One of the most under utilised uses of social media is research and development. Social media is full of useful and actionable social data, yet most businesses chose simply to measure weak metrics such as amount of followers, likes and RT’s.
Extracting Social Data
On Platform Analytics – Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter On their own there is a lot more detail. Often many 3rd party social media reporting tools only take a selection of the top line stats. However when you delve deeper into the individual platform statistics you can find out even more valuable information. For example the difference between engagement and consumption on Facebook
3rd Party Analytics – Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Brandwatch, Simply Measured Often it isn’t the individual platforms that tell the story, you need to take a combination of the most important stats to see what is and isn’t working. Below is a screengrab from a sprout social report
Community Driven Social Data
When was the last time you asked you’re community “how are we doing?” By speaking directly to your audience, you will get direct insight and feedback. In years gone by this would have to be done via a market research company, a direct mail campaign or other more expensive physical solutions. If you spend five minutes to create a survey, you can use this to help customers give feedback on key areas of your business. Digital surveys are low commitment and very high value. By spreading the survey throughout your existing digital infrastructure you will get many responses from your customers instantly.
Some software can listen for sentiment in social mentions. This kind of software is good for analysing the general feeling people have towards your brand. Although sentiment analysis can be flawed by not taking into account phrasing and things like sarcasm. Overall for big brands it is essential. Sentiment social data helps you prioritise and escalate social feedback in real time. If someone has been directly negative this can be flagged and dealt with by your social customer care team.
Using social data to drive business results
Once you have your data, you can use it to make business decisions. From a product to start developing to a new promotion to try and tap into a subset of customers you were not aware you were connected to. Customers feel valued when they are asked their opinion. You can always use this to your advantage by making it a competition. Crowd sourced product development isn’t a new idea but it is hugely under utilised. Businesses of all sizes can do this. From a coffee shop asking what sandwich people would like to see in the shop next week, to a drinks company developing a new flavour. This can all be done from something as simple as a tweet. As your customers have selected the product or had a hand in your business decision, they are highly likely to try and use the product.