Social Analytics

There is no doubt that society is becoming more reliant on technology than it used to be. From the digital immigrants to the digital natives, most everyone uses the Web. So, what does this mean for advertisers?

Social media usage has been rapidly growing – an eMarketer report, “Worldwide Social Network Users: 2012 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” details just how much. According to this article, the number of social network users around the world will increase by 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 1.47 billion to 1.73. Furthermore, by 2017, the global social network audience is predicted to be 2.55 billion.

With so many people using the Web and social media, it is essential for a company to know how this affects their brand. You can no just longer run an advertising campaign and see if your sales increased to know if there was some concrete ROI or if you just wasted your money. Did you increase sales? Did you gain Facebook Fans or Twitter followers? Are you trending on Twitter? There is a lot more to take into account with social media added to the picture.

“Today’s marketers are under-utilizing the large amounts of personal data their customers are sharing publicly every day.”

– Chad Warren, Adobe’s senior manager of social media products

But with social media in the picture, it is much easier to find out more about your consumer – although, not all companies take advantage of this. A good chunk of people fail to turn their marketing tactics into money. Marketers need to get to know their customers to ensure success. They are sending out signals in many different ways and it’s a marketers job to investigate. Customers are posting personal information on their Facebook profiles, tweeting information that allows people to access real-time, creating online pinboards with Pinterest, and more. These are all insights to your customer.

But, digging deeper – analyzing people and companies on social media is now necessary. HootSuite Social Analytics allows people to select from over 40 plus analytic modules, and is also easy to organize and share. Also, both Google and Adobe released tools that assist markers in tracking ROI through social media. Adobe Social is a bit pricey, but collects data from key social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, allowing you who has activity on any of those social media platforms and visits your website. Social reports, through Google Analytics, show a causal relationship between social media activity and sales. Did I mention this is free to use, but it does not provide date from Facebook and Twitter? There are some key differences in these tools, but they all have the ultimate goal of providing social analytics.

Questions:

  1. Do you think it is necessary for a marketer to use any of these Social Analytics tools?
  2. How do you think Social Media has affected the advertising world? Do you think social media is beneficial for advertisers or complicates things too much?
  3. Have you ever used any of these Social Analytics tools and what were your thoughts based on your interaction?
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9 thoughts on “Social Analytics

  1. Social media has affected not only marketing but also trends, opinions, activities and even new ways to communicate.
    I think that social media is important for advertisers and this can be efficiently used. What is important is t how to interpret the information that is constantly received by social pages and how to implement that information in marketing campaigns that will increase sales. For companies that have the budget they can hire experts to analyze and propose strategies to increase their sales. Companies with low budget, they can take time and study tools like Google Analytics and get great results as well.

    • Analyzing a person’s social media page can tell you a lot about someone or a company. Company’s need to write and communicate with a certain language to match the company personality. It is now a full time job for a company to maintain a social media page between them posting themselves, interacting with followers, and also analyzing everything as a whole. This transformation of communication, as we know, has affected advertising greatly. Do you think this change is good or bad?

  2. We did use HootSuite at my last job at Florida State College, and it was helpful. However, I was never the one who actually analyzed the information.

    As for advertising, social media has completely changed the game. The college was on a tight budget, and we had to find creative ways to market. It was mainly done through our website, and social media. Right now, since the costs are low to turn posts into ads on Facebook, it was effective for us. You reach a huge audience. However, to be successful you have to have someone to actually maintain the social sites. That’s a salary. I can tell you I spent hours posting and blogging…a huge chunk of my day. My official title was TV Producer/Programming Manager. I still had to do my job.

    • Social media is definitely changing the game for advertising. I am currently working with Ben & Jerry’s on a huge guerrilla marketing campaign that is solely run through social media. The concept is an ice cream truck delivers free Greek frozen yogurt to places where people tweet. It is 100 percent run by Twitter. The idea is definitely interesting and a newer concept, but the ROI is great!

  3. It is necessary for a marketer to use monitoring tools. There are many inbound lead opportunities from social media that these tools open up and they are much more cost effective than traditional means.

    Social media has opened up amazing opportunities for advertiser, but absolutely killed traditional advertising like newspapers and yellow pages. Facebook ads reach a lot of people, but are very cheap in doing so. For a candidate for State Delegate I’m working with, we were able to target potential voters based on zip code. His ad allowed him to gain over 1000 likes in a short time span, which is far more than any other candidate in the area. By gaining more likes, you are also gaining more emails for your list as programs like Rainmaker can integrate your contact lists with social media.

    I have dabbled with Hootsuite’s tools and while they are nice to see the potential reach and impact of the posts, they weren’t real useful for me personally. There needs to be a strategy attached and enough volume to make the data worthwhile.

  4. I think social media is a huge boon to advertisers because it is extremely cheap exposure and can keep your brand top-of-mind with consumers on a daily basis.If you took out an ad every day in the newspaper to achieve the same effect it would be crazy expensive.

    Social media also has the benefit of being trackable. You’re able to tell if your facebook presence is sending traffic to your site. You can track short URLs used in updates to see how many people clicked. You don’t get that kind of data with traditional advertising. It is a wait and see process when you run a magazine or radio ad and it is hard to see what’s producing the results. There’s a saying in advertising that you know half of your media budget is being well used, but you don’t know which half, that isn’t the case with social media.

    • Not only is advertising via social media trackable, but you can really target a specific market. Facebook allows you to to choose who you want to see your advertisement based on gender, age, relationship status, religion, etc. The content you post is even scanned to target you more specifically. Patrick posted about a candidate for State Delegate that he is working with and how they targeted specific people on social media, which is a great example.

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