Importance of Social Media Analytics

September 7, 2012
319 Views

We can safely say that the decline in outbound marketing is due to a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour. People are in control of the information they choose to receive and how. With the onset of web 2.0, interaction with brands and their products or services has been revolutionized to the extent that it has empowered customers to find, buy and sell often from sources such as the internet, word-of-mouth or customer reviews.

We can safely say that the decline in outbound marketing is due to a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour. People are in control of the information they choose to receive and how. With the onset of web 2.0, interaction with brands and their products or services has been revolutionized to the extent that it has empowered customers to find, buy and sell often from sources such as the internet, word-of-mouth or customer reviews. More importantly, Forrester’s report points to the fact that 83% of the customers are influenced by the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who has used the product or service as compared to 63% influenced by a known expert. With customers slowly moving away from a passive to an active role, a critical medium arises amidst the dawn of a new marketing era: Social Media.

Statistics are enlightening when it comes to gauging on the magnitude of online activity caused by people. As of 2012, there are more than a billion users on different social media platforms and more than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, new stories, blog posts etc.) shared each week on Facebook alone. The numbers do not come as surprise; instead it clearly highlights who is who in today’s world. For example, in 2008 Johnson and Johnson’s Motrin brand launched a video campaign targeting “baby-wearing” mothers. The commercial controversially talked about the burdens of wearing your baby in a body sling. What came next was an onslaught against the brand through twitter and blogs. The whole debacle created buzz so fast, that Kathy Wildmer, vice president of consumer healthcare division, offered an apology. What’s even more mindboggling is that the bulk of these events unfold over the course of 24 hours on a weekend. J&J got most of their marketing campaign wrong, but one thing they did right was they had their ears tuned into social media. With negative sentiments running high, J&J was able to react swiftly.

Even after such instances, organizations are still sceptical in investing in social media monitoring tools. I don’t blame them, it’s because of all the confusion that has been created in this industry. Providing the number of likes or comments on social media campaigns is not analytics, instead providing the number of positive and negative mentions in the comments with regards to the buzz created is analytics. For example 100+ mentions with 50% increase in positive sentiment is a more conclusive measurement than 5 mentions with 100% increase in positive sentiments. Like it’s said, the best marketers are those that incorporate the changing trend, the same goes with social media analytics, you are either onboard or you are not.