I'm lucky enough to have seen #socialmedia
data used in some pretty inventive ways. I'm often asked the ways that it can be used to provide the most value to business.
I happen to think the opportunities are endless, particularly in regards to consumer research and consumer trending, however to keep things simple I thought I'd write a quick list of how I've seen it work best. So these are the Eight Key Uses for Social Media Data I've found. I'd love to hear how others have used SM data as well!
The Eight Key Opportunities for Social Data #ConsumerResearch
: Social Media is the world’s largest focus group with over 6 billion conversations a year, using technology to identify consumer responses to unprompted questions enables researchers to discover unique insight that is organic and in the consumers own words.
EXAMPLE: Food manufacturer uses Social Media to uncover new product development ideas by researching how and why consumers discuss coffee consumption. What need states exist for consumption, what tastes/flavours are trending and why do consumers choose brand X over brand Y. #MarketingEconometrics
Modelling: The “word of mouth” effect is notoriously difficult to track and influence. Building Social Media data into traditional econometrics models along with media channel spends and sales can enhance the ability to understand the media mix and measure the long term impact of campaigns.
EXAMPLE: A retailer wants to improve their marketing channel mix and better understand the impact of deep discounting to overall brand health. By including consumer sentiment from Social Media as multiple drivers: such as Consumption Conversation (“I went to Brand X”, “I shop at Brand X”), Loyalty Discussion (“I love brand X”, “Brand X is the best”) and Generic Word of Mouth (mentions Brand X) they are better able to understand which channels are promoting the brand and which campaigns elevate brand over time vs. short term sales. #PR
/Reputation Management: Due to the nature of consumer behaviour, online searches are now the first port of call for consumers searching for your brand or category. Social Media data can identify who’s influencing your reputation online and how and why consumers discuss your brand. Track this conversation to identify threats and monitor reputation or consider engaging with your advocates to drive loyalty and positive discussion.
EXAMPLE: Changes in superannuation policy causes shifts in consumer perception of brands and superannuation. Tracking the consumer understanding of these changes allows Company X to respond to consumer queries quickly (in the media space) and then understand the impact of this PR. #CrisisManagement
: Similar to reputation management, crisis management through Social Media allows companies to track in real time issues that impact their brand.
EXAMPLE: A major cruise Line suffers an onboard crisis. They want to understand and track in real time the extent of the crisis so they can respond quickly and prepare the company to assist their passengers. Over time they can understand the impact the crisis on brand perception from their core consumer target base and understand the reach of this crisis (compared to a previous incident to estimate the sales and long term impact of the crisis).
Better understand #SalesForecasting
: Consumer sentiment from Social Media can assist sales managers in understanding the drivers during peaks and troughs of sales data that may not be explained by the business.
EXAMPLE: Tourism brand wants to understand the increase in visits to their website and interest in visiting Country X. Through Social Media they were able to identify a group of consumers who were motivated to visit the country after it featured in a film. Using this knowledge they are better able to identify the size of this opportunity, respond to this increase in visits and tailor messaging for this core group. #ConsumerProfiling
: Social Media data allows brands to understand more about their potential consumers, core target group or generic consumer base. Using Social Media data technology a brand can identify a group of consumers (e.g. Brand Advocates those that have stated “I love/recommend Brand X”) and look at their overall Social Media presence and discussions online. Understanding the topic discussions they have, how they interact with their peer and where and how they use the online space assists in developing a robust pen portrait of your consumers beyond simple demographics.
EXAMPLE: Cleaning brand is going through a major brand refresh. They want to understand the key drivers/motivations of their core consumer group beyond cleaning. Using social media they were able to develop detailed profiles on their consumers and how they behave. This assists in developing messaging and branding that would resonate with these consumers. #CustomerService
: Consumers use Social Customer Service to engage with the brand, “experts” or other consumers when they encounter challenges. Understanding how and why consumers use this channel allows brands to monitor and improve their customer satisfaction. The use of Social Customer Service enables brands to respond quickly and openly to consumers to increase service and reduce costs.
EXAMPLE: Utility brand develops a Social Customer Service channel and is better able to assist in responding to consumers, communicating during network downtime and reduce call centre queries. They are also able to track the key issues that concern their consumers and the responses when they make changes to their products/services. #CompetitorTracking
: In most cases Social Media data is public data and brands can monitor and track their competitors the same why they track themselves. This enables like for like comparisons on brand tracking, customer satisfaction, consumer profiling and campaign tracking.
EXAMPLE: Electronics manufacturer tracks the discussion for their brand and competitors over the consumer decision journey. Understanding the core drivers of purchase intent for the category and how they perform against competitors enables them to refine their positioning at this stage and overcome obstacles that impact brand switching. #socialmediatips #socialmediadata #socialmediastrategy