7 Hard Truths About Social Media Intelligence
Few areas of social media marketing is so widely abused and misunderstood as social web analytics, or as some of us call it — Social Media Intelligence. I no particular order, allow me to point out some of the most common misconceptions.
1. Computing And Statistics Aren’t The Same Thing
The world of big data comes with a basic challenge; combining computing with statistical analysis.
Computed automation can accomplish stunning tasks, but the classical axiom still holds true—crap in, crap out.
2. The Most Horses Was Sold The Year Before The Car Was Invented
Analysts needs to be highly intelligent individuals as well as being plugged into their industry at all times.
And they must have an extraordinarily feel for zeitgeist and timing.
If you don’t have spectacular analysts, chances are your data will lead you astray. If you are doing the ground work in-house, make sure you understand social.
If you’re using external experts, make sure they’re plugged into your industry.
3. Causality Is A Bitch
Let’s say you have the margin of error under control. Confidence intervals are solid—check.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t really matter if you make stupid assumptions about causality.
Measure less and instead spend more time understanding what you’re measuring. Summer might be a slow e-commerce period, but you might be leading you industry seasonally.
So you might be doing something right even if you don’t see it at first glance.
4. What Gets Measured Gets Done—So Why Are You Measuring Something You Don’t Want Done?
Some say you shouldn’t measure the number of fans or the value of a fan.
Some say you should.
The truth is of course very pragmatic; if you are setting up goals for fan acquisition, this is what will happen, no matter if it’s the right or the wrong choice. Maybe loyalty retention was the right strategy this time around instead?
Measure what you want to get done, not what you easily can measure.
5. Not Investing Like A Formula 1 Team
Anyone keeping the track of the Formula 1 racing circuit knows that a successful racing team can’t just invest in the car.
If you want to win, you need to invest in strategy, training and a top notch driver as well.
Having a fast car is pointless if you can’t handle it. Same goes for online monitoring tools.
6. Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
Whether the measurement and the analysis is quantitative or qualitative, there’s no perfect measuring method, no perfect monitoring method.
What you can hope for is for it to be indicative so that you can decide and adapt efficiently.
So, the first time you use a specific method, the results tend to be weak. But the second time, well, then you at least have a valid comparison. This is why social media intelligence is a long-term value add.
7. If You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkeys
So, you have a couple of interns monitoring your software tools?
Well, I know analysts who can do more for your business with free online tools than what mere mortals could do with the most expensive tools out there. Social analytics is highly creative and out-of-the-box kind of work.
And cheap labor can be expensive too, if you think about it.
Image credit: Full Houses