Hundreds of millions of people are using social media, with subscription numbers climbing daily. Obviously there is a huge potential for gathering plenty of practical information from all of these people, which can then be used for a variety of purposes. In many cases, marketing campaigns can even be specifically tailored on an individual basis, making marketing budgets last longer and go farther. At some point, though, amassing information ceases to be useful.
With the amount of information from millions of people at your fingertips, being able to sort through it and extract appropriate information is increasingly difficult. The data collected, often at great expense, becomes useless if it cannot be properly analyzed to identify the profitable components needed to advance specific goals.
1. Don’t Collect What You Don’t Need
Information will pile up fast so be selective when choosing keywords used to search for and gather data. Be clear about exactly what information is wanted and needed prior to spending any funds on data extraction or analysis. Brainstorm with different levels of business to find what information is useful and what is not.
2. Get Real-Time Data
With the flood of blog posts, status updates and Tweets coming from so many users, topics of conversation and concern can ebb and flow very quickly. If current data is not constantly being used, efforts (and money) can be wasted on very elaborate, even fantastic campaigns that nobody will see.
3. Eliminate Non-Participants
Analytic reports can be deceiving or misleading when they note that social media impressions are high. If only half of the impressions made are on people who use their accounts on a regular basis, for example, the information could cause bad decisions to be made. Social media connections and the information they garner are only useful if the people from whom the information is gathered are active in their social media use.
4. Identify Potential Customers
This may seem rather obvious, but what many people don’t realize is that gathering data from social media impressions can pinpoint customers by identifying people with certain needs or tendencies. People who fit the exact demographic of your market are clicking across the Internet every day, leaving digital footprints to be found. Using this data to find these people and reach out to them is a no brainer.
5. Encourage Engagement
Certain social media users generate a lot of impact with their friends, followers and connections. These people are known as influencers. Influencers have such sway that any call to action they make has a larger impact than most others. This power comes from being engaged with their personal Internet audience. Successful analysis of social media data can increase the engagement that engenders influence and help businesses capitalize on the authority these users have.
The data needed to make the step from good to great is out there. Hundreds of millions of people are generating it every minute of the day. Refusing to collect and analyze this information to increase business effectiveness and efficiency would be a mistake.
Photo from www.flickr.com/photos/thinktanklondon.