Social data is an integral part of modern marketing. Data provides insight into what makes customers “tick”. By leveraging social data businesses can fine-tune messaging for greater relevance, design products that better meet customer need, and gain the understanding needed to deliver a market-leading customer experience.
Businesses are beginning to realize how social media data can improve their offerings. The Falcon Customer Experience Trends Report 2016 confirmed this assessment. All those we identified as best-in-class marketers stated they use social data to inform customer-facing operations.
The report also identified five ways marketers analyze and apply social media data for campaigns.
1. Gain inspiration for content and campaigns
By far the most significant use for social data has been to gain inspiration for content and campaigns. 66% of respondents reported that they monitor social channels to identify the topics that are most important to their customers.
The wide availability of social data means that marketers have an almost limitless supply of raw data generated by customers themselves. The most successful campaigns are inevitably built using customer feedback.
Marketers also have the opportunity to observe their competitors in action. By noting the successes and failures of the competition, marketers can refine their own social campaigns.
2. Increased relevance when engaging customers
The need for personalized messaging means that social media managers must know their customers on an individual level. According to our study, 63% of marketers want to engage their customers with more relevant content, campaigns, and direct messages.
By collecting and analyzing historical data, marketers can understand their customers’ interests and preferences. To do this, marketers need a tool capable of collecting and analyzing social media data to easily access historical data.
One final observation – European marketers lag behind their American counterparts when it comes to using historical data to engage customers more relevantly. In the US, 70% use data in this way, as opposed to just 58% in Europe.
3. Tapping into conversations
Most conversations about products and services never actually involve the brand in question. One in three consumers use social media for product research, which means there are conversations happening outside the channels you own and control.
Monitoring social networks provides a way for social media managers to identify these conversations and – where appropriate – join in. When an opportunity presents itself to help a customer (and make your brand look good), you need to take it. These sorts of proactive steps help to cement your reputation as a brand that listens and responds appropriately.
4. Gaining a competitive advantage
As we mentioned before, analyzing social media data reveals opportunities to get ahead of your competition. The better you can understand your audience and their preferences, the more finely you can tune your content and campaigns. Using this data to elevate your customers’ experience will serve as a powerful differentiator between your brand and the competition.
Analyzing social media data will also help you identify new opportunities, gaps in the market that your brand can develop solutions to fill. Being customer-driven, these innovations stand a far better chance of success in a crowded marketplace. In fact, many startups conduct early market research using social media data long before they have a product to market.
Somewhat surprisingly, almost a third (28%) of our survey respondents reported that social data was of little or no value for gaining a competitive advantage, suggesting that they are not getting full value from their efforts.
5. Using sentiment analysis to improve brand health
Social media channels are a constant stream of customer opinion on almost every topic under the sun. From world politics to the latest Marvel movie, someone, somewhere has something to say.
For brands it is not enough that they are simply talked about – they need to be talked about in a positive way. If one-third of consumers are researching products on Facebook and Twitter, a steady stream of negative posts is likely to drive them away from your business.
Social media data needs to be monitored for brand sentiment, positive, negative or neutral, so that you can accurately assess what people really think. You will then know exactly what needs to be done to improve the overall image of your company. Staying on top of negative sentiment also provides early warning of a potential social media meltdown, allowing you to recover the situation before it spirals out of control. Otherwise, you may allow a damaging incident that will require months of recovery.
Putting social media data to work for your business
Perhaps most surprising of all the findings in the Customer Experience Trends Report was the fact that roughly 20% of those polled find social data is not useful for these five tasks. This suggests that marketers are not making full use of their data, or that they lack the tools to aggregate and analyze information from all of their social channels.
Which means that roughly one-fifth of social-enabled businesses are giving their competitors an automatic advantage. To learn more about how to analyze social media data more effectively, why not arrange a free demo of the Falcon platform?