Let’s get straight into it.
Yesterday, in the post – Social media analytics: Business Intelligence gives you insight – we discussed the value of using Business Intelligence (BI) tools to analyze data accumulated from social media platforms.
Now, let’s have a look at the benefits, usefulness and limitations of incorporating social media into your data set.
Why take advantage of social media and Business Intelligence integration?
Essentially, dissecting data generated by social media interactions with analytic and reporting tools, will enable immediate access to powerful and actionable insights into consumer sentiment – if you don’t take advantage of this emerging capability, and competitors do, you’ll loose market share.
But apart from the negative motivation, there are many positive reasons to incorporate social media into your data set.
Feedback from social media sentiment is virtually instantaneous. Most other commonly used data sources, such as point-of-sale/transaction reports and customer telephone or mail surveys, are time delayed.
Organizations can now take advantage of the immediacy of social media feedback to gauge the success of products, services and launches.
Its immediacy means it can be feed back into an existing campaign, to help tailor and adjust current offerings, or be feed into the planning process for next time.
Highly targeted messaging and data accuracy
In conjunction with the swiftness of response, the relevancy and accuracy of the data is likely to be high. People will tend to speak more honestly about your brand and air any grievances in a social media setting. You wont get this in a structured formal survey.
Customer satisfaction: responsiveness and personalization
Superman-quick feedback also allows you to respond to individual customer needs and concerns much faster. Access to quick and accurate data enables you to make quick and accurate customer decisions with a higher degree of personalization, which will undoubtedly impress your customers, and convey a sense of dedication.
Monitoring the competition and developing marketing strategy
Taking advantage of social analytics can also assist you to monitor your competition and establish market segment opportunities and threats.
Tracking social media patterns and behaviors through analytics allows you to monitor customer behavior in various online environments. This can help determine which online platforms are the most profitable and therefore guide the development of sound online social media marketing strategy.
Limitations and variations in data strength from different sources
However, it pays to know what data you’re looking for, why, and understand the limitations of its usefulness. For example, not all data collected from social media platforms should be given the same weighting. Expert opinion from a respected blogger regarded as a champion of your brand, will obviously far outweigh a fleeting Twitter, Digg or Stumbleupon remark from an unknown individual lacking expert knowledge and cyberspace following.
Know what you want to achieve
When undertaking social analytics, you must decide which key words and phrases should be given greater weighting – this will vary according to your changing focus. What key phrases and words will you search for and why? You also need to consider the search terms carefully to minimize the amount of “noise” generated. If you’re a phone company, searching for the phrase “handset” on its own, will be of no value.
How to take advantage of social media analytics?
Ok, we’ve outlined the benefits. Now, how do you actually implement an analytics and reporting program to take advantage of your social media data?
- Collect your data (carefully – with intent and purpose)
- Clean and organize your unstructured data into a form that can be analyzed
- Analyze and report your collated data and utilize it to underpin fundamental strategic business decisions
This is where Yellowfin comes in. But wait, what’s that thing in the distances? It’s approaching at alarming speed, it’s almost upon us – it’s the plug!
To make effective use of the real-time nature of data obtained through social media outlets, you need an intuitive, fast and highly customizable reporting and analytics solution that empowers end-users to view and manipulate reports quickly. And that’s exactly what Yellowfin does.
Plug over. That wasn’t too painful.
Ultimately, data made available from your customer or client base through social media can help you gain valuable insight into your business operations to enable you to respond appropriately – reactively or proactively. Because of the open, conversational environment of social media, feedback generated will probably be some of the most honest customer service data you’ve ever collected.