Social Data Boosts Brands, Even If Marketers Ignore It

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A recent study has found that 39 percent of senior marketing executives believe that social media data is not yet useful to their business, but some insiders say that the value social data provides can be a huge indicator of how campaigns should be adjusted.

The Marketing Executives Networking Group has shown in a recent survey that while companies are awash in social data, few know what to do with it. Fifty-five percent of senior marketing executives surveyed found social media “intrusive,” while another 39 percent revealed that the social media analytics just aren’t actionable. Those executives are missing important opportunities for allocating ad spend on local as well as national levels by using social media’s regional analytics, says with Opher Kahane, chief executive (CEO) of Origami Logic, a marketing intelligence platform. 

“We use social data to measure sentiment surrounding the campaign,” Kahane says. “For example, when we work with large global brands, like Visa, the measurement they care about across paid and earned has to do with whether or not their spend in a particular area is efficient. And if they see a piece performing well in a particular area, they can take the creative aspect and repackage it, put more spend behind that piece of content and use it more broadly.”

Allen Adamson, chairman of North America for Landor, says the agency is constantly monitoring social media for changes in brand sentiment, especially negative and positive responses to new campaigns.

“The most powerful use of social media data is to be listening and hearing what’s going on as a critical way to stay in touch with the mind of your target,” says Adamson. “On social media, their defenses are down. They’re telling you what they’re thinking in real time. Its like a magnifying glass into the collective thoughts of your target audience.”

Individually, that data might not mean much, but collectively, the data can mean the difference between having a small success on one platform or a viral hit on multiple platforms.

“If we see a YouTube video doing well, we make a shorter form and do a Facebook video ad,” Kahane says. “We use that data to add more fuel to the fire. Or let’s just say someone has a successful Instagram post of a product purchased with Visa Checkout, we may use social data to inform the direction of our display ads.”

However, not all social media platforms are created for all brands. If posts aren’t getting any response on one platform, it might be best to just leave it with an eye toward returning if customers do.

“Different demographics emerge and disappear on social all the time,” Kahane says. “Look at Snapchat. People migrate every time there’s something else new and trending. Marketers need to look at data across channels to stitch together a narrative of what their customers want, but all channels are not equally relevant for all brands.”

Perhaps the main reason that senior-level marketers just can’t seem to find the use in social data is that it has to be monitored constantly, and ad spend has to move from channel to channel with a frequency that some marketers might find overwhelming. Kahane recommends that brands keep spending fluid, ebbing and flowing on different social platforms as target demographics and brand sentiment on each ebbs and flows.

“To spend heavily on all channels doesn’t make sense,” Kahane says. “Use demographic data and social listening to find which channels are appropriate for what action. For us, it changes from month to month. Only experiment affords folks the information to make decisions, and you just can’t predict a month down the road.”

Image via Shutterstock 

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