I think we are all agreed that social media has now bedded down and is as much a part of the fabric of marketing as email, direct mail and television. Better still, it is intrinsically linked to all the aforementioned disciplines in a way that boosts their effectiveness. Social media is not a standalone subdivision of marketing, because it generates data that can be tied back to the behavior and business objective it is supposed to alter.

There need never be a campaign that goes without a shallow or deep integration with social media, and for this reason, there need never be a campaign that is blindly constructed from the outset. The benchmarking of data before, during and after is where social media monitoring proves its value in delivering answers and effectiveness outcomes.

Every tweet carries a name, invariably some level of sentiment weighting within the content, and, if the user chooses, location data too. Blog posts have traffic levels, popularity ranking scores based on audience and activity. Content is more than the sum of words or pixels at the coal face.

Social media is a strong performer when it comes to customer service responses; nipping that complaint in the bud before it “goes viral” is often a business headache that can be resolved in minutes and with little cost (financially and in terms of reputation). There is a wealth of evidence that social media responses to customer complaints can strengthen loyalty and advocacy. Turn that frown upside down!

Making Social Media Data Work Harder

How can you make the social data work harder:

  • What are people saying about your brand? Conduct a brand assessment report.
  • Who are the influencers and how can you reach them? Comparative datasets enable for competitive audit reports.
  • How does your brand compare to the competition? The data in social networks is public information -- no espionage involved in putting together a marketing measurement report.
  • Market research: What can you learn about a certain topic? Historical benchmarking or predictive analytics are all rich sources of business critical answers.
  • How did your campaign or product launch perform in social media? Did you get the bang for your buck that you had forecasted?

Social Media Data Brings Opportunities

When you start to look closer at the social data you generate -- perhaps, more pertinently, the interactions and efforts of your audience -- it soon becomes apparent that there are patterns, interesting anomalies and above all, opportunities.

Imagine what you could discover about your company, products, services, etc. with the insight of social media data. Still think social media is just tweeting what you had for lunch or organizing parties on Facebook?

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