How-Tu Tuesday: Making The Most of Your Social Data

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

February 3rd 2016

Social data is a powerful tool for any marketer; it essentially provides brands with a large volume of permission-based public data that is made available through the various social platforms. Furthermore, social data is full of numbers that translate into simple and meaningful insights that can help companies create messages which are tailored to their followers, at all stages of the customer lifecycle.

Analysing social data may be an effective tool for boosting marketing efforts, but many brands struggle to understand the data itself and how it can translate into sales in the long term. According to Inside Social, 70% of businesses don’t know how to analyse any kind of ROI from their social media activity, which means there is a huge amount of untapped marketing and sales potential via social media that is not being identified and executed.

Listed below are a number of ways that will allow you to focus on specific segments of data and use it to maximise your social activity and ultimately increase sales and ROI for your company.

1. Trends and Interests

The aim for most brands on social media is to have their content shared and loved. Social data can help with this as it can be used to identify topics and trends that are more likely to attract interest and have the ability to go viral. Users can use each platforms differently to search for the topics attracting the most conversation. On Twitter, brands should look at hashtags, Twitter Moments, Twitter Advanced Search, and if they require a more in depth look, then Twitter’s Tailored Audiences can be used. This feature enables users to upload email addresses, phone numbers and Twitter usernames, amongst other things, and Twitter will then match them to the users’ interests and basic demographics.

Hashtags can also be used on Instagram, as well as the Explore feature, which will quickly highlight the trending topics and events happening in the world right at that moment.

Videos are increasingly becoming the most popular type of content not only on the internet in general, but specifically on Facebook. Attention should be paid to the videos going viral and the content which people are responding most to through commenting and sharing.

2. Events

Events are hugely topical and can be a valuable source of social data. Understanding which events are important and relevant to your customers and acting on this information, can lead to effective interaction with your current followers and attract new followers who discover you through your conversations and campaigns about certain events.

The most topical events gaining attraction from the social world as a whole can be found in the same way that trends and interests are pinpointed (as outlined above). However, discovering the events that specifically matter to your audience can be identified and narrowed down using a tool provided by Twitter called Event Targeting. This feature is available to marketers who use Twitter advertising and gives you the ability to search for trade shows, concerts, holidays, and sporting events and then gain insights into the audience of those particular events. Once you have researched the audience of an event relevant to your customers, you can then apply this information to launch a campaign focused on the event with an understanding of the various segments within the audience (e.g. gender, geographical location, device being used, language, age) and target accordingly.

3. Social Influence

Gaining followers is important when trying to increase brand awareness and consumer reach. However, when trying to grow your following, you should firstly look at who is currently following you and the potential influence power they could possess. There are platforms that will analyse your social following (such as Followerwonk) and highlight those with the highest following themselves. The people identified should be considered very valuable to your brand and treated differently, thus building and maintaining a meaning relationships. If successful in connecting with these “influencers” your messages will reach an extended audience who may never have heard of you, but are most likely within your target market.

4. Segment Your Audiences

It is important to understand that not all your followers share the same interests and aspirations. The fact that they all follow you is most likely the only thing that they all have in common with each other. To target your audience in the most effective way, they should be segmented into various categories, with a different marketing strategy applied to each.

There are various tools which help to break down and dissect your following. Twitter’s Audience Management allows you to analyse your mailing list and define certain characteristics that will help you decide how to best target each segment. For example, if you were creating an email campaign offering a prize, but unsure what your followers would most like to win, then you can analyse the emails, and based on their interests and hobbies you possess the knowledge to target different customers with prizes most tailored to their liking.

5. Step Away From Social

It can often be the case that marketers only look at social data and nothing else when determining a social strategy. However, it can be extremely helpful to look at activity beyond social media and even online. In order to gain an understanding of the social platforms most valuable to your brand and those that should be focused on most, you can integrate offline behaviour into your research.

For example, offering a unique voucher code for the same promotion across the various channels will instantly highlight which platform is most popular, based on the code that is used the most. This also allows you to measure how that particular piece of social activity directly contributed to sales and ROI. 

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