4 tips to get started on data-smart social media

Deepak Ghodke
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Marketers have long grappled with showing tangible returns on investment to their peers from quantitatively-inclined lines of business, such as finance and IT. Then the Internet happened in the mid-90s, followed by a plethora of social networks making consecutive debuts from college dorms.

Suddenly, the analogue world we once knew experienced a stampede of digital footprints, with the explosion of publicly-available data. Marketers have realized that in this age of digital everything, the old excuse of not knowing which half of your marketing dollar has been wasted, simply won’t sell.

Social media marketers who are already feeling daunted at the challenge of having to make sense of all these data, need to come to terms with this new reality soon. Analysts predict that by 2020 there will be more data bits produced than there are stars in the sky!

But fret not – in tandem with the growth of data, are new data analytic tools at your disposal. In fact, these platforms are so easy to use that people have labelled them “self-service analytics”.

Before embarking on this new paradigm of social-self-analytics, here are 4 four quick tips to get anyone started on developing smarter, data-driven, social media campaigns:

  1. Zeroing down on the right platforms: There is no dearth of social media platforms today on the worldwide web. Having said that, it is of utmost importance for a campaign manager to identify the right and relevant platforms to be on instead of spreading oneself too thin by being present on each and every platform. This is where analysing the data at hand comes to the rescue. By analysing the data, brand managers can identify the sites their respective audiences use while giving them an idea about tweaking their messaging accordingly.
  1. Content is King: It’s no secret that in today’s world content rules the roost when it comes to engaging with the audience. The content needs to be gripping, relevant and most importantly original. Analysing the data before, during and post the campaign helps in identifying the kind of data the audiences want and are more receptive to. Content these days can be in the form of articles, videos, infographics and this is where big data helps the marketer in putting the right mix of content out there on social media.
  1. Trend-spotting: These days it doesn’t take long for a new trend to emerge and go viral. It works to the advantage of a marketer to spot the latest trends and tweak the campaign accordingly if relevant. Just figuring out which way the wind is blowing is not enough, a marketer needs to know if the trend aligns with the organization’s mission and core values. If it doesn’t then investing both time and money to tweak the social media campaign to sync up with the trend will serve no purpose as the ROI will be almost negligible. To ensure this doesn’t happen it’s better to make use of data and rely on numbers instead of guesswork.
  1. Smarter engagements: The number of messages vying for a social media user’s attention is quite high and it will keep increasing on a daily basis. This makes it imperative for marketers to connect with the consumer using their products or services. To do that marketers firstly need to identify whom are they pursuing. And this where being smart with data comes in handy, not only in scoping out the right audience, but also in directing efforts towards the right platforms and arriving at compelling ways to deliver these proposition to one’s audiences.

New trends will keep emerging and technological advancements will continue to take place faster than ever before, keeping the marketer on his/her toes all the time.

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