Big Sexy Data: Are You Seeing the Relationship Potential?

August 19, 2013

big sexy data

We’ve all seen him/her. You know, the well dressed, very attractive girl/guy at the bar trying a little too hard. You look — maybe you can’t take your eyes off him/her — but you know, something’s off. You might strike up a conversation, but there’s that voice in your head that tells you that this is not long-term material. 

Apply that to your data you’re gathering from social media activity. There’s some mighty attractive, sexy looking stuff there, right?

  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Shares
  • Clicks
  • Downloads
  • Sentiment

Pretty charts and reports galore!

These might even serve some purpose, too, if you’ve got to grab the attention of leadership and at least whet their appetite.

But, we know this isn’t going to meet our needs in the long run, right?

To know whether you can really have a long term relationship with this sexy/attractive data, you’ve got to take a deeper look. Get to know it. Understand how it will work and function in your organization, and, even help you grow.

Big spike in likes/shares on a specific day?

Did you post a particular piece of content that resonated? Create more of that. Did you do something to promote your social media presence? Get to know your new visitors.

Impressive reach?

Great. What’s it gaining you? Are you driving web traffic and if so, what are visitors from social channels doing on your website? Do they convert? Conversely, are your web visitors leaving your website and joining you on your social channels? If so, from where? At what point are they in your sales cycle? Are you tracking them in your CRM?

Shares, clicks, downloads — they’re so hawt!

What can we really understand from engagement metrics like these? Sure, it’s great that people love your content … let this inform future content. (And, if your engagement metrics are low, it’s time to adjust your content.) Again, What’s the business gain? Does your salesforce have access to the activity in the social community?

What are they saying?

Ok, so you’ve been oogling all the quantifiable data, but are you looking at content and subject matter of conversations about your organization, industry, or competition? Or, even more, have you had any conversations, yet? What do they have to say? Do they love your product and want more of it? Can you offer new ways to use an existing product? What problems can you solve?

Social media monitoring is a hot topic. It has been for a while, now. But, marketers continue to get caught up in all of the sexy tools and data they return without taking a long hard look at 1) what the organization needs from the data, and 2) how this intelligence and the analysis of it will improve business performance in the long run.

Do the work, and you’ll have a long, healthy relationship with your data and more importantly, the people with whom you’re actually trying to reach.

[Closing note: ready to really take this to the next level? This post by @Avinash remains one of my favorite go-to lists of social media metrics that are worth the long term investment.] 

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.