The Power of Now - How Real-Time Analytics Transform Social.

Measuring in real-time can boost your social campaigns, enhance PR, and even net you elusive ROI.
Lasse Lund
Lasse Lund
April 1, 2016 - 4 min. read

The ability to pivot operations at speed has become one of the defining success factors of businesses in the Internet age. Those organizations that can adapt to changing market conditions quickest, stand to capture more of the available market– and to avoid situations that could kill their business.

This means that even marketing campaigns need to be able to flex and adjust, using the latest data to refine and re-target. And if these adjustments can take place as the campaign is underway, so much the better.

Here are our top three reasons why your social media campaigns need real-time analytics to create a maximum return on investment.

Real-time analytics boost social campaign success
All of the major social media platforms provide tools to monitor reach and engagement for your status updates. But when you are running a campaign across multiple platforms, it becomes quite difficult to collect, collate, and standardize those insights.

The amount of manual effort involved means that reporting is a scheduled job – weekly, monthly, and sometimes only after a campaign has finished. These reports work, but leave you with a delay between social engagement and taking a strategic action to change the course of your campaign.

In the age of instant gratification, customers simply do not want to wait – for anything. According to HubSpot, companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers than their competitors who take more than an hour.

This same urgency needs to be applied to every aspect of your campaign. Real-time analytics will help you identify when something is working well, or failing to achieve expectations. These observations will then provide direction, and evidence, for how best to amend the campaign.

After all, it is easier to turn around a failing campaign than it is to justify a failure at the end.

Real-time analytics help to avoid PR disasters
The instantaneous nature of social media means that it is very easy to make a mistake when posting updates, particularly in follow-up messages to customers who have engaged with the campaign. Poorly timed humor or messages that make no account of local customs can be an instant source of offense.

Worse still, the viral nature of social media can elevate a small mistake to global outrage within a matter of hours. An ill-conceived sales offer to commemorate Martin Luther King Day turned into a PR disaster for Minnesota-based clothing store Global Village Duluth.

The brand posted an offer on their Facebook page offering “25% off everything black.”. Despite having just 233 page fans at the time of the original post, the offer quickly went viral, with hundreds of messages condemning Global Village Duluth for being insensitive, ignorant, and much worse.

Real-time analytics would have quickly revealed that something was amiss. And a social media management platform capable of performing sentiment analysis would have shown that the peak in interest was far from positive. This early warning could then have been used to try and recover the situation, preventing a major PR disaster that saw the incident named on several  “worst of social media PR’ lists.

Real-time analytics as part of your ROI calculations
When combined with your wider campaign goals, it becomes possible to generate instant insight into your current ROI. And of course, this is the most powerful proof of campaign performance – particularly for the CFO and CMO who want to see a financial return on your efforts.

You will, of course, need a platform capable of collating stats and analytics from all of your social accounts to calculate ROI value. Otherwise, the delay incurred by having to manually collect, collate, and process data will cost you precious time and prevent you from adjusting campaigns quickly.

The ability to determine ROI quickly may well be the most powerful motivating factor for driving further campaign improvements. Particularly if those figures are then shared outside the social media team.

The democratizing nature of the Internet means that your business needs to identify and exploit any potential advantage to stay ahead of the competition; lower prices are no longer the defining factor for your customer’s purchasing decisions. Instead, quality and speed of service are becoming more important.

And if real-time analytics can help you boost any aspect of your social marketing and service operations, your team must take advantage of them – or your competitors will.

Ready to learn more? Contact Falcon Social today to arrange a quick demo and see the power of real-time analytics for yourself.

Effective Real-Time Marketing
What you need consider to create compelling content that engages your fans in real time.