Friday, 8 April 2011

Your Brand and Social Media – Help or Hindrance

The Big Opportunity from Social Media: Understanding Consumers Online

Marketing professionals around the world are recognising that social media represents not only a way of communicating with customers but also a strategic data source for making decisions. Consumers are sharing a constant stream of opinions, emotions, and behaviours online, and this chatter represents valuable information about what they are thinking and feeling about your brand.

The social media universe is growing at an astonishing rate. According to the iReach/Carat Digital Pulse monthly media tracker, almost two-thirds of online Consumers in Ireland are now use social media.

  • Facebook reports that the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month.
  • As many as 80% of consumers report that they do online research before they purchase many products, from consumer goods to financial services.
With this volume of data available, those companies that can break through the noise to truly understand their consumers have unique opportunities to:

• Optimise their messaging, advertising, and packaging
• Identify “hot topics,” market trends, and unmet consumer needs
• Measure and monitor their social media brand, its drivers and inhibitors

Where Is Social Media Analysis Today?
To date, businesses have used social media data primarily to monitor the quantity of conversations about their brand (“buzz”) and to get a quick read on sentiment, that is, whether online posts are positive, negative, or neutral.

In order to realize the strategic value of social media data, businesses need answers to three key questions:

• Can sentiment be a useful measure to capture from social media?
• How accurate is the data analysis upon which sentiment data relies?
• What actionable information could we extract from social media other than sentiment?

Accurate Sentiment Analysis Reveals Social Brand Health Sentiment analysis focuses on analysing the content of online posts, determining whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, and aggregating the sentiments detected into a single generic score. Sentiment analysis can serve as a practical, cost-effective way to track general brand health over time, assuming you have a way to measure sentiment accurately. What tools do you use to analyse this data?