5 Challenges and 5 Benefits to Social Media Insight

Consumer insights on using social media to capture insights

Interesting presentation by Barton Goldenberg, president and founder, of ISM on “Achieving Simplicity Capturing and Utilizing (sic) Social Media Insight.”

Barton predicts that companies will be generating 50 percent of online sales via social media by 2015.  Given consumers’ preference for input from friends, families, peers and even people they don’t know that rate products on sites, I would be surprised if it happened more quickly.

Here are the five challenges to capturing social media insight Barton provides:

  1. Listening — knowing what to listen to and knowing where to listen.  There are myriad channels where prospects and consumers are congregating?  Do you know the primary channels for your target audience?
  2. Filtering — listening to results and obtaining insights.  I strongly recommend having a dialogue, either online or on the phone, to probe any insights you are getting.
  3. Public versus private social media communities.  Again, you need to be where your customers are.
  4. CRM integration and use — integrate your social media strategy with your CRM.  This has certainly been a challenge in my business as we have fields in the CRM for  contacts’ Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.  However, no one is using them.
  5. Demonstrating social media value with business benefits metrics.  This can be difficult for a small company with insufficient resources.

And, here are the five benefits:

  1. Avoid or reduce marketing and customer service expense.  Social media marketing is far less expensive than traditional outbound marketing including media and trade shows.  It gives you the invaluable opportunity to have dialogue with your customers and prospects.
  2. Increase revenue.
  3. Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty — assuming you’ve empowered your employees to engage customers in the social media channel of their preference.
  4. Improve products and services.  Procter & Gamble is now getting more than 50 percent of their new product ideas via social media by providing social media channels that allow them to engage their customers.
  5. Increase awareness, generate more positive perceptions and more leads, as well as realizing higher close rates.

Unsure about the increased revenue opportunity?

Dell has a social media listening command center.  Today, Dell earns $15 million in annual revenue driving deals through @delloutlet to its more than 1.57 million followers on Twitter.

According to Dell’s head of social listening, “It starts with listening.  You need to understand your customers.  Many marketing driven campaigns are based on big ideas, forget that.  You need to listen and identify key influencers.  Use social media as your CRM platform.  If you think about the fans, likes, followers and connections you are developing, think about how you develop an engagement plan and treat them the same way you would treat a lead from direct or e-mail.  It’s exactly the same.  You need to keep them interested and you need to keep getting the sales message out to them.”

How are you using social media to develop a relationship with your customers and prospects?

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About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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