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Social media strategies for 2014

Well, it is that time of year again. Everyone is making predictions about 2014 – specifically, about the key social media strategies for 2014 that everyone should consider. Run a search and you will find a plethora of articles stating everything from the obvious (look out for mobile) to the familiar (2014 is THE year for Google+). One issue with the current prognostication is that they really don’t get specific enough to guide strategy. To me, the essence of strategy is deciding how you will build competitive advantage. Said another way, what are the social media capabilities you will target for investment (time and money) in 2014?

In an effort to gain some insight around what people are planning for 2014, we asked the attendees of our recent Social Data Is Big Data webcast a simple question: In what area do you intend to focus your social media analytic efforts in the next 6-12 months? Here are their responses (Note, we allowed for multiple selections):

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I found it interesting that Perception Management landed in the #1 spot. At Visible, we have been doing sentiment analysis with our customers for a long time (here is a whitepaper addressing how we do it).  This is one of the most commonly implemented functionalities that address the broad term of “Social Listening” or “Monitoring.” The next frontier of this type of analysis is to move beyond monitoring to analyzing. In this context, maybe the response should not be surprising. It stands to reason that the first technology implemented should be the first to move to the next level of analysis. Another interesting read addressing reputation management is the Ogilvy Report – 2013 Global Brand Advocacy Study.

Other areas of focus with over 30% of the responses are Marketing Campaign Optimization and Customer Service Engagement. I really think these are great areas for companies to address with deep analytics as they can provide tangible ROI very quickly. The world will belong to marketers who can, in a matter of hours, understand how people are reacting to their campaigns and then make adjustments to messages and channels. It was awesome to see real time marketing in action with what Oreo did during the Superbowl blackout. By analyzing social media content, tweaking the messaging real time, and then responding with new messages, they were able to create a sense of engagement that was envied by any marketer with their salt. Regarding engagement, I think we will see it evolve in 2014. Today, many look at social media engagement as a mechanism for addressing customer satisfaction issues found in social media. In the future, people will think more strategically about who they engage with and when. Specifically, we will see more effort placed on identifying and managing the influencers in an effort to leverage social media investments. Here is a good webcast that lays out the key questions for developing an engagement strategy.

What do you think? Where are you going to focus your social media analysis strategies in 2014?

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