With social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook on the meteoric rise, companies are beginning to incorporate data collected from these social sites and their users into many aspects of their business from marketing to internal Human Resources issues – and with good reason.
The sheer volume of social media data makes it incredibly difficult to analyze. However, various data services are popping up to answer the challenge of making sense of all this potentially advantageous consumer information. Here are five insights social data can provide for businesses.
- Real-time Market Mood – Social media chatter is instantaneous, non-stop, and ubiquitous. As such, it can act as a direct pipeline of public opinion. This expressed information gives companies a real-time window into the minds of their consumer base and allows positive or negative emotions to be assessed on a broad scale or on any one particular topic, company, or product.
- Relevant Issues and Content – Just as the various tweets, wall posts, and Facebook statuses reflect the pulse of the current mood in the market, these social media outlets can also reveal trends in the most relevant issues and content being produced by a company. Using data services to track the responses to marketing campaigns helps a company narrow down what is successful and what needs to be tweaked.
- User Interests -Retweets, shares, and Facebook's “Like” button quite literally reflect user interests and attitudes on an infinitely large spectrum of topics. Analyzing this data can provide clues to what features of an issue, company, service, or product are particularly favorable or unfavorable and inform decisions on business and marketing strategies or even product development.
- Internal Operational Metrics – Social data can be culled from interactions beyond the big media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Online activity and community involvement against a geographical context can also be added to the mix to reveal certain insights about the internal workings of a company's employees. Tracking this type of social data and patterns of behavior along with metrics such as employee turnover can help inform ways to improve employee performance and profitability.
- Competitive Research – Companies using Big Data analyses from social media don't always have to focus expressly on the chatter surrounding their own company. Taking a look at competitors and what their customers have to say can be equally enlightening for brand management and positioning in the market.
Analyzing data from social media is tricky as the data that is mined isn't simple numbers and figures. Here, data services must make sense of qualitative expressions of opinions and activity, requiring new processes for analysis. While this can be a daunting task, social data can provide insights and inform decisions that give companies an edge in the market.
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