While most branding experts have come to agree that social media platforms such as Facebook are necessary customer relationship tools in the 21st century, many of them still have a hard time stating exactly why this is so. Quantifying the value Facebook provides branding efforts is not an easy task, but Polygraph Media is releasing a new application called Polygraph Reports aimed at making determining the hard value of Facebook branding efforts a little easier.

Visualizing Facebook Data

Polygraph Reports offers data mining and analytics for Facebook, collecting real-time data from Facebook Pages and subscriber-enabled Facebook Profiles and presenting it in an assortment of more than 40 charts, graphs and other visual data formats.

Polygraph says the tool analyzes all major Facebook marketing scenarios including community management, content marketing, top content and competitive benchmarking, and can also identify the top 1000 fans of any Facebook page according to their online influence.

Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Polygraph is not the only business solutions vendor offering tools for marketers who want to unlock the hidden gems of information that lay buried within troves of social media data.

Earlier this year, Dachis Group released a tool called Social Performance Monitor that monitors and measures a company’s performance across Facebook and all other social media marketing activities and provides insights on how to improve it. The free online tool specifically provides insights in areas such as conversations and event correlations, and an integration with the Facebook Insights API allows users to analyze Facebook posts and, combined with analysis from other data flows, determine things like post reach, engaged users, sentiment and virality score.

Marketers Recognize Social Media Potential

It is one thing for IT solutions vendors and pundits to tell marketers what kind of value they can obtain from social media, it is another for marketers themselves to voice an interest in sifting through social media data to glean customer and campaign insights.

Learning Opportunities

According to a recent survey of more than 700 global marketing professionals by social media promotions specialists Wildfire Interactive, 97 percent of marketers believe social media marketing benefits their business and 75 percent intend to increase their spending in this area during 2012.

Furthermore, 88 percent of survey respondents see social media as a mechanism to increase brand awareness, and 85 percent see it as a way to engage customers.

The most popular social network among marketers? Facebook wins easily, with 94 percent ranking Facebook as a top social media marketing channel, trailed distantly by Twitter (74 percent). Polygraph seems to have tapped into an organic need among marketers for in-depth social media data analysis, and also selected the right starting point.

Polygraph Reports is delivered as a hosted SaaS solution and developed on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform. Polygraph plans to release data mining tools tailored for other major social networking platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, later this year. Free and purchasable Polygraph Reports are available here.