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Social media analysis: What are the key skills?

slIn a recent webcast on small data and the importance of social media (Get Big Data Value From Social Media), a question was asked of the panelists:

“What is more important when hiring people to do social media analytics – social media experience or business analytics?”

The answer, in a word, was “yes”. Fact is, it is hard to make trade-offs like this when looking to fill a position. These two skills are less of a differentiator now as every year there are more people with these types of skills looking for new job opportunities. In a recent report from Gleanster, Ian Michiels analyzes the question in depth and makes the case for new considerations. See the report here >>

We agree with his thoughts. Everyone understands that social media is evolving rapidly and that the amount of data is growing by leaps and bounds. But it is also critical to note that the tools, like Visible Intelligence, are evolving just as rapidly. Marketers no longer have to look for people with PhDs in statistics or computer science to help them build models to analyze unstructured data. They can do more than ever on their own (but the smart ones still look for help to get to the deep insight). So rather than look for someone with robust skills in social and/or analytics, firms should be looking for people with a passion for insight and satisfying the customer. Someone with this intangible trait will be driven to find the diamond in the rough (insight) in the data for the right reasons.

Michiels cites some other great research around who is doing what kind of analysis on social media. For example, 96% do high level analysis for the brand or competitors around sentiment. But there are some things that only cutting edge companies are doing now.  I’ll let you read the report to find out the details. What do you look for when hiring people for social media monitoring and analysis roles?

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