Social media success in 2014 isn’t just about content, engagement and fans – though all those factors are important. It’s grounded in accessing and analysing data. At the Figaro Digital Social Media Seminar on 5 June 2014 we were joined by experts from a range of brands and agencies who told us how they’re using social data to create more relevant and targeted campaigns
Mick Conroy (Head of Insight and Innovation at Tempero)
Why Your Social Media Data is Slow, Lonely and Ugly – And How to Fix it
Many companies struggle to map the spread of social data through their businesses, says Mick Conroy, Head of Insight and Innovation at social media management agency Tempero.
One of the biggest obstacles, he says, is handling too much data. (Analysts aren’t particularly keen on those massive data exports either.) Mick recommends streamlining the data flow to speed up insight. Data also tends to be isolated; different analytics tools lock data into their own formats and processes. Companies need to think about how different tools might fit into their broader social media workflow. Mick also emphasises the importance of presenting data in a format that’s accessible and comprehensible. His workflow makeover begins by piping data directly into your reporting systems. Liberate it from tools and instead store data in your own warehouse where you can mine it more deeply. A first step to achieving those goals? Mick points to Tableau, a data analysis and presentation platform created by one of the founders of Pixar. This, says Mick, can provide the focus and flexibility required for a clear, usable view of data.
Roy Jugessur (Head of EMEA at Shoutlet) and Lilach Bullock (Founder at Socialable)
How Social Data Meets Business Strategy
Roy at Shoutlet and Lilach at Socialable explored what it means to be a genuinely social business and how social data enables businesses to make more informed decisions.
Social data from online engagement can be applied to all parts of an organisation, says Roy, yet 82 per cent of CMOs feel unprepared to deal with data marketing and 63 per cent lack a cohesive social media plan. That’s a tricky position to be in when structured and unstructured data flies at us from all angles. Making sense of that information, where it sits within your organisation and then translating it into ROI is a common challenge. “Any organisation that really cares about their customers should listen to their opinions, pain-points or feedback,” says Roy. “If you don’t you’ll be left behind.”
A key question to ask, says Lilach, is what information do you actually need to analyse? The key, she says, is to examine the data that enables you to put your customers first. Create a detailed profile of your users’ digital footprint. Segment your audience and then create highly targeted content for each segment. Listen continually, she says, focus on quality content and, to borrow from Charles Darwin, remember that “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.”
Laura Crimmons (Social & PR Manager at Branded3)
Social Media as an Activation Tool
Social media, says Laura Crimmons, Social and PR Manager at Branded3, has a vital role to play in PR. She refers to the ‘zero moment of truth’ – an insight pioneered by Google which identifies the period during which a purchase decision is actually made. Social shares, she says, equal more traffic. More traffic equals more shares. The more shares you get, the more people see your content and therefore link to it. Those social shares give rise to more natural media coverage of campaigns. Laura also stresses the importance of ensuring all your content is inherently sharable. With quizzes, for example, enable users to share scores via a pre-filled message with prominently displayed share buttons. A bit of paid media on social channels, she notes, can boost organic growth, and helps more effective targeting.
As an example of what that means in practice, Laura points to Branded 3’s work with Ladbrokes, who wanted to feature more prominently in online conversations about the Premier League. Branded3 created a quiz testing users on how well they know their favourite football teams; the club whose fans had the most encyclopaedic knowledge would be propelled to the top of the league. (Crystal Palace ended up topping the knowledge league; the only time, as a number of quizzers noted, that Palace could claim to be at the top of any table.)
The campaign used seeding on fan forums, paid social seeding on reddit, StumbleUpon and recommendation platform Taboola. From there it was picked up by social influencers and spread further, eventually notching up 46.5K plays, 2K social shares, Retweets from sports broadcasters Alison Bender and James Fielden and coverage in the Sun, Metro and Liverpool Echo.
John Murphy (Head of Planning at BLOOMWorldwide)
Find Your Attribution Solution
Attribution modelling seeks to answer digital marketing’s 64 million dollar question: where do your customers come from? Most companies will already be applying some form of modelling, but how do you assess the value of different ways of looking at data? John Murphy, Head of Planning at BLOOM Worldwide, took us on a detailed tour of the options available based on specific objectives and the nature of your business. He explained how to figure out which model is most likely to work for you.
Rob Zomerdijk (VP Sales EMEA Social Intelligence at SDL) and Valeria Severini (CEO at Freedata Labs)
Moving Beyond Social Listening: Using Social Intelligence to Power Data-Driven Decisions
Rob at SDL and Valeria at Freedata Labs explored some of the challenges associated with social listening. They discussed Robi the Robot – a toy successfully launched by part-work publishers De Agostini in Japan. Components came with each issue of the magazine, enabling readers to construct their own walking, talking robot.
De Agostini were looking for a new territory in which to launch the product and needed to decide between two possible European countries. Using sophisticated listening tools, De Agostini were able to gain detailed insight into consumers’ attitudes in each country towards robots and robotics. That involved examining the terms associated with social media and online search, the cultural and emotional resonance of robots, topics of conversation and other expressions of sentiment. Most conversations, unsurprisingly, contained no reference to brand names, which made sifting through the data a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Social data, nevertheless, enabled De Agostini to create a comprehensive picture of potential markets and point the way to the best new launch territory.
Tania Seif (Head of Social Marketing at Coral)
Social Media and the Purchase Decision: A Coral Case Study
In the crowded and increasingly lively gaming sector, social media plays a vital role in establishing a brand’s personality and prominence. Tania Seif, Head of Marketing at Coral, explained how the brand approaches its social channels and ties them into its broader marketing objectives.
One of Tania’s biggest challenges, she says, is demonstrating the ROI of the channel. Social media is an informal environment and people don’t generally go there to engage with brands. That means avoiding heavy-handed and obtrusive marketing tactics. For Tania, relationships with consumers need to be ongoing.
For Coral, the smartphone is a particular focus right now – it enables the brand to speak to younger consumers and to establish those all-important relationships on social media. Content, celebrity and customer service, says Tania, have always delivered brand loyalty. All that’s really changed in the digital era is the speed of delivery and the hardware; the value of a fan has always been as someone who carries a brand’s content to new communities, across different channels and then on to a wider audience.
Tania highlighted the significance of ‘moment marketing‘: capitalising on topical events and creating talking points within existing conversations. She also discussed some of the challenges and opportunities that go with constant connectivity. “As we’re generating so much conversation, customers now see social media as a legitimate way of contacting us,” she says. “We see that as really exciting. But this is also where social media can become a little uncomfortable for marketers, because unlike a print ad you have people interacting with your advertising. The most important thing is that you moderate and respond. If you want to be selling products and advertising on social media, you need to have a two way dialogue. You have to let your fans come back and ask questions.”