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Social Networks and Big Data: the best strategy for getting to know your customers

Big data fits into social media networks like a glove.

This is because the volume of daily data produced in these virtual environments is a real gold mine for companies prepared to prospect for it.

We will reflect more on this thought in this article. Keep reading to understand how you can benefit from the combination of Social Networks + Big Data.

Social Networks: the gold mine of data

In the age of Digital Transformation, social media is ubiquitous. To give you an idea, Facebook has about 2.5 billion users across the globe. 

The fact is: there are social networks for all tastes, from those that like entertainment, like TikTok, to the most professional ones, like LinkedIn. Thus, it is practically impossible to find a person who has access to the internet and does not interact on these platforms.

And the amount of data from social networks continues to explode. 

  • About 510,000 Facebook comments are written per minute. 
  • Another 347,000 tweets are sent in the same timeframe.

However, many companies still do not know what to do with this information – or even measure it correctly.

Superficial monitoring and the lack of an outside opinion are two reasons for this. The data should help companies gain in-depth knowledge about their customers. 

To think about this more clearly, keep in mind that data needs to answer the following: 

  • Who are my customers besides their email and mailing addresses? 
  • What are they interested in? 
  • What concerns them, and how does my company relate to their interests, desires, and concerns? 

→ This whirlwind of information needs to be adequately captured, organized, processed and analyzed. And Big Data is the tool for the job.

→ You might also like: Business Analytics – The data age has begun!

Big Data and unlimited data inputs

Let’s quickly recall the concept of Big Data. 

It is a set of “high volume, high speed and/or high variety information assets that require innovative and economical ways of processing, allowing for improved insights, decision making, and process automation.” –Gartner.

In other words, Big Data is characterized by:

  • Large amounts of data being analyzed in real-time
  • External sources – such as social networks – are consulted

A good Big Data strategy has to manage and analyze the exponential volume of information from social networks. This can only be done with the proper people and tools.

It’s not very common, but it is urgent. Organizations miss out on many opportunities only by superficially evaluating social media data – or just using it to measure their branding efforts and distribute content.

How to create a good strategy

1- Collect data from networks and social media to analyze them in an automated and systematic way. The procedure usually starts with the identification of the relevant platforms and information.

2- The data is then collected and compressed.

3- The extracted information can be evaluated according to several aspects. 

→ The results are reports and indexes that support decision-making processes.

By working with infinite data inputs using Big Data methodologies, companies get a better view of their customers’ opinions, allowing them to develop their image or brand better. 

In addition to marketing, customer service is also supported by the results of this strategy. For example, a detailed analysis of the discussion facilitates the identification of weaknesses. 

Measuring results

Information used for social media analysis can be

  • Likes
  • Tweets
  • Shares
  • Links
  • Facebook comments on posts, forums, and other platforms

Advanced Big Data platforms and methods go beyond these metrics to be more “objective.” They can even perform analysis of feelings and other intrinsic characteristics that are not verbalized adequately by users. 

Social Networks and Big Data: get the strategy right for an incredible experience

Big Data makes social network analysis more focused on predictions and the effects of current strategies in the future. Predictive analytics is gaining popularity among marketing, sales, and competitive intelligence analysts, among others, and Big Data has a significant role to play. 

Professionals dedicated to this strategy are not only able to predict consumer behavior. Still, they can also use their data analysis conclusions in various other methods of marketing, sales, logistics, etc. It is in this way that the path towards surprising innovations is carved.

Now, where to start? Below we have a checklist that should help you stay on track. It should help you get to know the current and potential customers in-depth to create incredible experiences and enhance your company’s results.

  • Identify what you want: what are your Big Data and Social Media strategy going to achieve?
  • Take advantage of a proven Big Data strategy.

In this case, it can be: 

Social analysis: briefly refers to the measurement of non-transactional data on various social media and websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This strategy is based on the analysis of conversations and criticisms that arise on these platforms. It presents three main analytical advantages: awareness, engagement, and word of mouth. Social analysis is also useful in predicting the peak demand for specific products.

Data exploration: an approach that makes heavy use of research and data mining to find solutions and correlations that are not easily detectable with internal data. It is currently used by companies focused on Inbound Marketing to generate insights into potential customers’ behavior on the site. In addition, it helps to identify new data segments and bring information about customer behavior and preferences.

  • Invest in the right technological tools: you will need to invest in Analytics and data visualization tools, but you may also need Business Intelligence and CRM. It all depends on the objectives of your strategy. 
  • Identify the necessary changes in the infrastructure: if the company’s old data was stored in traditional formats, this might not facilitate the execution of complex algorithms and analysis. Different departments (marketing, sales, board, etc.) may need integration to collect and optimize data in a more usable format. Integration between various departments is essential to implement change at scale. If your existing infrastructure is not connected correctly, you will need to prepare for changes.
  • Work on the customer experience as a guide for your strategy: the primary use of Big Data is to generate insights that can help companies better serve their customers. Customer-oriented marketing is a new way to approach the market and generate revenue. At the end of the day, you need to communicate to your customer that you are there to solve a problem and not just to make a profit. Big Data provides information about the customer’s mindset that can improve and even change current marketing practices. As we’ve already said: Another thing you need to focus on is creating a fine line between data collection and abuse of privacy – your customers must feel that they are not spied on. As much as you work with cloud computing tools, it will be necessary to facilitate tracking everything that is done with data duly authorized by users. 
  • Be agile: when implementing disruptive technologies, many obstacles can arise, including some that no one imagined initially. You need to adjust your budget, stakeholders, and ideologies based on the circumstances and ideas you gather. It is best to start with a high-level plan and make the necessary changes. In the end, you can propose an action plan that is nowhere near the initial idea, but it will be worth it.

→ Finally, recognize that you will initially need to seek outside help. A good consulting company can help you to structure your Social Networks and Big Data strategy. Do not hesitate to find a company that already has a background in the subject and qualified talents.

Did we manage to show you that the union of Social Networks and Big Data is the best strategy to get to know your customers? Download our 2021 Business Trends Report now, and keep advancing your knowledge!

MJV Trends 2021-Business Trends - MJV Technology & Innovation