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Data. For marketers, data can be powerful. But the task of analyzing it can seem daunting.
For years, marketing has been moving online. Digital marketing in all its forms has become a
primary way to reach customers. That explosion first to the web, then e-commerce, and now
social media has plopped mountains of data squarely into the laps of companies.
The possibilities for what unlocking this data means are nearly endless. They offer companies
never-before-seen insight about their customers and their industry. But for many companies,
getting to this stage is a winding road – especially when it comes to social media data.
With e-commerce, purchase history, email interactions, and many others, the number of data
points that are available is impressive.
One of the hottest segments of this mass of data that is accumulating every second? Social data.
Data from social media is among the most exciting parts of this flood of numbers – one that
holds promise for what it means to social program, but also what it means when merged with
more traditional data. For marketers, this is some of the most exciting data around because it’s
about the customers who have opted-in to interact with you in social media.
It’s also some of the most overlooked types of data.
Right now, marketers are collecting demographic info, customer transactions, and customer
usage data, according to a study by Columbia Business School and the New York American
Every day, social media generates billions of data points. Yet marketers
have not been capturing this data at a very high rate: just 35% are collecting social content from
customers and targets and 33% are tracking ties to customers in
In 2013, many marketers have vowed to change this trend. Almost
80% of marketers surveyed in Q3 2012 plan to apply more social
customer data to drive marketing campaigns in other channels
The importance of social customer data overall will
undoubtedly grow, especially with new tools like Facebook Graph
Search, which taps user data and fuels discovery for brands.
There is so much data now that this mountain of information,
this “Big Data,” and the idea of analyzing it seem like an
insurmountable task. But the payoff can be huge.
eMarketer, “Marketers Struggle to Link Digital Data to ‘Big Data’ Picture”
Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive via MarketingProfs: “Marketers Upping the Ante on Big Data
in 2013” http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/9904/marketers-upping-the-ante-on-big-data-in-2013
THE MARKETER’S GUIDE
TO SOCIAL CUSTOMER DATA
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SOCIAL DATA: WHAT IS IT?
Social data is data that you can glean from social networks and social activity. There are many
types of data that can be extracted from social activity online, and in turn, can be analyzed –
and acted upon – in as many different ways.
Included under the umbrella of social data are measurement and analytics tracking data related
to the social actions taken on content, such as engagement data, shares, referral traffic, etc.
Also, conversations happening on all major social networks, content being posted to social
networks, blog posts, blog comments, check-ins – all the various types of social data being
generated is nothing less of astounding. Facebook alone processes 2.5 billion pieces of content,
300 million photos, 2.7 billion Like actions and more than 500 terabytes of data each day.5
Twitter processes more than 400 million tweets daily, and every minute 48 hours of video
is uploaded to YouTube.6
Many companies are utilizing this data by engaging in efforts such as social media monitoring to
undercover mentions and sentiment about their brand and to unearth trends in their industries,
consumer pain points, and opinions and feedback on their competitors. They are using the insight
from this overall data to apply to their business, whether that is through one-on-one responses
to customer service issues or by gathering insight from thousands of conversations to help shape
their next product design, for instance.
Social data also includes the social data and social activities about your existing social connections.
Social customer data is the user data and activity that can be extracted by way of social sites
and social campaigns, and is what we’ll focus on in this guide.
Search Engine Land: “The Importance Of Big Data, Integrity Security In Enterprise SEO” http://searchengineland.com/
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SUMMITING THE MOUNTAIN:
EFFECTIVE SOCIAL CUSTOMER
Tackling the mountain of social custom data is possible!
You can conquer this mountain and begin harnessing
this data to better inform your marketing efforts.
Content: First it starts with developing content - the stuff that gets conversations started, gets
your customers to share, and prompts them to continue to follow you on social sites. Facebook
posts, tweets, videos, contests – any content that your customers can engage with on social
networks and are set up to gather information can be sources of information.
Engage: Next, users engage with your content - they comment, share, click on, tweet, like, and
view your content. It’s this interaction that leads to accumulating data about who is engaging
with your content – and attracts new people who are opting-in to your updates across social sites.
Data: All the activity related to your social community can be gathered and collected, amassing
a valuable store of social customer data over time.
Analyze: The next step is to analyze – to use the social data you’ve gathered to make your
marketing better. Companies are beginning to realize how powerful this social customer data
really is and have adopted platforms that can facilitate not just aggregating this data, but also
slicing the data to unlock actionable insights.
Act: The data you’ve uncovered can illuminate findings that you can use across your marketing
efforts, from applying social customer data results back to social plans to using that information
to launch more effective emails to different segments of your audience.
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WHY THE TIME IS NOW FOR UTILIZING DATA
Having a plan to use social data is becoming imperative for marketers.
Tapping into this can align a brand with these trends in the space:
RELEVANCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER.
“Content is king” has been the common mantra in social media.
While interesting content continues to be the fuel behind engaging
social programs, focusing on relevancy is key to taking that
engagement to a higher level. The space has seen a trend in
the number of personalization options available to social media
marketers, ranging from post targeting for Facebook Pages
and LinkedIn Company pages to more robust features for serving
more relevant ads to people on Facebook.
By capturing and delving into the findings social customer data
can reveal, you will be better able to understand what content
is most relevant for your community so that you can tailor your
messaging more skillfully.
DATA-DRIVEN MARKETING IS NOW A REQUIREMENT.
With the ubiquity of digital marketing, which generates massive
amounts of data, using this data has prompted campaigns, products,
ad spend – nearly every part of the marketing landscape – to be
supported and informed by data. Social media is no different.
Almost half of CMOs have used social data to make predictions or
forecasts. Roughly 90% have said social data also influences their decisions.7
SOCIAL IS MOVING OUT OF THE SILO – AND ITS DATA SHOULD, TOO.
The trend toward social business, where social media touches every part of the
enterprise, requires that social teams do not operate in a marketing or public
relations bubble. By unlocking findings about your social customers and then
intertwining that data with data from other parts of marketing and the enterprise
as a whole, you can free your social customer data from silos, too.
Bazaarvoice and The CMO Club, “Chief Customer Advocate: How social data elevates CMOs” July 2012.
“Social media ushers
in an era of contextual
relevance that finally
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SOCIAL CUSTOMER DATA: A BREAKDOWN
Let’s look at social customer data through these three levels: high-, mid-, and individual-level
data. Each of the three lenses can bring into focus different insights that your team can use
to make your marketing more effective.
HIGH-LEVEL DATA: This is a broad way of looking at your database of social
connections. These data points will uncover who is actually interacting with
you in social in aggregate. Learning the high-level facts about the social
connections across multiple presences (hundreds if you manage a global
brand) offers insight for categories like gender, state, city, age, and so on.
Ways to Use It:
Tools like Facebook Insights will give you data about who your fans are,
where they live, how old they are, etc., and social media monitoring will help
you engage in active and passive listening to gather feedback from your
customers. Being able to know these data points for a variety of your social
channels helps you understand what segments of your overall customer base are
tied to social media, helping your team create content that can be effectively repurposed across
channels. It can help you understand where content creation and community response resources
should be focused and how to tailor the message to the sub-segments of your audience that are
connected to you in social spaces.
MID-LEVEL DATA: Mid-level data is a hybrid of high-level data and individual-
level data, which relates to each person’s interests and social activity.
When broad, high-level filters get paired with more specific pieces of
data, this is when it starts to get even more interesting. Being able to
segment your social customer data means unlocking insights about
them that wouldn’t otherwise be revealed.
By pairing general, high- and specific, individual-level data, you’ll be
able to conduct social segmentation that answers questions like these:
• How many married women subscribe to your YouTube channels?
• How many users under 30 in California Like your Facebook Page
and follow you on Twitter?
• How many of your Facebook Likes work at Company X?
Ways to Use It:
While these filter combinations will each teach you insights, compare your social customer findings
with other marketing data sets to see how they match up. Are the target segments you’re shooting
for as a brand reflect who is actually connected to you in social media? Just as social listening
can illuminate new demographics that are attracted to your brand, pulling this insight from your
database of existing connections is possible, too. Plus, knowing more about your social audience
will help shape your content calendars, social ad strategies, and long-term goals.
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INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL DATA: Take a microscope to your data and you’ll find each
of your social connections – the customers who your brand is aiming to reach
one by one to develop relationships and strengthen their connection to your
brand through social. Capturing profile information and interaction history
for each of your social connections creates a go-to resource for getting to
know your customers.
Ways to use it:
For your community management team, individual-level data is invaluable
when interacting with people one-on-one in social media. Knowing about
each customer makes subsequent interactions richer and helps identify brand
advocates. It helps everyone on your social response team view each customer
for who each person is personally – making interactions more authentic and personalized.
Dive in deeper to your mid-level segments to learn more about how your team is interacting
with members of that group. For instance, if you are a snack brand, view individual profiles of
this segment: mothers living in New York who Like you on Facebook and have indicated they like
a particular flavor over another, which you’ve included as a field in a newsletter sign-up form. Spot
subtle trends early, supplement your social media monitoring efforts, and stay ahead of the game.
By viewing data through these three lenses, you can uncover more than ever about the people
who have raised their hands to interact with you in social spaces.
WAYS SOCIAL CUSTOMER DATA IS COLLECTED
How do you collect this data so that you can begin unlocking those insights? Social customer
data is collected in a variety of different ways, depending on the tools and platforms you’re
using to perform this task. Here’s how social customer data can be collected and filtered into
a Social CRM platform.
• Profile Data - Publicly accessible profile info,
or info provided through Facebook app
• User entered data via fields completed
in Facebook apps (tabs)
• Activity Interaction
• Info gathered through Facebook contests
Imported info from
your other databases:
• Email marketing data
• Purchase history
• Loyalty program info
• Custom data points
User supplied data from forms
on the web and/or through
Facebook apps (tabs)
• Activity Interaction
Info via other networks:
Data collected in aggregate about fanbase
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INVITE ALL YOUR DATA TO THE PARTY
While social customer data can uncover eye-opening findings about the people connected to
your social accounts, more benefits emerge when you invite all of your data sets to the party.
By merging the information in these disparate data sets, you’ll be able to see enriched profiles on each
person in your database, and you can use the data generated through social media to incorporate into
segmentation for tactics like targeted email campaigns, to extract new ideas for content generation,
and to uncover more actionable information by looking at your data holistically.
SOCIAL AS PART OF THE PROMISE OF BIG DATA
Big Data has been recognized as a soon-to-be monumental turning point for marketers, but
getting there is a process. Many are at the beginning of that journey. But in the swirling mass of
Big Data analysis, capturing and using social media data is an attainable objective. Not only can
it be meshed with other overall business data, but also with additional marketing data to give
users personalized experiences and make messages from companies relevant and more impactful.
Start extracting findings from your social
customer data. Here are three ways to prepare:
• Do an audit: Spend some time compiling a list of all the
potential sources of social customer data, including the
social networks you are active on, contests, and more.
Add to this list the various sets of marketing data you
are collecting, including email marketing databases,
loyal program information, and others.
• Adopt a Social CRM platform that can collect social
customer data. To organize a social database with
fresh data, adopting a platform that pulls in as much
information as seamlessly as possible will work to
build viable social customer profiles 24/7.
• Tap experts in the technology vendor space to learn
the best ways for your unique company to link the data
sets from your preferred technology partners.
APIs can be your best ally when you want to link
your preferred technology platforms’ data together.
Ask your vendors about what API technology they
offer so you use your selected tools while getting
the benefits of merged data.
WAYS TO PREPARE
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Shoutlet is a 100% DIY, cloud-based, social marketing platform
for brands and agencies to publish, engage, and measure social
marketing initiatives. Its industry leading functionality includes
Social CRM, Social Listening, Social Canvas™ for creative design;
Social Switchboard™ for trigger-based campaign publishing;
Social Profiles for data/interest segmentation; Social Ads,
Social Contests, Social Enterprise for corporate-level control;
and Social Analytics.
Shoutlet’s Social Profiles feature allows companies to collect
and store social customer data from social networks and link
other databases to each social connection’s Social Profile. As a
social contact management system, Social Profiles automatically
gather important data points about each social connection.
The result is a powerful database of social contacts that uncovers
characteristics about your audience through advanced filtering
and segmentation tools. Learn more about how Social Profiles
can help you be more effective by tapping social customer
data at Shoutlet.com.
SHOUTLET SOCIAL PROFILES