would want to pick the posts that will most likely generate the most engagement (or clicks depending on your goals). Posts with the highest engagement rate are proven posts. They have generated the most engagement, given the number of times people have seen it.

By boosting a post with a high engagement rate, here’s a higher chance that people who see it off the back of your ad spend will also engage with it.

Here’s a quick way to find your most engaging posts in Buffer to boost:

1. Head over to your analytics by clicking on “Analyze” at the top navigation in your Buffer account

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

2. Navigate to the “Posts” tab of your desired Facebook Page or Instagram account

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

3. Sort your posts in the “Post insights” table by “Eng. Rate”

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

The top few posts on the list will be great candidates for boosting. You should, however, bear in mind what you want to achieve with the boosted post and consider whether the organic post suits that purpose. For example, it will be timelier to boost a post that is meant for a marketing campaign during the campaign than after the campaign.

How to optimize your ad spend

You don’t want to just dump your money on boosted posts and forget about it. You should pay attention to the results of your boosted posts and compare the organic and paid results of your boosted posts to see how your investment has fared.

Why? By understanding the difference in your organic and paid results, you can adjust your ad spend according to the results you want to achieve. For instance, as your organic reach grows, you might want to cut back on boosting posts to a baseline so that most of your reach is from organic posts rather than boosted posts. That’s because building a brand solely through paid advertising isn’t sustainable.

With boosted post insights, there are now a few new ways to monitor your results in Buffer. Let’s run through them!

1. Overview performance

The simplest way is to see how boosting your posts has impacted your overall results. When you visit the Overview tab of a Facebook Page or Instagram account with boosted posts, you can immediately see a breakdown of organic vs paid for key metrics such as impressions and reach.

You can hover over the bar to see the exact breakdown between organic and paid.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

2. Metrics growth

The next way is to track how your key metrics, such as impressions, have grown over time, especially with your boosted posts.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Are your impressions growing because of more organic impressions or paid impressions? Does that align with your strategy?

3. Post insights

The final way, and the most actionable approach, is to compare the organic and paid results of each boosted post in the “Post insights” table.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

You can also click on the image to see more details of the post.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Here are a few questions you can think about while you look at these data:

  • How are the paid results relative to the amount spent boosting the posts?
  • Are there any boosted posts with exceptional paid results? Was it the media or the copy that might have caused more people to engage with the post? Or was it the audience setting for the boost? (You might also want to consider boosting such posts again if they are still relevant.)
  • Am I getting the results I want? Should I spend more money boosting posts next month?

If you create monthly or weekly reports, you might also want to include these data. You can simply add them to a new or existing report by clicking on the “plus” button in the upper-right corner of the table or chart.

Make better decisions

There are so many different things to do as a small business. You should be able to have your data at your fingertips so that you can make swift, high-quality decisions. By comparing your organic and paid results in Buffer, you can make better decisions on investing your advertising budget and get more results.

If you value the money you spend boosting your Facebook and Instagram posts, you might enjoy our latest improvement. Try Buffer for free for 14 days and let us know what you think.

To learn more, feel free to check out our help article or join us for our upcoming webinar.

Frequently asked questions

Are ads created through Facebook Ads Manager included?

Not at the moment. After you let Buffer access your ad data, you will only see data for your boosted Facebook and Instagram posts in Buffer. If you would like to see data for your ads created through Facebook Ads Manager in Buffer, let us know!

How often are the data in Buffer updated?

The data for your Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts are updated about every six hours. We are working to improve this so that you get the most updated data whenever you visit Buffer. Also, the data you see in Buffer excludes today’s data.

I’m paying for Buffer. Why do I not see this in my Buffer account?

There are two possible reasons. First, you might not be subscribed to our analytics solution. To get boosted post insights and other analytics and reporting features, you’ll need to add this to your Buffer subscription.

Second, if you are already paying for our analytics solution, you might need to grant Buffer permission to access your ad data. You can do so under settings.

For more specific questions about the feature, see our help article.


How to Get Started with Your First Social Listening Campaign

Social listening isn’t a manual job. To get the most out of social listening (more on that in the previous article about social listening), you’ve got to choose the right tool.

Choosing a tool is all about balancing out your budget and the features you need (and what isn’t). The internet flourishes with the lists of “best social media monitoring tools”, so there won’t be a problem choosing the one most suitable for your brand.

Most tools (and all paid tools) will have a detailed step-by-step guide that teaches you how to do the monitoring. But as the whole process is quite simple, I’ll give you the gist right here.


Depending on your goals, you’ll have to choose the keywords you wish to monitor.

If your goals are customer care, brand reputation, or product research, you will have to monitor brand names and, optionally, product names.

Brand names include:

  • The name of your brand (e.g., Audi)
  • The social media profiles of the name (e.g., @AudiOfficial)
  • Any common abbreviations and misspellings of your brand

You might also want to search for your product category, but that depends on the category. For example, it makes sense to search for iPhone if you’re Apple, but makes no sense to search for “oranges” if you’re Whole Foods.

If your goal is competitor research, you should monitor your competitors’ brand names and possibly, their product names. The list of keywords is the same as it is for your brand.

If you’re interested in market research, you can monitor your industry (e.g., “product feedback tools, product feedback app, product assessment app”; “vegan cafes, vegan restaurants”, “vegan food”) as well as your brand name and your competitors’ brand names.

With regards to social selling, the task becomes more complicated. Your goal is to find not only conversations that include your industry, but also people looking for your product specifically. Or maybe even just the latter.

For that, you need a tool with the Boolean search option – a manual keyword search that allows for unlimited keyword flexibility – and a list of phrases that people use when searching for a product, such as “can anyone recommend”, “does anyone know”, “looking/searching for a”, etc. These word combinations together with the product description will get you the results you’re looking for. Another list of phrases that you can include will be about your competitors. Search for your competitors’ brands together with word combinations such as “alternative to”, “better than”, “disappointed with” and see what happens.

For influencer marketing, you’ll need a tool that finds influencers for you. Your keywords will be your brand name (to find brand advocates) and industry keywords (to find industry influencers). A few leading tools you should have on radar include Followerwonk, specifically dedicated to Twitter and influencers on the platform, Klear, a more broad option helping you find influencers across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs, and BuzzSumo, which can help you double down on your efforts around finding influencers and content creation.

Finally, for link building, you’ll need a tool that has a Boolean search option and allows you to find unlinked mentions as well as search for blogs. Here, you’ll need to limit your search to blogs and forums (meaning, you’ll have to exclude social networks) and monitor your brand name and your industry keywords with the setting that excludes linked mentions.

Work with the results

Getting the results is just half the job. Once you have your mentions feed, your graphs, and your influencer lists, what do you do?

If your goal is customer care, you’ll end up looking through mentions one by one and replying to the ones that require a response. In most tools, you can filter them by sentiment and deal with the negative mentions first. You can also sort them by the number of the author’s followers and deal with the most influential authors first.

To simplify your work with mentions, you can assign them to different groups and sometimes to different team members.

Analytics is here to show you the big picture.

If we’re talking about your brand, first, you’ll inevitably see the level of its popularity online. You’ll see how that level changes in response to your efforts (e.g., campaigns, product launches) and in response to external stimuli (e.g., season). You’ll see how the buzz around your brand is different in various locations and languages (if applicable), and which social networks your audience prefers. This might be, and should be, reflected in your future marketing plans.

Then, you’ll move to the sentiment analysis and you’ll get a more detailed picture: not just that the buzz exists, but what kind of buzz. What’s the brand’s reputation, how it changes across different social media platforms and different news outlets, blogs, forums; how it changes in reaction to all the same things mentioned above.

Demographic and user behavior data will show you where the mentions are coming from: both in terms of geographical location and the web location.

Monitoring specific keywords will also show you topics that are used alongside your keywords. This way, you’ll know what your brand (product, personal name) is associated with online.

If you’re doing competitor research, you’ll also see a whole range of analysis going on there: your brand’s share of voice and how your brand compares to your competitors’ on all kinds of factors.

As talked about before, different tools contain different analytics features. The ones described above are the features that can be found in mid-tier tools and enterprise-level tools. It’s worth noting that the best enterprise tools will have an even bigger range of what you can do with the data.

Like any part of your marketing workflow, social listening is bound to be adjusted and changed according to your changing goals over time. However, at every point of your company’s growth, social listening is much needed, whether it’s about just finding your audience or making sure they stay loyal to your brand.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

The post How to Get Started with Your First Social Listening Campaign appeared first on Social Media Week.


Introducing Best Time to Post: Personalized Recommendations to Increase Your Reach on Instagram

Search “best time to post on Instagram” and you’ll find countless articles telling you when to post according to studies of a few million Instagram posts.

We have written such articles ourselves. For a long time, we thought that’s the way to grow our reach and engagement on social media.

But that is no longer the best approach.

There are many reasons for the change. Most importantly, you now have much more data about your own posts and followers. The best time to post is when your followers are online and engaging with your posts.

How do you know when to post?

Well, you can now get recommendations for when to post on Instagram to maximize your reach, with Analyze. Curious to find out more? Read on.

Introducing Best Time to Post: Personalized Recommendations to Increase Your Reach on Instagram

Analytics as your assistant

Analytics is often simply numbers and graphs. It’s easy to understand why some people are intimidated by analytics. But that doesn’t have to be the way. Analytics can be joyful and fun. It should help you take away the tedious work of dissecting graphs and calculating numbers. Analytics should feel like your assistant.

With Analyze, you don’t just get charts. You’ll also see three recommended times to post on Instagram. They are times when your predicted reach is among the highest during the week.

Most people would find the three recommendations sufficient but if you want more, you can then dive into the charts.

Best time to post on Instagram in Analyze

How does it work?

Your brand’s best time to post is unique to your own brand. That’s because your Instagram followers behave differently from the followers of other brands. So your best time to post should be dependent on your followers’ behavior.

Here’s how Analyze predicts your reach:

First, it looks at how your previous Instagram posts have performed and when they were posted. Do posts at certain times of the day or the week get more reach? Second, to make the predictions more accurate, it also looks at when your Instagram followers are online.

Using these two pieces of information, Analyze predicts your reach on Instagram for each hour of the week. For each hour, Analyze also informs you how the predicted reach compares with the average hourly reach for the whole week.

The predicted reach for this hour is 31% higher than the average post reach of the week.

Then, it recommends three times to try.

You’ll notice that the three times aren’t necessarily the three times with the highest predicted reach. That is intentional. The top times are often next to each other (e.g. Wednesday at 1pm and Wednesday at 2pm). Unless you are posting about a live event, it doesn’t help your reach by publishing multiple posts around the same time. By spreading out your posts throughout the week, you can maximize your reach for the week.

Grow your reach more efficiently

Once you know your best times to post, you can go to Publish to update your posting schedule.

First, go to your Instagram account in Publish and click “Settings” then “Posting Schedule”.

Here, you can add new posting times or adjust your existing posting times to your best times to post.

The times are saved automatically, and you are ready to publish at your best times! Simply add new posts to your queue to schedule them at those times.

It’s worth noting your best times to post can change over time. While your followers’ behavior shouldn’t change drastically, every new post gives Analyze additional data to work with. With that, it might find new best times to post. I would recommend checking your best times to post every few months, especially if you have recently tried new posting times.

Insights delivered to you

We should all be spending less time figuring out our data and more time optimizing our campaigns. With the recommendations in Analyze, you can save some time analyzing your data or reading “best time to post” articles so that you can focus on what’s more important — creating great content.

This new feature is available on all Analyze plans. Give it a go, and take some time back from analyzing your data.

Try Analyze today.

P.S. In the future, you can expect Analyze to surface more insights to you, rather than you searching for them yourself.


Introducing Buffer + Shopify: Simplified Shopify reporting in your Buffer dashboard

One thing we’ve heard over and over is that logging into social media analytics tools can leave marketers feeling a little lost. Sure you can see the reach and engagement of your posts but how is this really impacting your business?

Social media tools have been great at giving us social media metrics. But they terribly lack at providing us with a comprehensive view of the business. Unless you are running social ads, chances are you find it hard to know how your marketing efforts have influenced sales.

For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that invest in social media, the need to understand how social media and sales relate to each other is crucial. Marketers at these brands need to know how their social media strategy is helping the business. To them, social media is not just about getting likes and comments…

but how their social media posts are driving the business forward.

That’s why we are thrilled to introduce the first version of our Shopify integration today. You can now have your social and Shopify data in one single tool and create modern, visual reports with more data about your business. 

(Can’t wait to get started? Start an Analyze Premium trial to try the integration right away!)

Realize the full potential of your brand

Our customers use our platform of products to build their brand and connect with their customers online. Analyze, our new analytics product, aims to help you realize the full potential of your brand.

To achieve the best version of your brand, we want to give you:

  • More data to provide a more complete picture of your brand
  • Data that are easy to understand and share
  • Strategies and tactics to achieve your goals

Currently, social media marketing can feel isolated from the business. You spend time creating content, find the best time to post, and respond to questions on your posts. At the end of the day, you can only report on follower growth, reach, and engagement.

Only if you had more data about your marketing efforts and the business!

When we look at 1,300 top DTC brands, we learned that 87.4 percent of them use Shopify to sell their products.

Shopify provides data that marketers and small business owners often lack in social media tools — sales data. We realized it’s a source of data that could give you a more complete picture of your brand:

Social + sales

Simplified Shopify reporting in your Buffer dashboard

“We usually cross reference metrics from Shopify and our social media analytics.”

When we asked our customers how they figure out whether what they are doing on social is worth it, we heard several versions of the quote above. That’s when we realized our customers have a problem we could solve.

With the new Shopify integration, you’ll have your social media and Shopify data in a single place — Analyze. For this first version, we focus on a few key metrics you need and put them in the same dashboard as your social media data.

At the top of your Shopify tab, you can get a quick health check-in on your business. This is built for you to get a sense of your business health at a glance.

One of the metrics you’ll get is your average customer lifetime value. This is an important metric to know because to have a profitable business, you generally want to spend less money on acquiring new customers and retaining them than they spend on your products.

You’ll also get data to help you understand where your sales are coming from and what products are selling well.

Which channel drives the most number of customers or the highest sales?

Which channel brings in the most valuable customers?

Which are my top products, and where are the sales coming from?

This additional data from Shopify in Analyze will give you a better picture of your business than having only social media data.

To make it easier for your reporting, you can add the tables to your reports in Analyze, download them as PDF, and share them with your team. Just like any other tables and charts in Analyze.

Connecting social media and sales

For a long time, marketers have struggled to show the impact of social media on the bottom line. Much of this data is not available in social media tools that marketers use to plan, optimize, and report their campaigns. It just felt off that marketers can plan and measure their social media campaigns in one tool but have to find another, often much more complicated, tool to know that the campaigns are selling products.

Now you can report how much sales your social media marketing strategy has generated for the business — using a single tool.

(These numbers do not include orders from customers who saw your social media posts and went to Google to search for your website and buy products. That is much harder to track right now. But you now know, at the minimum, how much sales came directly from your social media profiles and the actual impact is much higher.)

You no longer need to jump between tools to draw the connection between your social media efforts and your sales.

Hannah Pilpel, social project manager at MADE.COM, discovered that customers from organic social have a higher average order value than the site average. You can now see this for your business, too.

Gain a better understanding of your brand

Having more data and analytics is essential for realizing the full potential of your brand. It gives you insights to act on and improve your marketing campaigns so that you can grow your brand and your business.

This is just the first version of our Shopify integration, and we are keen to explore more ways to make it more valuable to you. For example, here are some of the areas we have been thinking about:

  • Per-post sales: Find out how much sales each social media post has generated
  • Campaign sales: Know how much sales your campaign has generated
  • Customer insights: Learn more about the social media users who are buying your products
  • Customer lifetime value: Calculate customer lifetime value for different segments
  • Product buzz: Get insights into who’s talking about your products on social

For now, with your social media and Shopify data together in Analyze, you can already have a better understanding of your marketing and brand.

Give yourself an advantage today.

Try Analyze for free.


How to Become a TikTok Pro: Analytics Marketers Need to Know

Experimenting with a new social channel can be daunting especially with the added hurdle of finding ways to measure how you’re doing.

If you’ve been eager to try out TikTok but were reluctant due to a lack of guiding data, here’s a walkthrough of how you can use its native analytics and third-party sources to help you iterate your approach and get the most out of your experience:

Navigating the TikTok Analytics Dashboard

The first important thing to note about TikTok and how the app collects data is that gathering and displaying information begins a week after you set up your Pro account. For this reason, it’s highly recommended you push out as much content as early as possible to get the most informative insights.

Patience will be key as you begin to carve your presence and get comfortable with the platform’s capabilities and how you can use them to cater to your audience.

There are three fundamental categories that TikTok displays within the dashboard:

  • Profile overview
  • Content insights
  • Follower insights

By selecting the corresponding tabs at the top of the Analytics screen, you can unveil more granular specifics and how they’re shaping your overall performance.

Overview Data: Profile Views, Video Engagement, and Follower Counts

TikTok measures your profile and view videos and tracks your followers in either a 7 or 28-day window. Regardless of the window of the time that you’re looking to explore (week vs. month), the data is tracked by the day, making it easy to decipher which content is contributing to the most growth.

You can easily track a funnel of customers and gain knowledge as to what types of content they prefer, when exactly they began engaging with your profile, and whether you’re sharing the videos they deem relevant.

On the surface, these may not feel like the most advanced set of numbers you can get, though they can help you navigate important decisions such o when you post, what you post, how often, and who the content is ultimately being created for.

Content and Audience Data

By hovering over to the ‘Followers’ tab of your Analytics dashboard, you’ll be able to see a gender split and a percentage breakdown of your audience by location in the formats of a pie chart and your standard line chart. Locations are labeled as ‘Top Terrorities’ and designated by country (e.g. Canada, U.S., UK).

Shifting gears to your ‘Content’ tab, you’ll be provided with a high-level picture of the total views of each video you share within the past week, organized from newest to oldest. In addition, TikTok tracks which of these videos, if any, trended on the ‘For You’ page and the number of views these garnered.

If you want to dig further into the performance of a particular post, the Content analytics offers the ability to track more specific measures including:

  • Total like count of post
  • Total number of comments
  • Total shares
  • Total playtime of the video
  • Total video views
  • Average watch time
  • Traffic source types
  • Audience territories

When viewed alongside the overview of top territories in the Followers tab, the audience territories will enable you to compare how different types of contents and formats are sitting with individuals from different locations. If one post did exceptionally well in a given location, it becomes an easy decision to continue to deliver those types of posts. In contrast, if you see a dip in engagement, you’ll know it’s time to go back to the drawing boards.

Harnessing Third-Party Data with Pentos

TikTok’s native tools are great for harnessing data about your profile — but what about the insights of other accounts?

Enter Pentos, an analytics solution that helps you analyze the performance of other TikTokers, as well as get insights on trending hashtag challenges.

Registering for a free account gives you access to up to three accounts worth of insights. For added functionality and more analytics, two other tiers options are available with subscription prices starting at $20/month.

Once you supply the username of the profile you wish to track, TikTok will give you a dashboard containing the following profile information:

  • Average engagement rate
  • Total hearts
  • Total number of videos posted
  • Average likes
  • Average comments
  • Total number of accounts the profile follows

Many marketers recognize the value-add from shaping their content to align with topics that are already trending. On TikTok, hashtag challenges are a fun way to experiment and learn from a community of influencers and then craft stories that align with their interests. With Pentos, you can gauge which of these have the highest engagement and whether a certain challenge is worth putting time and effort behind it.

More specifically, you’ll have insights such as:

  • Average hashtag engagement rate
  • Total views of hashtag content
  • Total number of posts
  • Average likes
  • Engagement rate

Pentos will also allow you to track how your own branded hashtags perform so you’re able to refine your approach based on which challenges attracted more interaction versus those that don’t resonate as well with your audience. In this way, you can attribute outcomes such as community growth and conversions to the resources you’re allocating against sponsored content.

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How to Use Split Tests on Facebook to Find Your Target Audience

With approximately 2.23 billion people logging on to Facebook every month, the social networking service has definitely secured its place in the ecommerce industry as the top platform for both B2B and B2C businesses.

But with over 80 million small- to medium- business pages vying for the coveted Facebook user’s attention, how do you optimize your ads for your marketing objective (whether it be for brand awareness, views, traffic, lead generation, engagement or conversion) and at the same time, make sure you get your money’s worth?

Thankfully, you won’t have to aimlessly conduct trial and error experiments. Facebook’s Split Testing tool enables you to test your campaign by setting a defined budget and duration and then choosing any of five vital ad elements (more on this later) to find out which is most effective.

So how does this Facebook feature actually work? Continue reading on, but before you get too excited, below are five no-nos when conducting a Facebook Split Test:

  1. Don’t go blind: You can’t conduct split tests based on gut-feel. Make use of the insights and analytics tools Facebook provides to help you tailor fit your test design.
  2. Don’t go too big: You can’t be overly-ambitious. While it may be tempting to assume that you can potentially reach Facebook’s billion-people population… Let’s be realistic, you can’t. It’s not like you have an unlimited budget to spend, and nor is your product or service for everyone too.
  3. Don’t be stingy and impatient: Reliable results can only be generated if you spend enough (if you have no clue, the tool provides an ideal figure) on the campaign and let an ad run for at least four days. As well, don’t be tempted to cancel an ad if it’s doing poorly.
  4. Don’t major in minors: While testing which design elements and ad copy your audience engages with the most is a good strategy, you shouldn’t waste precious ad spending on a test that will simply determine which font type or background color works best. Choose a vital element such as the ad headline copy, image, or video to differentiate. Then try to strike a balance between variation and similarity, as shown in the example below that tries to work out which is better—a text only ad or an add with an image.
  5. Don’t disregard optimizing for multiple devices: 95.1% of active Facebook users access the social media platform via their smartphone. In the same way that mobile app testing is conducted to make sure a developed application works seamlessly across different devices and operating systems, the same needs to be done with your adverts. You may create your ads on a desktop computer, but make sure the designs are responsive when viewed in multiple devices with varied display sizes.

Source: Jeff Bullas

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Facebook Split Test to Determine Your Best Target Audience

Now that you know what not to do when creating a Facebook split test, below is a rundown on how you can make the most out of this innovative tool that will help you strategize for meaningful and engaging Facebook content.

1. Setting up your campaign and choosing your ad objective

Once you decide to conduct a test, the first step is to Create a campaign in your Facebook Ad Manager. This is button 2 in the photo below.

Source: AdEspresso

Then, you will be prompted to Choose your objective. Your Facebook ad can either be for awareness, consideration or conversion as shown in the possible options below.

Source: AdEspresso

2. Turning on the Split Test feature

After choosing your desired objective, you can now tick the Create Split Test box. Note that the feature has to be enabled in advance and cannot be simply activated for already ongoing campaigns, unless you edit your ad set (which will interrupt the current campaign).

Source: Social Media Examiner

3. Selecting the variable

There are five variables to choose from when testing out your campaign, each addressing a crucial question in Facebook content creation:

  • Creative: Which design elements work best?
  • Audience: Which specific audience engages with your ad the most?
  • Optimization event: Which ad delivery method will help you achieve your campaign goal?
  • Placement: Where should your ads be shown?
  • Product set: Which inventory items does your audience engage with the most?

Keep in mind that these variables can only be tested one at a time. For this guide, we will be focusing on choosing the appropriate target audience.

Source: Social Media Examiner

4. Making Your Ad Sets

With your campaign basics set-up, you can now create your ad set that will prompt you to choose each set’s corresponding audience (more on this later) and budget, schedule as elaborated in the next step. A maximum of five ad sets can be created and tested against each other.

Source: Business2Community

5. Determining the budget and schedule

If you are new to Facebook advertising, the social media platform makes it easy by setting a default minimum and ideal budget for each ad set you are testing for. The budget can either be split evenly or weighted.

As for scheduling, Facebook recommends a minimum of four days and a maximum of 14 (if you have budget to spare) to get valid results. Remember, scheduling isn’t just about the campaign duration, but also choosing the best time for the post to go live.

Source: Social Media Examiner

6. Zeroing in on your Target Audience

Split testing to determine the most suitable target audience can be done by specifying which group of users will see each ad set, and then customizing other demographic information such as location, age, gender, languages, interests and behavior.

Source: Social Media Examiner

If you have not created a custom audience yet, you can do so based on the different types of users who have already engaged with your page.

Source: Social Media Examiner

You can also choose to generate a lookalike audience based on the demographic of those that have interacted with your enterprise. Take time to understand how customizing and retargeting your audience works.

After you have differentiated the audiences for your ad sets, you should be able to view your Split test summary.

Source: Social Media Examiner

7. Designing Your Ad

After setting up the parameters for your audience split test, now comes the fun part of creating your ad. Facebook has five different layouts (carousel, single image, single video, or canvas) to choose from that features different ways of combining text, image and videos.

Source: Buffer

After making a selection, you can now upload your image and fill in the copy such as in the example below. Then, repeat the process depending on how many ad sets you will be creating.

Source: Buffer

Keep in mind that since you are split testing for the audience variable, other ad elements must be identical or have minimal differences only as exhibited in the example below that had identical copy but modified images.

Source: Business2Community

8. Narrowing Down the Audience Split Test Feature to Target by Key Traffic Type

Your Facebook page traffic can be narrowed down into three types—cold, warm and hot:

    • Cold traffic – users that have zero knowledge or interaction with your brand
    • Warm traffic – users that have heard of you brand and have interacted with your page but have not been converted in buying your product or service
    • Hot traffic – users that have recently purchased from your business and can be encouraged to buy again (upsell) or those that have been converted before and now need reminding (re-engagement)

Attracting cold traffic primarily involves creating ads for awareness by providing content in the form of blog posts, surveys, guides or reports that is relevant to your enterprise’s industry as displayed in the example below. Split testing at this first stage in the conversion funnel usually entails setting up lookalike audiences and experimenting with creative, optimization or placement elements.

Source: Business2Community

On the other hand, testing engagement of warm and hot traffic can be further narrowed down to see which segment will respond best to your goal. For example, if you want to know which ad will drive the most webpage visits, choose traffic as your campaign objective.

Source: Social Media Examiner

Then, set the Audience variable of your ad sets by choosing from any of the readily available Custom Audience category types Facebook provides (as shown in Step 5) or even compare with a specific warm audience that has interacted with a video you have posted.

Source: Social Media Examiner

Custom audiences can reflect users at whatever stage they are at in the sales funnel. By using this split testing feature, you can optimize your ads for each audience segment to ultimately lead the audience from awareness to conversion.

9. Assessing your results and what to do next

Once your campaign duration is over, you will receive a notification and an email of the results. The best performing ad set is determined by the advert that yielded the highest result at the lowest cost possible. Other aspects included in the outcome summary are:

  • The number of times your ad accomplished the intended goal of the campaign
  • The average cost per achieved result
  • The total amount of money spent for the split testing exercise

The results can either equip you with better insights for your next campaign, or you can choose to adopt or renew the winning advert. Facebook provides a confidence level percentage so you can be assured that you will most likely get the similar desired outcome. The general rule of thumb of a clear an actionable result is a confidence level of at least 75%.


Facebook’s Split Testing feature allows you systematically test a variety of integral ad components through an isolated approach to see what blend works best for your target audience. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be disheartened if an ad you run does poorly. Making these kinds of “mistakes” are not a waste of money. Learning what doesn’t work is a worthwhile investment as well.

Now, it’s time to put new learning into practice. Head over to your Facebook Ads Manager, up your game by using other ad tools and management platforms, and create those split tests!

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How a Culture of Collaboration Between Brands and Marketers Leads to Business Results

Burger King Global CMO Fernando Machado believes marketing is a combination of logic and magic, and that creativity is a driving force to build brands and achieve business results.

When asked by Viacom Head of Ad Solutions Sean Moran, whom he sat with for a fireside interview at CES, about the fine line between the art and science parts of marketing, Machado said we need both. “Everyone has the same data. So, if you’re just managing by data, you’re probably not doing anything that its very different,” he said.

Earlier, during a keynote presentation, Machado cited Mark Zuckerberg’s “the biggest risk is not taking any risk” quote, and encouraged the audience of brand marketers to “let the idea grow” and “trust uncertainty” as ways to achieve the kind of creative breakthrough that moves the needle for brands.

During the subsequent fireside Q&A, the Burger King CMO also embraced data, which he says his team uses to “come up with insights.” “We test everything to make it better,” he said, adding that even though they tend to be more conservative “when there was a lot of media money,” in most cases, they took calculated risks as long as they were on brand/brief.

Moran noted that Machado’s ability to tap into the zeitgeist to revamp a culturally connected brand like Burger King wouldn’t have been possible without the right team. Machado credited his agencies, which he affectionately calls “my partners in crime.” “I hate the expression client/agency,” he’d said adding that he liked to think of brand and agencies as a unified “brand team.”

This way of “creating a culture within the organization,” as Moran described it, has given Burger King its most-recent brand wins, such as the Google Home Whopper, McWhopper, and Chocolate Whopper campaigns, which in many cases originated in the company’s regional offices. “When you set up reactions through results, people feel they are empowered to do more,” Machado said.

When Machado highlighted Burger King’s star-studded chicken strips campaign, Moran asked him about his take on influencer marketing. “I don’t have anything against celebrities or influencers as long as it’s authentic,” the Burger King CMO said. He added that five years ago he would’ve been focused on finding someone who has the most reach, now he’d go for someone smaller as long as the influencer has “an authentic history or affinity with the brand”.

Lastly, the top marketers addressed the way technology is changing QSR. “We still have a lot to do regarding CRM,” Machado, who admitted to having come to CES to learn best practices, said. “I wish we would’ve been here for many years back,” he concluded.

The fireside interview between Sean Moran, Head of Ad Solutions of Viacom, and Fernando Machado, Global CMO of Burger King, was conducted as part of the annual Brand Innovators “Brands Bet on Digital” Conference which was held in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Consumer Electronic Showcase (CES).

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How Social Media Giants Leverage Big Data And ML To Serve Users Better

The growth in social network popularity continues posthaste. As of 2018, the number of social media users exceeded 3 billion, and it doesn’t seem the situation is going to change overnight.

To get people hooked and deliver wow user experiences, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other big players apply the cutting edge of technology, with big data solutions being the go-to option. Underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), these solutions let social media thoroughly analyze large amounts of user data, derive actionable insights, and, in turn, deliver hyper-personalized offerings.

And this is just one example of how machine learning solutions can be implemented in the social network environment. Read further to find out how giants like Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit are taking this advanced tech up another notch.

Instagram: In a fight against trolling

Coming in sixth on the list of most popular social networks worldwide, Instagram aims to make the platform as tolerable as possible. For this purpose, they capitalize on DeepText, Facebook’s “learning-based text understanding engine that can comprehend, with near-human accuracy, the textual content of several thousand posts per second.”

Before going live, the system was trained on at least two million comments and categorized them into segments like “bullying, racism, or sexual harassment.” Now, users just have to turn on automatic and manual filters in their account settings if they want to activate offensive comment functionality.

Image source: geek.com

To determine tone and intention, i.e. give the target word or phrase an appropriate interpretation and distinguish between abusive language and constructive criticism (across cultures and languages), Instagram’s AI also carefully studies the contextual meaning of surrounding words.

Besides, DeepText assists Instagram in detecting spam. Empowered by huge data assets and human input, the system identifies fake accounts and cleans up their spam comments on posts and live videos. This feature is currently available in nine languages, but the social media behemoth is working toward expanding this list.

To improve its AI system’s accuracy and avoid becoming an over-sanitized platform, Instagram continues gathering and analyzing new data sets.

Twitter: A step toward engaging users

Twitter, another social media giant, banks on ML to make the grade in image cropping. By using data from eye trackers, Twitter trains its neural networks to predict the areas users might want to look at — which are usually faces, text, animals, and other salient image regions.

As neural networks for saliency prediction tend to be too slow and cumbersome to make smart auto-cropping in real time, Twitter splits the process by using two techniques. The first one, knowledge distillation, is employed to train a smaller network to imitate the more powerful one and make a prediction based on a set of images and third-party salient data. The second technique, Fisher pruning, is used to delete features or parameters that are in some sense redundant, while lowering the computational cost.

Such a smart combination allows Twitter to obtain much more runtime-efficient architectures for saliency prediction and to crop images as soon as they’re uploaded — 10x faster than in a vanilla approach. This makes the uploaded photos more engaging and positively impacts the overall user experience.

Below is an example of how Twitter’s shift from a face detection to a saliency prediction algorithm redefined image cropping.

Image source: blog.twitter.com

Reddit: In a bid to improve website search

For Reddit — a vivid hub of internet news, pics, stories, memes, and videos — advanced search is of top priority. So it stands to reason the social media giant implements the best of tech to increase its searching capabilities and provide users with a custom-fit stream of high-quality content.

Aimed to make its search relevant, fast, and easy to scale with the platform’s growth, Reddit employs Lucidworks’ AI-based platform called Fusion. This helps the company successfully tackle the challenge of updating their indexing pipeline — by pulling together data from several sources into one cohesive canonical view. Also, Reddit not only indexes new post creations, but also updates their relevance signals in real time — based on votes, comments, etc.

The partnership with Lucidworks has given Reddit impressive results:
1. There was a 33% increase in posts indexed.
2. The reindex of all the website content slashed from 11 to 5 hours.
3. The error rate was down by two orders of magnitude, with 99% of search results served in under 500ms.
4. The number of machines needed to run search dropped from 200 to 30.

On top of that, Reddit excelled in boosting user experience and keeping operational costs down. Here’s how the tech stack of the revitalized search platform looks like now:

Image source: redditblog.com

A final word

From crafting personalized offers to fighting spam to enhancing search, machine learning delivers business value to an array of social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others have already found the ML-enabled solution to reap these benefits. Have you?

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Spotify Debuts Its First Analytics Tool For Music Publishers

Streaming music service Spotify just debuted Spotify Publishing Analytics, its first analytics tool built specifically for music publishers.

According to Spotify, this is their effort to take care of the needs of music publishers, a group that hasn’t been given the necessary analytics tool.

“We know that there are usually many more people involved in the creation of your favorite song than just the artist whose face appears on the billboard,” according to Spotify’s press release.

“One of our core missions at Spotify is to enable creators the opportunity to live off their art,” said Jules Parker, Head of Publishing Relations & Services, EMEA and APAC, Spotify. “The publishing community is integral in supporting the songwriters that create the music we love. With more information, publishers are empowered to make the most of the opportunities the global reach of Spotify provides, and the more information we can share with each other, the more opportunity we can help create for songwriters.”

The publishing analytics tool allows music publishers to track daily streaming stats, including playlist performance, and view data across all the songwriters on their roster. In addition, it offers insights into streams by song, songwriter and recording — how songs are doing on playlists; a way to see all the different versions of a song; and a way to export metadata to internal systems for further archival and analysis.

Spotify says that this new tool will be the first built specifically for publishers from a music streaming service, although, according to Musically.com, companies like Socan, Kobalt and Songtrust have already been providing publishers analytic tools, though not as a streaming service.

This move shows Spotify’s recognition of the fact that collecting data nowadays is more important than ever, especially for publishers, according to Patrick Joest, EVP Global Content Partnerships & Synch, BMG.

“Armed with this level of streaming data, directly from Spotify, music publishers can gain insights into new opportunities for their songwriters, more efficiently collect royalties on their behalf, and moe effectively market their works,” said Joest.

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Adobe Doubles Down on Marketing Analytics

Adobe adbe is following up a record quarter with an ambitious data-sharing initiative being introduced on Tuesday at its annual customer conference. The effort, dubbed the Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op, is one of several ways the software maker plans to use sophisticated marketing analytics to distinguish its strategy from those of big rivals, such…