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Ignorance may be bliss in certain areas of life, but when it comes to your social analytics the cliché doesn’t apply. Here’s why you should steer clear of mysterious analytics solutions you can’t verify.

Your brand’s reputation and success aren’t guaranteed

Some service providers go on about patented technology, expecting you to trust their tools work as promised. But can you afford to put your faith in something you don’t understand? If you don’t know how they’re arriving at the data they present, how can you trust it’s accurate? You can’t. This is just one reason many of our customers switch to NetBase from our competitors.

For example, our Natural Language Processing (NLP) methodology is transparent, so our users know they can trust the results they get. Some of our competitors can’t say the same. Crimson Hexagon, to name one, uses auto-generated themes – meaning you can’t customize your search, or verify the data you receive. And you’re supposed to act on these insights?

You can’t afford results that aren’t accurate

The whole point of social data is to remove the risk from the equation by providing consumer insights that support brand actions. Consumers and your competitors both make decisions rapidly, so you have to as well.

That means your data has to be as reliably accurate as possible. Otherwise you may waste valuable resources chasing the wrong audience, on the wrong channels, with the wrong messaging, and so on. Meanwhile, the competition has the opportunity to get all those things right and leave you in the dust.

Accuracy is table-stakes. It’s everything. And your customers aren’t the only ones who matter.

Your needs are individual

Just like consumers, your brand has personalized requirements. These are the things that help you stand out in a crowded category fighting for a shared audience. If your social listening tools stop at predefined topics, where does that leave a brand that doesn’t fit that mold?

 

Tweet by Denny's restaurant

Denny’s unique and quirky social approach is based on an accurate understanding of who THEIR customer is – as opposed to an IHOP customer, etc.

You can’t rely on the secret formula of your service provider, hoping it will turn up the insights you need. You must be able to clearly see the process. That way you can tweak parameters to uncover the insights that matter to you – not your category in general. You can’t do that if you don’t know how the tool works to begin with.

And if you need to consult a representative to help you, you lose the flexibility of real-time analysis – which could cost you. Any delays on your part leave room for competitors to get a foothold. That’s not okay.

Trust an analyst

If you’re still not sure transparency matters, consider the analyst’s point of view we talked about in Part 1. There’s a reason brands have data analysts on staff – and it’s because complicated data sets need to be accurately analyzed to keep brand initiatives on track.

But what if you don’t have an analyst at your disposal? Well, social analytics tools have evolved so that all members of your brand’s operations team can use them – and that’s fantastic. But that flexibility shouldn’t be a trade-off for reliable data. If “simpler” also means “mysterious,” you’ve gained nothing.

So be sure you understand how the data is calculated as you consider choosing or upgrading your social analytics tools. Every decision you make depends on it.

Want to see how our social analytics tools work? Reach out and we’ll show you!

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