Far be it for me to add to the layers of fallen leaves of posts that talk about social media ‘coming of age’ or ‘how businesses are benefiting from blogging’ and the like. That’s done and thank goodness for that too. I’m sure in the dawn of the fax machine there wasn’t such attention given as to whether it had finally arrived, was about to arrive or if the bubble had even burst – it just did its thing until something came along and did it better. Social media should be no different but is borne of an age where it is easy to have an opinion and to publish it on any number of platforms.
But there is one unavoidable truth amongst the “Is Pinterest the next big thing?” and “How does Mark Zuckerberg sleep at night knowing your Mom and Dad are following you on Facebook?” or “Will Periscope destroy YouTube?” That single truth is that social media has established a foothold and is evolving to provide greater value and insight for those that choose to take advantage of its rich data capabilities. There is no greater realization of the data-is-gold position social media content finds itself than Twitter taking its data ball back inside from third party resellers, undoubtedly under pressure from Twitter shareholders to squeeze more money out of their own product…as a fully-fledged trading business probably should. If you’re still not convinced how rich the social media data set is, it has surpassed pornography as being the # 1 online activity.
So you think social media is getting predictable?
Absolutely, that is where the value lies in social data. An entire shift in the paradigm of business intelligence stems from the ability to anticipate something that really matters months, weeks, days or minutes ahead of said thing occurring and this is beneficial across the gamut of business functions. It’s game-changing and the shift has already happened.
Predictive need not be voodoo, a lot of it is being ‘anticipatory’, informed by better data
Anticipating a customer birthday from your records of their date of birth is anticipating a customer milestone and opening up any number of opportunities for you to make a brand to consumer interaction. A discount voucher in an email, a tweet recognizing their landmark, just two options for making a reinforced connection off the back of data at your disposal. But that doesn’t use social data but the rich and telling properties of social data should be no different and enable that sharp and anticipated level of customer communications…
Anticipate the #fail
Those unfiltered thoughts on social, that natural language of the customer, it allows you to tap a collective of conversations and identify the sentiment behind what they are saying to see if something is going well or not so well and to do so ahead of the curve.
Walk a mile in your customers shoes
Live their experience of your product or solution in the everyday conversations they have or anticipate an opportunity to offer your product or service when a trigger is reached for mentions of keywords most relevant to your business goals. Identify and reach out.
Product launches need never fail again
When the great console battle of 2013 raged in specialist interest pockets of the internet, from the minute the latest iterations of the hotly anticipated Xbox and Playstation consoles were announced, there was feedback freely given from passionate advocates that said the trailed spec was not right and that a purchase might not happen or worse, a loyal fan of console A was now going to move to console B, based on nothing but product spec and information alone. Social data enabled the brands to absorb the information and adjust, pivot and respond accordingly before the product even hit the open market. Imagine doing that with paper based surveys months after product launch?
Outcomes always happen, be prepared with tailored communications
If you could look at conversations on a certain topic – let’s just take a democratic election – for example, then you know to point your listening at those conversations, segment them further based on the meta-data available, and tease out nuances that better inform your strategy and approach when it comes to communicating with those (oh-so-de-humanizingly-termed) ‘buckets’ of people and their conversations. But “you betcha” that the end user will appreciate you speaking on their terms and respond in the way you hope for if you anticipate their needs and preferences. Personalized will always beat the hit and hope.
Connect emotions to business outcomes
Mapping social data conversations to the language of emotions and commitment can determine and measure how people are committed to your brand AND how much. Do they tell a story of ‘want’ or a story of ‘avoidance’ in their conversations that relate to your brand? Look out for the rise and fall of these conversations – not to mention the same emotional conversations about your competitors and fill in the gaps, sustain or eradicate the conversations that move the needle.
See how predictable social has become? It is no longer about counting likes, collecting pins and #teamfollowback…the conversation and the discipline has evolved because it needed to, it didn’t want to become a dusty collection of fax machines in a museum or archive of communication times gone by.
Are you ready to find out more about predictive analytics and see social media evolved in action?