Social media generates huge volumes of data. As millions of people connect with brands on social media platforms, and tweet and chat about and to them, this creates vast amounts of information.
How does a brand use this data, and to what extent can it measure brand value, and the effectiveness of its social media activity?
More Activity for Less Return?
Brand equity increasingly depends on building a successful social media presence, while at the same time, social media has transformed the marketing landscape.
“The interaction with consumers is different, and marketing has to reflect this,” says Sam. “It’s now about building relationships that are largely audience-driven, which requires that brands understand who their target audiences are and what social media channels they use.”
The underlying issue that many companies face, with social media marketing, is not knowing how to use it better. They may understand the principle behind what they are trying to do; they may have a thought-out strategy; but they are not using data effectively to hone their activity.
“If you can’t gain a certain depth of knowledge when it comes to measuring your social media activity, then you’re essentially basing it all on guesswork”
This can result in lots of activity that is insufficiently grounded in proper, clear insight.
Making Insight Work
“Getting data isn’t the issue,” Sam explains. “Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will provide it. But how do you interpret it?”
The value in metrics and analytics comes, therefore, from what action they can initiate through a thorough understanding of them.
“Should you even consider a social strategy without data-driven insight?” Sam asks.
“Social media success doesn’t simply reside in numbers. Your figures might tell you the number of hits or shares you’ve had, but what you need to know is how this is working in relation to your target audience and your overall strategy”
“Online behaviour can be complex, and reaching the right audience is a process of testing, analysing, and re-testing,” suggest Sam.
“To make your strategy work, you must shape it, and you can only do this if you have the depth of knowledge about your audience, from metrics that have meaning for you,” Sam concludes.