The term “big data” has been popping up all over the tech world in recent years. However, it has only recently begun to be accepted as an important concept for marketing professionals, who tended to be a bit more unsure of just how they could use big data to produce results. Thanks to the brave pioneers who blazed the trail, the union of big data and marketing has become much more accepted as a feasible way to make the marketer’s job easier while enhancing customer relations and improving profitability.
Even those who have embraced big data, however, frequently have no idea of just how “big” the data actually is. There are 2.5 quintillion — 2,500,000,000 million — bytes of data generated every day. Furthermore, more than 90 percent of the total online data in existence today has been generated since 2013, and much of it is coming from social networks. Obviously, there is a wealth of information contained in the data, but the problem of filtering and funneling this data explosion remains an issue for most organizations.
This is where social-performance software or SPS, comes in handy. The exponential growth of big data has naturally inspired software developers to create ways to help businesses garner valuable intelligence from the data they collect. This new species of software is geared to provide the following benefits:
- Analyze the conversations among your followers on social-media sites.
- Suggest the content you should publish and the media to use.
- Advise which channel should be used to publish.
- Determine when you should publish the content.
- Determine your target audience for the content.
In short, SPS helps you get your content to your intended audience when they want it, resulting in enhanced brand awareness or response rates.
The proliferation of social media has given marketers unprecedented access to valuable insights. Properly mined, you can learn:
- Where your target audiences spend the most time
- Who and what they like
- Their favorite brands
- Their occupation, job title and/or employer
- Their friends
- What is trending in each follower’s world
- Their connections and interconnections
- The ways in which your followers influence connections
- Data about your followers’ connections and friends
Best of all, SPS can potentially provide you with all of this intelligence in real time. The social world changes rapidly, and what was valid yesterday may be outdated today. The insights you gain can help you react immediately to any changes in the market or to make adjustments to your marketing efforts mid-campaign. The analytics derived from the data can also help you to quantify your return on investment by channel. With the proper software, you can measure basic metrics, such as the number of conversations related to your brand, the number of new leads derived from social activities and the sentiments being expressed about your brand. You can also measure advanced metrics, such as emerging trends that might affect your reputation.
In today’s competitive environment, your customers hold the winning hand. They are demanding more from you than ever before. They want to be “wooed” and build a relationship with your brand before you try to sell them your product or service. They want to feel that you truly know them, and one way to instill that feeling is to offer them personalized experiences that are relevant to them and in harmony with their online behavior. If you lack the data — or the ability to mine the data you have — you cannot give them the experience they want. If you disappoint them, they are extremely likely to move on to a competitor who will better meet their expectations.