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Taking a Step Back: What Are Your Social Media Analytic Goals?

What are your social media analytic goals for 2014?

On April 29th we conducted a webcast with Nate Elliott from Forrester, “5 Ways Smart Marketers Use Social Intelligence to Succeed.” It was based on a paper written by Nate called, “The Five Ways Interactive Marketers Should Use Social Data” that was published at the end of 2011, but I was amazed to see how well the recommendations still hold up today.  All of the examples used were from the last year or so, and there were some really great ones. I was most impressed by the tactics of Footlocker (Sneakerheads are an interesting lot and it was cool to see them being called out in Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”) and REI as well.

We asked the attendees two questions:

1)  “What is your skill level?” As we normally see (we ask this question frequently to help the speakers customize content on the fly), almost 90% of the audience classified themselves as either “Getting Started” or “Advancing” with only 11% considering themselves as “Ninjas”. I think this proves that there is still a long way to go when it comes to developing expertise in social media analytics.

2)    After hearing Nate describe the five key things marketers can use to get value from social media data, we asked “Which of the five has the most value for you over the next 12 months?” 

Here are the results:


To me, it is not surprising to see “React Quickly” with such a low relative score. It is not easy, but real time marketing is the direction we are going in. To execute not only requires the marketing department to be on their toes all the time and have well-oiled processes, but related departments like legal, who often review campaign messaging, must be aligned for a real-time world. We will be addressing real-time marketing and the role of social media analytics in future webcasts, so make sure to keep an eye open for that.

It was also not surprising to see “Influencers” and “Media Plans” taking the lead. We talk to clients and prospects very often about these.

Digging into the data, more sub-themes developed. We looked at the intersection of the two sets of responses and found that:

  • Over 50% of the “Ninjas” were focused on Addressing Influencers, while only 10% and 33% of the “Getting Started” and “Advancing”, respectively, plan to focus on “Influencers” during the coming 12 months.
  • Only 16% of the “Ninjas” called out “Improve Media Plans” as a priority, versus 45% of “Getting Started” and 35% of “Advancing”.

Maybe there is a road map somewhere in this collective wisdom:

  • Start with understanding where your targets are, and invest in the media outlets they’re on.
  • Move onto using social media analytics to develop better messaging and sourcing content.
  • Once your messaging is addressed, “Influencers” become a priority.
  • The final frontier is developing the organization structures, processes, and social media listening/analysis skills to enable real time marketing.

Does this represent your path?  Send me a message at rmiller  at  visibletechnologies  dot com and let me know what you think.

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