Remember the 1960s board game Mystery Date?

To win the game, players gathered clues to assemble an appropriate outfit for their big night out with the unknown person behind the door.

Interpret the clues correctly to put together the right outfit, and — voilà – Winner! Wear the wrong outfit or open the door to the dreaded “dud,” and you lose.

Deciphering Social Data

For many marketers, attempting to engage customers on social media is a never-ending game of Mystery Date, in which they continually struggle to win.

Just like the game, brand marketers’ ability to reach the right customers (rather than “the duds”) with the right content at the right time is completely dependent upon the clues they can extract.

Social data can help build out more accurate customer personas than ever before, and create more personalized customer experiences for lasting connections.

But most marketers still struggle with the right way to discover, collect and interpret social data — and as a result, they’re losing the game.

Aligning CX + Social Data

Brand marketers all agree customer experience is important. But how many are currently using insights gleaned from social data as part of their customer experience strategy?

This indicates brand marketers are not connecting the dots between the benefits of social data and improving the digital customer experience.

Barriers to Using Social Data

For many, the barriers to using social data effectively are simply a matter of time and know-how. 

Many of the more mature social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have built out their own measurement tools for marketers to gauge the effectiveness of a campaign.

But the task of managing multiple social accounts across global business units, wrangling and scaling all of these tools at once can be overwhelming. Further, these proprietary features vary wildly in usability and quality of data.

The Value of Social Listening Tools

Social listening tools are designed to solve the time challenge for marketers, but many are cost-prohibitive and difficult to use.

And most don’t address all phases of social data use: listening, content marketing, engagement and audience management — across all social touchpoints.

Listening Without Intruding

The key to successfully incorporating social data into a seamless, highly personalized customer experience is to offer content to your target audience without coming across as a salesperson. Here are a few tips:

Make It Worthwhile

Consumers are more comfortable with surrendering increasing degrees of privacy in exchange for more convenience, greater relevance and above all, value. 

Learning Opportunities

According to Accenture’s Personalization Pulse Check survey, 70 percent of consumers are generally comfortable with brands collecting personal data if they are transparent about how they use it.

What does this mean? Consumers not only are comfortable with brands using their social data to present them with offers, but they expect it. In fact, the biggest complaint from consumers isn’t that brands are targeting them based on social data; they’re far more turned off by receiving irrelevant recommendations.

Focus on Customer Intent

Your audience knows what they want, when they want it. It’s called “customer intent,” and Google calls it “more powerful than demographics.”

Intent gives you information about audience behavioral trends, social media movements and trending conversation topics. The simplest way to respond to customer intent is to offer useful content that helps them find what they’re looking for.

For example, a jewelry retailer could create a helpful holiday buyers’ guide based on various personas and market it to men who are searching for specific types of jewelry for Christmas.

Empowering your content and social teams with concrete insights about your target audience will ensure that there is intent behind your content – instead of vague demographics and generic offers.

Provide an Emotional Connection

Capturing a potential customer’s attention on social media is a tall order, but holding that attention is even more difficult. The key is to create an emotional connection through the content you’re presenting.

Consumers know the difference between a mass personalization (e.g., the classic, “Hi [first name], did you know that…”) and real personalization, based on a nuanced understanding of their wants and needs.

Playing to Win

Real personalization, just like playing Mystery Date, is about invoking a positive emotional reaction from your customer when you’re interacting with them in key moments.

If you can establish this connection with the right message at the right time, your conversion rates will soar. 

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