“Social insights isn’t just data, it’s knowing what that data means”
Karin Robinson: Associate Director, Social | OgilvyOne Worldwide
Social media data can lead to insights that present you with a clearer idea about what your audience are thinking, how they view your brand, how you can target them, and how to respond to them. But if you aren’t smart with how you’re gathering and implementing your data, it might not be as useful as you’d like it to be.
Speaking at Social Media Week: London, Ogilvy’s Karin Robinson identified ways that raw data can tell the wrong story, as well some steps you can take to get the right one. An understanding of the potential flaws in some common measures will help you to extract a more accurate picture of your audience, and where your brand fits within their lives. We’ve highlighted two key points from her talk that got our attention, and also added our own thoughts in order to get you over these hurdles.
For decades they have formed the cornerstone of marketing strategies, basic facets of an individual such as their age, location, and gender. While they can be helpful to know, there’s now much more out there to see. There’s also a mix of things that may impact the precise accuracy of the data. As a result, it’s important to keep a critical eye on changes and be ready to look deeper if something looks odd.
Karin Robinson: Associate Director, Social | OgilvyOne Worldwide (Subsequent quotes are Karin's too)
For some brands, such as British Gas, sentiment analysis is one of the main things they want to measure on social media. But before you meticulously count every little green plus and red minus, it’s worth remembering what you’re actually trying to uncover with your social insights.
Ignoring these issues isn’t an option, getting the highest quality of insights from your data is still a primary goal. To ensure that you meet that goal, here are some ideas from both Karin and SocialBro on how you can ensure that your data provides with with actionable information which can be trusted.
When extracting data about your audience, it’s worth keeping in mind the individuals that the data is based on. They can then be used to check how accurate your data-derived hypotheses about your audience are, both in terms of who you are looking to target and to assess performance of previous campaigns. High quality segmentation tools will allow you to see the precise Twitter users who are forming your data within customisable parameters.
Marketers need to retain an awareness of the context of their results, questions always need to be asked. If there’s something unexpected or unusual appearing in your social data, it’s always worth taking a closer look at what’s causing it before letting it influence your marketing strategy. This was one of the key points Karin bought up...
People generally don’t describe themselves as a ‘22-34 year-old professional female’. While it may be a useful bracket to start with, taking a deeper look will give you a much clearer idea on who your audience are, and give you a far more accurate persona for your targeting. Karin went into depth about why this should be something marketers take the time to do.
Different people use different social networks in different ways. Your audience on Twitter may be unique in their own ways, which can lead to highly accurate campaigns tailored towards them, resulting in a level of performance unattainable from a one-size-fits all social campaign.
As mentioned earlier, the social data gathered from Twitter users should be used to inform your Twitter activity. But if it’s performing well there, it’s worth experimenting with expanding facets of those Twitter-specific aspects of your campaign out to other areas of your marketing and communications strategy. Innocent Drinks did similar to this last year when they decided to expand one of their high-performing Tweets into a print advert (more details here).
No data is an island. A single statistic or metric won’t always tell the whole story, which is why it’s important to take data from a variety of sources and use it all together to inform your strategy. The importance of three dimensional data was something Karin was keen to emphasise.
As shown, these bumps in the road are certainly not a cause for abandoning your efforts to gain insights about your social audience. In fact, overcoming them will lead to a richer picture of your audience and where your brand fits into their lives.