The interest in business analytics has certainly grown over the past decade, especially with the escalating importance of social media. Business analytics allows managers and the key decision makers in a firm to evaluate the organizational data that can optimize business processes. As such, business analytics today is one of the top strategies for senior executives to improve the workflow, boost sales, or sustain growth among other reasons.

In today’s world, one of the most ways to get more insight into what your customers want is through social media. Then again, more than 50% of companies struggle to transition social media analytics into actionable strategies.

A global survey by Hootsuite and Harris Poll suggests that while 86% of the surveyed companies believe that social media analytics can help them improve decision making, 56% of them struggle with the volume of data they collect from various social networks. Even more so, 60% struggle to turn social media analytics into actionable tactics, an alarming number to say the least.

Why Go Social Then?

Of the many benefits of social media analytics, a few include:

·         Insight into what drives consumer behavior

·         Quantitative data illustrating the value of different marketing campaigns

·         Ongoing feedback to improve organizational initiatives

Despite the fact that conducting social media analytics is straightforward, disconnect between the analytics and the needs of an organization is what makes it difficult. Vendors would want to emphasize on the quantity and scope of the data collected. Hence, without proper guidance and a sense of goal, you can easily lose sight of what your business wants to achieve with the data available.

Big Data Implications

One of the mistakes that large organizations make with social media analytics is that they gear the collected data to data scientists. This may not always be the best practice as filtering a large repository of data in exchange for valuable insight becomes difficult. As a result, an organization may not be able to leverage on the qualitative data present in the social analytics.

The latest CMO Survey Report demonstrates that less than 23% of CMOs are able to link the impact of data to business cycle. In other words, while big data analytics may sound like a brilliant opportunity, especially in relation to social media, most companies at this point in time are not geared towards deriving value from such huge volumes of data.

The fact is that there are marketers and data scientists who have the expertise to extract valuable data that drives business decisions. Hence, conducting social media analytics on a more refined basis can greatly help your business is saving downtime that otherwise comes with computing a large database.

Incorporating Social Media Analytics

To successfully implement social media analytics in your business, you need to lay out a framework on which your senior executives can easily use the data for decision making. For instance, here are 10 ways through which you can implement a data driven culture that leverages on social media:

Training – Whatever framework you implement or purchase from a third party vendor, make sure it requires minimal training. If not, then the costs, time, and effort of training should be determined to evaluate the true value of the framework. Doing so can help you avoid costs and ensure that all targeted employees are well acquainted with the analytics platform.

Social Listening – If you are serving a specific demographic region, then you need to listen to the social media fans and followers in that market. Similarly, if you are a global brand, you need to tap into the social media data of your fans and followers from around the world.

Campaign Analysis – Your framework should be able to segregate the data to make it easier to understand the views shared by different people from different parts of the world regarding your campaigns. This helps you better understand the performance of each campaign and what needs to be done to address any underlying issues.

Multiple Language Support – For global organizations, having a multi-language support feature is essential for improved data collection. For instance, if your platform is able to derive valuable data, then you need language support to ensure consistency across demographic regions.

Refined Reports – Reports need to be straightforward and only include the data that can actually drive business decisions. For instance, if you want to measure the popularity of your products on social media, then hashtags, mentions, shares, and comments could all be relevant metrics.

Real Time Monitoring – Your social media analytics report should be used in implementing actionable tactics in real time. This should allow you to get ongoing feedback from social media users that can give you better insight into how customers react to your online activity.

Data Integration – Your platform should be able to integrate consumer data with organizational data. This gives you more insight into how each process in your business workflow affects your consumers and brand image as a whole.

Customer Experience Reporting – How your actual customers feel about your products, services, and brand should be a prime highlight in any social analytics platform. Your platform should allow you to assess the relationship between you and your customers and determine their needs/concerns with what you offer to boost loyalty.

Departmental Performance Insight – With each actionable tactic, you should be able to determine the performance of different departments in your organization. For instance, by issuing a new marketing campaign based on social analytics, your marketing, sales, and customer support team should be evaluated to determine how well they are aligned with the organizational goals.

Security – This is a no-brainer so only go for a platform that guarantees consistency in integration and security parameters with other processes in your business.

Social media analytics; while not a make or break decision for your business, can significantly improve your image as a brand. More importantly though, social media analytics; when done correctly; can help you align your business with consumer needs that can boost profitability in the long term.



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