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You know social analytics is important, but if your insights aren’t accurate, your resulting actions won’t be either. That’s the problem with manual processes – they lack the precision required to guide your efforts for maximum impact. Social listening software, on the other hand, offers 11 additional data points no brand should be without.

Precision leads to accuracy

This isn’t about taking a “new” approach to digital marketing – it’s about a better one. Manually tracking built-in analytics data on individual social platforms might indicate you have more Instagram followers this month than last, or that your Twitter audience is comprised of 60% women and 40% men, and 25% of them are interested in “entertainment.” But none of that is specific enough to get your foot in the door with the “me”-centric consumers on social media.

To gain the dimensional understanding needed, you need to account for the following data points in your social listening:

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Let’s break down these 11 types of data, and why they’re game-changers.

1) Gender – From a demographic standpoint, gender doesn’t lend much to your insights. The idea that all women between the ages of 25-34 have universal interests is far-fetched at best. That holds true across the board – making gender assumptions in general a bad idea.

Hasbro learned this when they failed to include leading female character Rey in their Star Wars: The Force Awakens Monopoly game.

The truth is, men stay at home with their kids, women run the C-suite, men knit, and women lift weights. Old-school gender roles have shifted – so identifying which gender is doing the talking on social matters big time.

2) Influence Knowing who’s talking the most, and how much potential they have to take your brand further, also matters. Fans with a large following of their own are great, but it’s not just about numbers. Sentiment has to be taken into account.

3) Sentiment – Why is sentiment so important? Because emotions are the driving force behind social posts. But knowing someone “likes” your post or “hearts” your tweet doesn’t tell you why – which makes it hard to take additional action with confidence. And if someone doesn’t like you, you may not even know until their negative post goes viral.

That’s why you need to know the intensity of emotion too. Along with alerting you to potential problems, Passion Intensity helps identify influencers. After all, it’s better to have an influencer with 3000 fans who is obsessed with your brand, than one with 8000 fans who just likes you.

4) Source – When you look at Twitter’s built-in analytics, for example, you only see what users of that app are doing and saying – which doesn’t tell you the full story. With software that analyzes conversations across the social spectrum, you can find out where your brand’s most influential fans post from – and focus your attention there. Maybe you’ve been putting all your time into Twitter, but the better bet would be Instagram.

5) Location – Like gender, location isn’t super helpful when viewed as a demographic limitation. But as part of a more comprehensive data set it can be revealing. Wondering where to open your next restaurant franchise? Let social users tell you.

6) Emotions – In addition to spotting influencers/issues, emotions let you connect with consumers based on passions they have beyond your brand. In either case, you need a platform that understands the various nuances of human and social languages. “Like” is positive, but “adore” is passionate. “Hate” is negative, “despise” is passionate – unless, of course, the words are used sarcastically to mean their opposites. Quality social listening tools can tell the difference.

7) Behaviors – As you surface for insights, clues into how consumers use products like yours are key. In the image above the tweeter is “using the iTunes app to stream” music. That tells you a lot about them, and provides an opportunity to enhance (or disrupt) their brand experience.

8) Attributes – It’s all about specifics – the life’s blood of social insights. What exactly do consumers like or hate about iTunes, for example? In this case, it’s the app they love. The more information you have, the better you can relate to your audience and serve their needs.

9) People The people your audience mention are worth noting. First of all, it creates a talking point to enter the social conversation. Secondly, they’re potential spokespeople for your brand. If your audience really loves Taylor Swift, maybe she should be doing your commercials.

10) Brands If you’re only looking for mentions of your own brand on social, you’re missing out on critical intel. Which of your competitors are also getting attention, and more importantly, why? Answering these questions is part of identifying emerging consumer trends – and making changes before your brand is eclipsed by another.

11) HashtagsHashtags are yet another puzzle piece social monitoring software takes into account. Similar to emojis – which your platform must also be able to decipher – hashtags often punctuate posts. They may sometimes be the only brand-identifier in the mix. Imagine the tweet above reworded: “Love being able to play Taylor Swift everywhere I go! #iTunes.”

If you want accurate insights, you can’t rely on manual analytics. With automated social listening tools there’s no reason to guess what your audience wants – they’re telling you all the time. You just have to be able to capture the data and apply it.

We can help! Reach out for a demo of our suite of social listening tools today.

Image from: Matthias Geh

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