5 Sure-Fire Ways to Use Analytics to Become a Social Business

May 1, 2012
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social media 300x202 photo (social network analysis social analytics hr analytics advanced analytics )Many executives see social media as another way to connect with customers and prospects.

social media 300x202 photo (social network analysis social analytics hr analytics advanced analytics )Many executives see social media as another way to connect with customers and prospects.

Indeed, most organizations have created social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites to help attract “fans” and “followers.” Some organizations even go so far as to engage customers and prospects with games, contests, challenges, and offers.

Still, many companies struggle to develop their social strategies and take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available to them to connect more deeply with customers while attracting high-value prospects.

One very effective way to break through this muddle is by leveraging the vast capabilities of analytics tools and techniques to gain a better understanding of customers’ needs, preferences, and attitudes and to identify social engagement and marketing opportunities. Here are five ways companies can use analytics to become socially savvy:

  1. Listen. Use social and sentiment analytics to identify and act on customers’ socially-expressed attitudes. Doing this will enable companies to gain a deeper understanding of what customers and prospects want. This includes using social and sentiment analytics along with keyword search techniques to help identify demand for new types of products, better support or customized experiences.
  2. Develop a social organization. A social company needs to behave socially, both internally and externally, with customers and business partners. In addition to encouraging the use of social media by staff, decision makers can use HR analytics to help identify those employees who have the right mix of social media and communications skills to engage with customers and suppliers via social channels.
  3. Identify what matters most to customers. Companies can and should use sentiment analytics to identify what matters most to customers (e.g. product quality, customer service resolution) as customers often freely express their opinions and attitudes in surveys and on social media sites. Companies should act on these insights to address customer needs and preferences. But they should also communicate back to customers via social channels to let them know how their feedback has been incorporated to demonstrate that their opinions matter to the company.
  4. Use analytics to understand how customers use social sites. Customers primarily use social channels to engage with friends and relatives. But they are increasingly using social web sites to participate in games and contests and to take advantage of offers and specials. Companies can use analytics to gain a better understanding of how customers use social web sites in order to optimize the content and navigability for them.
  5. Identify the top influencers for your brand and company and then act on this information. Much has been written about the importance of top influencers in social media. Still, it’s important for decision makers to recognize that the people their customers consider the most influential aren’t going to be industry pundits or social media experts, but people within their own immediate spheres of influence, including friends and family.

Next steps:

  • To learn more about how analytics can improve your business and increase your bottom line check out these complimentary guides:
    • 5-Minute Guide to Business Analytics” to find out how user-driven “analytic” or “data discovery” technologies help business and technology users more quickly uncover insights and speed action.
    • 5-Minute Guide to HR Analytics,” to discover the three critical capabilities a modern analytic environment must provide to the entire spectrum of HR staff so they can adequately support the enterprise.
    • 5-Minute Guide to CRM Analytics,” to learn how agile analytics technology can help you deliver critical value to executives and front-line marketers.