There is a big difference between data and insights. Technology may have given us access now to endless amounts of data from every corner of the world. But the real challenge is making sense of all this seemingly disconnected data. Data by itself is generally valueless which is why for the most part it takes human gray matter applied to the data to make it into actionable insights.
When it comes to Social Media data the same holds up to a point!
There is clearly a spectrum of Social Media data that can be collected by any listening platform like a Radian6 or a Networked Insights. But in reality it’s what you do with that data that makes the big difference.
Classic social media monitoring with a listening platform like Radian6 involves a stream of data centered on a search for specific word like “Avaya”- it’s very tactical and mostly used for reactive purposes such as social customer support or brand/crisis management. Advanced versions of this tactic include taking the resulting stream of data from that search and applying technology to it such as Avaya’s Social Media Manager solution which will actively look for support opportunities from that stream of data and push the relevant ones into the contact center (see my new book Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies for more info).
Moving up the chart from monitoring into analytics is where you see higher value from all that monitoring of your social data. Using a tool like Networked Insights you can take that data and start to understand where the conversations about your brand are happening most, and what the tone or sentiment of those conversations are. Better yet are you more or less involved in those conversations and what share of voice do you have around the conversations that are most relevant to your brand. Advanced versions of this tactic include tracking those places that conversations are happening most and using the words from those conversations in your SEO as well as choosing to advertise in those places that frequently mention your brand or the conversations you want to be a part of.
Finding data about your brand in easy when it comes to social media, there are a variety of social tools that you can use to get a glimpse of your brand ranging from free to paid. But using the tool for what its best for and matching your strategy to the tool that you are using is where you can best see the value of that tool.