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The only constant in social media analytics is the speed with which they change. So how do you keep up with the metrics that matter so you can make smart business decisions?

Audience Wrangling 101

First, you need to know who your audience is, and where they like to hang out online. If you’re focused on the next generation of consumers – Centennials and beyond, for example – Snapchat is a great start. But it shouldn’t be your only stop. No single social network should be.

The idea here is to think small while keeping your world large. Whether your goal is connecting with Gen Xers, Millennials or Centennials, you’ve got to recognize they aren’t all cut from the same cloth. Thus, approaching these audiences based on age is a very limiting strategy.

Not only are there endless segments within each generation, the more you search for common interests among your fans and prospects, the more you’ll see overlap of varying age groups.

Appealing to these segments has nothing to do with age – and everything to do with uncovering everything they’re passionate about.

You may discover one segment of your audience is all about Snapchat, but another may be devoted to Instagram, or Facebook. You have to find your audience in all corners of the Web.

It’s a Long Game Comprised of Short Bursts

But let’s get back to the concept of Snapchat – because it adds a complicated layer to the endeavor of capturing social analytics. When we say “Snapchat world” we don’t mean it literally – we mean the fleeting nature of social media overall, with a nod to Snapchat as the original temporary social network.

As social users spend more time online, with brands constantly clamoring for their attention, they become less willing to give so much of themselves away. This has given rise to other ways to limit their digital footprints – with temporary Stories spreading from Snapchat, to Instagram and Facebook.

Consumers have learned to be wary of the permanence of the Internet – particularly with personal information.

Now such details are available to friends and followers for a brief window, and then gone forever. This poses a challenge for brands.

If real-time social listening wasn’t part of daily operations before, it needs to be now. Otherwise the information with the greatest value will be gone before you ever counted it.

Similarly, brands need to consider how they’ll grab consumer interest on these networks within the same limited window. Your marketing campaigns now need to work within a 24-hour shelf life, which demands a different roll-out strategy.

What keeps your addicted-to-the-temporary followers coming back for more day after day? That’s what you need social analytics to figure out.

Retribution at the Speed of Light

While we’re touching on Snapchat as a theme, this is a good time to talk about why it’s so important to understand where your audience stands. Snapchat is recovering from two incidents

The first, in February, came as a result of Kylie Jenner’s critical tweet, implying users should abandon the app.

This caused Snap stock to drop seven percent. It’s a stark reminder of the power of celebrity voices – and why you need to create relationships with influencers to keep them on your side.

It’s also another reason to diversify your social channels. If you’ve got all your eggs in the Snapchat basket when a massive influencer tells your audience to cut and run, you’re left scrambling to understand how to reach them on whatever network they flee to.

The second incident dropped shares by five percent when Rihanna responded in an Instagram Story to a Snapchat third-party ad for the game Would You Rather. The ad posed the question: “Would you rather slap Rihanna, or punch Chris Brown?”

Even without the history between Rihanna and Brown, domestic violence is no joking matter. Snapchat apologized and is looking into how the ad was approved on their end, but for some users the damage is undoubtedly done.

The takeaway here is how quickly consumers respond, and the need to monitor all potential threats on social. That means dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.”

Social sentiment must be carefully tracked for sudden upticks in negativity, yes – but you also must be vigilant on the brand-side. Because news spreads quickly through social channels – and the younger the audience, the more connected and digitally savvy they are.

This may be the most important thing to remember in the “Snapchat world.” While actions are instantaneous – the regret may be forever. Keep up on your social media analytics so you don’t leave your brand vulnerable.

We can show your brand how our social media analytics tools work with a custom demo – just ask!

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