Smart businesses are not only taking social media seriously, they’re using social analytics to drive decision-making. Through the proper social media management platform, insightful and powerful information can guide brands to prioritize actions and inform business strategy. Social data can help discover inefficiencies and even expose new opportunities that are drawn from online conversations about products, the brand, and the way they handle customer service.
Socially savvy consumers are voicing opinions across the Internet and businesses are listening and responding, some in real-time. Those that don’t implement this essential tactic will fall behind others who are communicating more authentically with their customers. Implementing social data analysis company-wide gives employees a true understanding of customers’ needs, thereby encouraging a cohesive view of the business’s mission and direction.
A robust social media management platform allows for a single entity to house all data and should be utilized by several departments within a business. Social data tends to remain isolated from business-critical enterprise data collected from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and other sources. With proper integration of data, relevant departments can avoid missed correlations and build a customer-centric environment. The practice promotes communication among departments and strengthens employee relations, not to mention a reduction in communication costs.
The use of social media as a major factor in a marketing plan is rampant, and rightly so. Social data can help to optimize the plan and direct campaigns to more successful outcomes. Startlingly, only 55% of marketers are taking advantage of social data, according to Social Media Today. They may employ social media as part of their cross-channel strategy, however the resulting data goes untouched.
While building brand awareness may be the main reason why marketers use social media, there is so much more to gain by taking the next step into social analytics. By listening to online chatter, trends can be identified with regard to consumer sentiment about products; social media data is a form of customer feedback – something all businesses seek in order to grow and improve.
Marketers can use social data to manage content efficacy. By analyzing how and where users read, share and chat about content, marketers can tweak content type, strategy and tactics. With the rise of geo-location data, marketers can discover whether or not to refocus efforts in certain areas.
Combining social data with customer data reveals powerful insights as profiles become richer. Buying personas become clearer as marketers segment customers. Social data can also help in learning the customer journey in the sales cycle, and can influence where, when and how they want to be reached. It can also serve as a lead generator and nurturer and help dictate where marketing dollars should be spent.
Competitive research through social media data analysis can reveal what is lacking in an industry, and what can be done to fill voids created by competitors. Social data can also uncover a business’s own missteps and reveal insights that may have stayed buried until they becomes apparent through data analysis.
Sears, the Fortune 100 retailer that provides home, apparel and automotive merchandise and related services through more than one thousand retail stores relies on social media to provide customer service, manage crises, promote its stores, products and services, as well as make more sound business decisions.
The retailer chose a comprehensive social management platform for its enterprise workflows that enabled them to find, triage and route social information easily to appropriate audiences (i.e. specific stores, customer service, marketing) helping alleviate the complex dynamics of managing social media across the company. In addition, the deep social analytics and intelligence the platform provided helped the retail giant gain a deeper understanding of its customer audience, influencers and competitive landscape.
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For teams using social media dashboards, like those in Tracx, making sure everyone who uses these tools understands these changes should be a top priority.
Brands that have not relied on organic reach in Facebook and Instagram will not likely see any changes this year. Those who do will need to take a serious look at other options.