By Paul Smith, Techlightenment
Social media has never been so popular. There are now over 600 million Facebook users, 200 million tweeters and 100 million people watching You Tube each month.
As such, social data, all the information about a customer that’s available from their social profile and actions on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr and other social media, is currently the most valuable data in the market.
This information is rich and complex because it is the result of people’s engagement in multiple activities and their relationships across a variety of channels. It is not simply how many Facebook fans a brand has but goes much deeper to demographics, people’s interests, activities and even photos that show a person’s geographic location.
The majority of companies are merely skimming the surface of this data and not using it to its full potential, therefore wasting time and money.
The benefits of a good social data strategy are raising marketing return on investment (ROI) due to more accurate targeting, product improvement and better customer experience. As a result of a good social data strategy brands are also able to explore new market segments, identify new business opportunities and cut sales costs by building a community around the brand, and above all increase their customer loyalty.
By digging deeper we can work out many important factors which help us to understand company’s advertising campaigns. For example, we can read how many people comment per hour after a campaign has launched to gauge its success.
It is imperative that companies start to use and integrate this valuable data. There are lots of cheap tools available, but the way to achieve the best results is to do this is by employing a specialist to manage and interpret their social data.
A good example of a successful social data campaign is all-in-one body suit company Morphsuits (Lady Gaga has been pictured in a pink one!) which only had a few thousand fans before analysing its social data. Once it had a better understanding of its consumers and knew who it should be targeting, Morphsuits was able to effectively target like-minded customers and grow its fan base to half a million.
We are doing similar work with clients such as Dr Marten to discover who its customers really are - helping us target them more effectively.
Marketers must realise that this is the time to get their social data strategy right. It’s time to leverage their customers’ presence on the social web, and ultimately be able to manage the conversation process, instead of following the flow.
With customers taking an active role by engaging in conversations, creating communities, sharing ideas and connecting with likeminded people, they are now more accessible than ever. Therefore, there is no reason not to connect with them, learn more about their interests and their passions, and offer them a unique customer experience that encourages them to convert and spread the word.
Techlightenment works closely with organisations and brands, helping them to take advantage of their social data by combining it with the latest technologies available, so I can confidently say that this is the year to get your social data strategy right.
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