The marketing industry continues to debate the role of social data and its significance as a tool for marketers. From recent conversations I have had with others in the field, it seems increasingly clear that modern marketers need to plan their strategies with a clear and focused scientific mind. It is time to tool up – analyse all data, without leaving any behind. Successfully monitoring sentiment and extending this understanding beyond the enterprise to social networks is part of this. Here are a couple of pointers for marketers wanting to do more than talk the talk, and become a truly social enterprise:
- Get the basics right
Marketers need to think about how outbound social engagement fits into overall business plans and make sure that they are engaging with the right social media channels to support this. Not all social engagement is necessary. For example, B2B enterprises may engage fully on LinkedIn, while B2C companies focus more on Facebook. Twitter is a great tool for influencing the influencers, but has yet to prove itself in providing an engagement platform to talk to prospects.
- Measure sentiment
The ability to measure sentiment across the Internet is becoming more sophisticated. Many tools exist solely to help companies achieve this. At Informatica we work with organisations to extract meaning from the social network traffic all around them. New analytical tools are popping up all over the place to view and analyse social data so marketers need to stay on top of the latest industry developments.
- Open new channels to market
The goal of modern marketers is to crack the social paradigm by opening new channels to market. This is a new battleground and comes down to data - Social MDM to be precise. Using relevant data, marketers can extend the understanding of a customer into their social relationships in order to sell goods in new and innovative ways through social networks.
- Earn and keep trust
Trust is paramount, whoever you are marketing to. Without it, social commerce will stall. I’m a total believer that enterprises must be extremely careful about abusing trust – or risk a social backlash against their brand. More often than not this comes down to communicating honestly and openly with customers about where and how their data is being used and how its security is being kept intact.
Social media is no longer the pet project of corporate communications. It touches all aspects of a company – whether that be thought leadership for product marketing, recruitment for HR, product feedback for engineering, case management for support or sentiment analysis for corporate communications. With this in mind, it is no longer good enough to talk about doing social; businesses must “become” social and get in on the action.