Businesses are always looking for the next creative method to reach more customers. Finding ways to engage with and interest new consumers is how a business is able to grow and thrive. One tool being used increasingly in recent years is social media. While many people may use sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect with friends and post interesting articles and pictures, many businesses see them as potential gold mines for finding new customers. Companies are now seeing some big benefits from using analyzing data from social media to better their business.
One of the biggest areas where businesses are utilizing social media data is in marketing. A major key in marketing is being able to understand your customers on a more personal level. That means knowing what their values are, how they make decisions, why they make certain choices, and any other number of qualities. Before the internet and social media, determining these aspects required focus groups and lots of tests. Now businesses can use a big data platform to analyze social media and how current and prospective customers use it.
Social media data can point to what customers consider to be points of emphasis in their lives. What they write about on social media, the articles they link to, the types of pictures they post, and the advertisements they click on all factor in to a profile that helps to improve a business's customer intelligence. Once a business knows what kinds of customers are out there, it can then enact a new advertising campaign targeted more specifically to certain people. Social media data can help businesses determine buying behavior and purchasing habits, making campaigns much more effective. Once a campaign is in full swing, it's also easier through big data analytics to monitor and measure its strengths and flaws with real-time tracking tools. Any modifications that need to be made to the campaign can be done almost instantly.
Beyond marketing, businesses can also use social media data to gauge the level of customer reaction. This is done through social listening, where marketing analyzers are able to decipher data from images and videos posted to social media. By focusing on these outlets, companies can monitor people's attitudes, not just toward marketing campaigns but toward individual products and brands. The reactions collected from social media users can also have a big effect on a company's decisions regarding new products and services.
Perhaps one of the most promising aspects of using social media data for business is in recruiting. Finding the right people for the right job is more important now than ever, but that process can sometimes be time-consuming and unsuccessful. Many businesses are now turning to social media as a way to recruit new employees. Work4, for example, specializes in helping other businesses with their social and mobile recruiting efforts in order to find the most qualified applicants.
"Social media channels used to be a place for engagement and brand building," Work4's CEO, Stéphane Le Viet, says, "but today they are also a place for converting job seekers into hires."
The company's results from using social media for recruiting are impressive. According to Work4, their client, Ancestry.com, saw a huge boost in job views once the family history company started posting job opportunities to its Facebook page. The effort included running Facebook ad campaigns, using Social Job Sharing on various social networks, and branding a Facebook Career Site. After a month, more than 55 percent of job views came from mobile devices. One recruiting campaign received 81 applications from qualified individuals after just a couple weeks.
Social media data holds many other advantages for businesses. Companies can leverage it to make more accurate comparisons with their competition. It can also improve business performance by decreasing the amount of time needed to collect and access important data, freeing up more time and resources to run more effective campaigns.
Whatever tools and strategies are used, using social media data effectively is one major way businesses will grow and be successful in the future.
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