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Mastering Social Data

It wasn’t long ago that most enterprises had policies in place to prevent their employees from participating in social networking. However, there’s been a real sea change in the attitude towards social networks from the marketing industry. After all, they have created a new realm for the world of marketing to interact with and pull in data on customers and prospects from. As a result, social networks are becoming more widely accepted within enterprises. Now most companies are experimenting with social media strategies, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the data found on social networks, known as social data, is different to anything else businesses will have come up against in the past.

The kind of information found on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can provide insight into an organisation’s important influencers, even those who may not be a customer. You could argue that customer influencer’s should be targeted just as you would target your own customer, especially when you remember that these influencers are the ones who sway your customers in their purchasing decisions.

Marketing departments are now looking at how to pull the mass of social data out there into their enterprises in order to understand more about their customers. Tapping into social networks enables them to look at the interactional data that reveals who their clients are, what they do, what they like to do, what relationships they have, and with whom. All these things give a competitive edge in how companies understand their customers and deliver a better service. 

Moreover, it doesn’t stop at gathering information. Existing technology like Master Data Management (MDM) has a vital part to play in making that information of real value, transforming it into a useful format, integrated into existing CRM systems, and filtered for relevance.

Social media will play a pivotal role in customer experience moving forward. For marketers this is a real opportunity to gain greater insight and drive greater value from marketing activities. From a data integration perspective this opens up a whole new world as companies look to gain a competitive advantage and look to use this new world of data in previously un-thought of ways.