Let’s talk social – internet data is abundant and growing every single day. As marketers, we have got to find a way to take advantage of it. But the reality is there is a LOT of information just waiting for us to take advantage of. With that said there is a heck of a lot of noise in that information and we need to find an effective and efficient way to find the signal through the noise.
As a marketer I always looked at social data as the typical things we think about social information – twitter, facebook, pinterest, Instagram etc… Many marketers like myself view social media as about engaging the angry tweeter…..getting to that person who loves/hates my products to address their needs. This approach is most often used for demand generation or customer service. These traditional data sources are best used for that type of approach – engagement.
Most of the marketers I speak to want to use the traditional data sources for:
- Metrics – how many followers or likes to I have
- Engagement – how do I market to the angry tweeter using social
While these two items are important and those data sources helpful, they are not the end all be all! There is a third way we can look to social data and it will expand your ability to TRULY understand your market and audience:
- Listening – how do I understand broad target segments to develop a communication strategy, develop the right messaging?
It is this THIRD area we are starting to see take off. Listening is about finding the right data at scale and automatically classifying it to find patterns.
The ability to listen and to hear what people are saying means that marketers can make customer driven decisions leading to increase revenue, decrease cost and mitigate risk. But if you are going to do TRUE listening to customer sentiment, you are going to have to expand our horizons beyond the traditional data sources and in some cases ignore the traditional data sources as they are often full of junk.
Social Data has moved beyond the realm of just the traditional channels. We need to consider information on the internet as a source – this will include the traditional channels – facebook, twitter, pinterest etc….But it will also include things like news stories – Market Watch, Thomson Reuters, AP etc. It delves in to the areas of BLOGS – WordPress, WIX, MEDIUM etc…It will also include reviews from forums and review sites…Think about the wealth of information that can be found on the Amazon reviews alone…..And seriously consider REDDIT. (I was blown away by the richness of the data on REDDIT!! – Follow up blog post on this to come!)
If we have the foresight to expand our thinking about social data to be “All internet information” ….social media can guide your overall marketing strategy, feed your messaging, enable you to identify broad target segments for your campaigns. To do this we need to think beyond just the typical sources of information to help expand our use case scenarios…..