One of the key advantages of social media, from a business and marketing perspective, is the amount of insight it provides, with the capacity to tap into what consumers are saying at any time, and better inform your strategic efforts.
But many brands are not doing this. Indeed, while most businesses are aware of the potential value of social media insight, according to a new report from Twitter, 31% of marketers believe that the social media data collected by their team is "underutilized in business decisions overall".
That's a problem, which is why Twitter has this week published a new guide book which aims to help businesses put social data to work for more analysis, more insight, and improved performance overall.
As per Twitter:
"Social media data offers a wealth of insights on the business, the brand, products, and services. It can be used as input into R&D innovation, to enable the HR team to better target job candidates, or to help Legal to mitigate risk. But without a team that knows how to harness the value from it, social data will continue to sit there in your org, unused."
Twitter's "Business Leader’s Guide to Elevating Your Social Program" aims to provide some key pointers on this, with an overview of the key traits and skills required to maximize your social data practices.
Through its research, Twitter says that it's defined five key elements for an effective social data program:
- IT-know how
- Data expertise
- Education, evangelism, and advocacy
- Social media knowledge
The guide breaks down each of these elements more specifically, with key pointers and notes on how to enact each within your own business process - below are the specific points within the 'Leadership' section:
A core message of the guide is that you can't have one or the other - you can't entrust your social media program to someone who seems to be good at getting a few likes, if that person doesn't also understand the key elements of marketing and strategy, while you also can't put a strategic person in place who has little understanding, or enthusiasm for, social platforms.
The key to effective social data usage is an integrated, universal strategy, which enables you to seek out relevant data points to inform your decisions.
As Twitter notes:
"By transitioning your social program from tactical to strategic you can create a foundation for integrating social data beyond the marketing department."
Essentially, the message of the guide is that businesses need to adopt broader usage of social media data, at a higher level, in order to make it a key element of how they operate. While marketing departments are utilizing more digital data to inform their decisions, there are ways to use social insights in many more applications, and by adopting a more progressive mindset on such, your business stands to see far more benefit.
And according to Twitter's findings, most professionals already acknowledge such - 73% of the people that Twitter polled for its report agreed with the idea that companies who fail to effectively use social media data analysis simply won’t survive in the long-term.
Social media has given people a means to have their say, to share their thoughts on anything, at any time. And increasingly, they're expected brands to listen. But more than that, social media insights can be a barometer of relevant trends, can highlight shifting behaviors, and can point to more ways in which you can improve your market standing.
Relevant discussions are happening on social platforms right now. Listening in can only be of benefit.
You can download Twitter's full "Business Leader’s Guide to Elevating Your Social Program" eBook here.