Understanding Social Data


A recent report by Gallup# reveals what we should already know — when we are immersed in social situations, we align our expectations accordingly. People say they are not influenced by social media in their purchasing decisions, brands are throwing away their advertising dollars, concludes Gallup.

Walking up to a group of friends who are chatting and hitting them with a sales pitch does not work in real life, and it does not work in real life, online. It hardly seems to be news to the community managers who have been involved in social for a few years.

Richness of social data overlooked

The survey fails to "reveal" how — through social media — successful organizations are investing in understanding consumer behavior, how people interact with products and services, and finding ways to deliver better experiences.

It does not talk about the richness of social data and its current applications. Of course people will not tell you the way they interact with something influences them. We think about influence as a thing we exert when we pay attention to something.

The root cause of confusion comes when we try to force fit a marketing definition into life — it just does not work.

Do a little homework, look for a second answer and you begin to see a different picture when it comes to social media.

While some brands took a wait-and-see approach, joined late or look(ed) to social as a way to stretch dollars and off page impressions, early experimenters have moved to improving product/service offerings and experience based on customer interaction.

Why innovation should be on the marketing roadmap

Separate the platforms from content, and you begin to see how smart organizations take the lead because they do use data to make decisions about where to rebalance their product mix, what to do more of and what to strip away and simplify, and how to increase their leverage based on the attention they cultivate.

The very platforms upon which brands have been sharecropping without innovating for themselves, the social networks, are now accelerating the pace of experimentation.

Twitter is taking advantage of the global attention the #WorldCup is receiving and helping connect fans to their teams and the games; Facebook is testing single purpose apps in its Creative Labs#.

This is the real story — and opportunity of social.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.