What is social data? How do I use it?

BI_May22_CThe world, and the businesses that run it, are becoming increasingly social. This has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of data available to us, thus making Business Intelligence (BI) more important than ever. One increasingly popular form of BI is the collection, analysis and use of social data. This is a relatively new idea that has many business owners and managers confused. Are you one of them?

Here’s an overview of social data and three ways small business owners and managers can use it to make decisions.

What is social data?
Social data is any data or information collected from the various social media sites available. The easiest way to define social data is to differentiate it from social media. Social media is content that a user has created, copied or linked with the idea of sharing it with other people using a platform i.e., Facebook. Social data is the information that is linked to this content, such as shares, likes, location, time posted, etc.

It is social data that powers analytics and social media monitoring, (how popular your content, profile, etc. is), and if utilized efficiently could go a long way in helping you make better business decisions and a more focused marketing strategy.

Because there is so much data relating to and generated by social media activities, it can be nearly impossible to track and analyze it all. But, it is quickly becoming an important part of Business Intelligence, and will continue to become even more so as the number of social media sites and users continues to expand. That’s why many BI solutions are starting to integrate social data gathering and analysis tools. While you may be able to track and analyze this data, do you know what you can do with it?

Three uses of social data

  • Competitor research – Many companies currently focus on data related directly to their content. Why not expand it and look at your competitors, such what they are posting and how their followers are reacting? If done properly, this can give you valuable industry insight and generate ideas as to what you could also be doing to better leverage your brand and position.
  • Judge health of marketing campaigns and overall interest – The main use of social data should be to help you track how well your current marketing campaigns and content is doing. Being able to analyze this data will reveal what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to tweak and fine tune your efforts. The best platforms can provide near instant results which allow you to update or change on-the-fly.
  • Gauge current public opinion – Social media is like a stream. There’s always content flowing by you, much of it potentially useful. If you can track what people are saying, sharing and commenting on, you can spot trends faster, enabling you to come up with even more relevant content for followers to share, thus expanding presence.

There are numerous uses for social data in organizations and many bigger companies have started to track and implement learnings in different departments such as marketing, human resources and even finance. This is a great way for you to better know and provide what your customers and followers want.

If you would like to learn more about social data and how your company can use it effectively, call us today for a chat.

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