5 ways to get more from your social analytics

VP of artificial intelligence powered insights hub and social analytics company Crimson Hexagon reveals what brands should consider to better leverage the power of social

The pressure is on organisations to engage and understand customers better using social media channels. But are Aussie companies doing enough to tap this powerful data set?

CMO recently caught up with the VP of artificial intelligence powered insights hub and social analytics company Crimson Hexagon, Luke Moore, to understand how to get more from social analytics to drive business outcomes. 

Headquartered in Boston, the fast-growing company has a list of global brand giants as clients including Starbucks, Amazon, Netflix, Buzzfeed, the BBC, Walmart, Procter & Gamble and Paramount. Its platform combines social and proprietary data in order to provide a holistic voice of the customer.

According to Moore, Australian businesses can do far more to gain deeper insights about their customers and open up fresh opportunities to better connect with customers by better social listening. 

1.     Understand the science to social listening

Today’s digital marketer needs fast access to insights and consumer data to offer a better customer experience, Moore said. But while social listening is vital to achieving this, marketers also need to understand the wider impact.

“This could mean the impact of negative comment and understanding the drivers behind that negativity,” he said. “I don’t think base-line sentiment delivers enough level of insight to be useful to a CMO. After social listening, the next step is gaining deeper social analytics. And in Australia, like all other markets we operate in, we haven’t seen enough of that.”

2.     Uncover target audience affinities

A key way of better understanding your target audience – either the audience you have today or wish to have -  is taking time to gain a much deeper understanding of interests and new opportunities, Moore continued.

Read more: 4 epic social media marketing fails to avoid

Read more: 8 social media tactics used by brands to boost engagement

For example, Crimson Hexagon recently worked with Fender to uncover a fresh opportunity to reach the female electric guitar players market. With a customer base and social following that skewed male, Fender needed to become more gender-balanced to continue growth and remain an industry leader. But to accomplish this, they needed to gain a better understanding of women who play electric guitars.

Instead of simply analysing the existing female following or a competitor’s female audience, Fender used Crimson Hexagon’s social media analysis to gain a deeper understanding of female guitar players. The analysis allowed Fender to identify where female guitar players are, what they are talking about, what their interests are, and their barriers for entry into guitar playing communities. Insights also informed Fender’s strategy for expansion into a new market, the launch of a new product, and led to development of targeted campaigns.

The work was done using technology that uncovers the affinities of a group of people, irrespective of what they’re talking about right now, Moore said.

“By looking at online behaviour and creating a psychographic profiles of that audience, we can better understand their interests in a far broader context than the conversation where you are appearing – and even being able to compare sentiment with competitors or sponsors,” he said.

3.     Benchmarking against the competition

Social is also a great environment to evaluate the competition and campaign impact, as well as discover the latest and greatest ways to generate new ideas and spark fresh interest from different segments, Moore claimed.

“Benchmarking against competitors is always going to be a strategic process that surprises some marketers as an option, but with social media you are dealing with public, unsolicited data and you are actually able to look at competitors in a way that your own proprietary data wouldn’t give offer,” he explained. “You can look at market trends, unbranded conversations, and generate insights that are of increasing importance to CMOs and the organisations they represent.” 

4.     Set your ambitions high

While brands might think they are using social to help meet KPIs and social reach , many organisations can actually set their ambitions much higher, and  better understand the needs of the consumer, or their needs in retail experience in a more predictive, long-term and sustainable way, Moore said.

“Analysing this rich pool of  social data, it’s amazing to see what can actually be possible. I don’t think enough organisations are truly understanding that,” he added. “It’s a case of organisations not always considering  what their options are until they are truly aware of them.

“Moving away from limited data sets, social analytics can offer a powerful tool for disruptors. Take a look at how ASOS took away Marks & Spencer’s revenue or how Tesla disrupted the automotive market. These are all indicative of the fragility of the seemingly strong positions certain major global brands hold today.”

5. Maintain an agile mindset 

In order to survive today’s highly volatile and competitive digital landscape, brands need to be agile and change quickly to meet market expectations. That means looking more from a consumer’s perspective.

“This type of data is enabling organisations to shift their opinions and culture and adopt a more data-driven culture. But it’s a challenge for a lot of organisations because it requires change, both structurally and in terms of mindset, and silos have to be broken down,” Moore said. “Those organisations that have recognised the need to do that and have mandated at c-level that those changes have to come fast, are the ones that will survive, adapt and thrive.

“Those that leave it too much longer, will see the penalties of not leveraging this large, unsolicited group of consumer data.”

Moore’s 3-step process to leveraging social analytics:

1.     Look outside the window to see what is being discussed about you

2.     Understand how that works in the context of customer experience

3.     Benchmark those discussions in relation to your competitors  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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