It’s time to get social! In today’s hyper-connected world, organizations are increasingly relying on social media and online consumer interactions to change the way they do business. Companies and brands have recognized that their customer base is vocal about products and services and are openly sharing brand experiences in online conversations every day through social channels.
Until recently, social monitoring lacked the sophisticated analytics capabilities needed to determine important business insights. This is where social analytics has stepped in. Social analytics has become a primary form of business intelligence used to identify, predict, and respond to consumer behavior. This type of analytics has reached a point where nearly every click that is made online generates valuable data that is collectible.
Social analytics helps brands and companies identify which social media tools and strategies are measurably benefiting the goals of the business. These analytics help in determining what has a neutral or negative effect on the objective. This data also helps in determining the return on investment (ROI) of social media strategies. This will allow the company or brand to continually plan how to best use social media to its advantage.
While social analytics have become mainstream, companies still struggle with how to measure, analyze, and act on social data and insights. The data from social media can be viewed as intensive, messy, or unstructured. There are an increasing number of new behaviors that must be captured, measured, and interpreted over time. In fact, despite the advances in integrating social media into business, a majority of companies do not have standard frameworks in place to measure the value of social media.
There are four basic, yet commonly overlooked, steps a company should explore when beginning to create a social media framework.
1. Align the Social Strategy of the Company with Business Objectives. The first step in social media measurement is to determine the core business objectives. Then create business strategies that support these objectives. This should be done before the company begins to develop or assess social strategies. While it is important to think in terms of the future, the reality of this market means that a company must plan for the present.
2. Determine How the Company Will Measure Success. Determine how success will be measured from a business perspective. It is incredibly useful to determine whether the goal is to drive brand and/or product awareness, improve search engine placement, generate leads, or just to simply to learn from the generated data.
3. Evaluate the Organization’s Readiness to Measure Social Media. This is one of the most critical elements of social media measurement strategy. Assess your resources, the level of domain, analytical and tool expertise needed, and the current state of internal collaboration. Many companies lack sufficiently trained staff for social media measurement and delegate it to overcommitted and under-prepared employees. This is, quite simply, a recipe for failure.
4. Choose Tools in Light of Strategy, Metrics, and Organization. Once the company knows what it’s trying to accomplish, how it will measure success, and what resources are available, it’s time for tool selection. This is still a very new industry, so a company should be aware that social analytics tools change quickly. While there are a large number of social analytic tools available, there is no single best tool for every objective or every business.
If a company keeps these four simple framework steps in mind as it begins to create a social media strategy, a baseline and foundation for targeting useful social analytics will also be created. Moving forward, the company or brand will be able to more accurately assess customer activity - not just on social networks but all over the web. This will allow the company to more accurately determine how customers can potentially be engaged in ways that will be more meaningful. When this happens, advertising ceases to be viewed as just a commercial endeavor and instead combines into useful interaction with the consumer.
For more information about creating a social media framework see:
Our Social Media Framework: http://thirdwaveberlin.com/2012/04/our-social-media-strategy-framework/
Social Media Strategy Learning Curve and Framework:
Video - Social Media Strategy Framework: Explanation and guide