Marketers in the social space have an array of tracking tools at their disposal. But are more exceptional analytics capabilities likely to translate to actual business results, or just produce more data?
Firstly, I think improvements in analytics will lead to direct results. Now though, there are already many tools for social measurement, but much measurement lacks integration. (Emerging tools) can give a lot more insight.
One trend we see today is the ‘six degrees of transaction’ measurement should no longer be just looking at conversion but looking at how social activities are connecting to online sales. All tools are now pointing in that direction. In the past, they were gearing around things like buzz generation. You’re going to have a lot more marketers demanding accurate analytics that shows changes in things like revenue and customer service. We will see the quality of analytics improving. Up to now, one of the things to blame (for weak analytics) is that brands have failed to identify clear goals in the first place. Start with the right intentions, and we will start to see results.
Secondly, the available data is still somewhat overwhelming. Until recently, the emphasis has been on page views and click-through rates, and it’s been hard to sort through all the precious data to get to the point where it is meaningful. There is still much confusion, but marketers are starting to put the pieces together and ultimately want to know the effect social media is having on their business results. The key to (monetizing social platforms) is tying data to business results. Historically, social media has been managed in silos, looking at things like engagement metrics, so it has been challenging to link to business outcomes. You have 100,000 followers – so what?
The key is correlating that data to processes measuring business results. On the monitoring side, using different algorithms to analyze revenue versus the impact on something like Twitter can assess whether the volume of mentions affected other areas of the business.
Okay, let me add one more perspective here. I don’t think we have enough data. The big opportunity of getting a social right is around understanding the consumer. We are all attributing great results to our efforts in social media, yet; we do not, however, appreciate the impact of earned media on business results. Many clients still think social media is just about tracking PR. The good news is, there are new tools on the horizon that will help us understand the impact in terms of sales. However, we will need to develop specific skills in modeling this data to explain better the most effective ratio between paid and earned media. That will help many of our clients get a better grip on the role of digital as a whole.
To some clients, it’s also not all about sales when they venture into social media – it’s about loyalty and how that ultimately translates into a transaction. All these things are going to turn into more data. We must believe that the responses and behaviors that are driving that data will become more actionable or interpretive. Yes, we need more data, but more importantly, we need more insight to provide more answers. Our quandary is how to create more intelligence around earned media, what it means, and how we can optimize it. We all are trying to interpret the value of what we’re winning.
Here I tried managing three perspectives of understanding Social Media Analytics. I request you all expertise to add value to this article by sharing your comments.