Social media analytics (SMA) refers to the approach of collecting data from social media sites and blogs and evaluating that data to make business decisions. This process goes beyond the usual monitoring or a basic analysis of retweets or "likes" to develop an in-depth idea of the social consumer. This is considered the basic foundation for enabling an enterprises to:
- Execute focused engagements like one-to-one and one-to-many
- Enhance social collaboration over a variety of business functions, such as customer service, marketing, support, etc.
- Maximize the customer experience
Social media is a good medium to understand real-time consumer choices, intentions and sentiments. The most prevalent application of social media analytics is to get to know the customer base on a more emotional level to help better target customer service and marketing.
The initial step during a social media analytics program is to figure out which business objectives can gain an advantage from the data that is collected and evaluated. Standard goals include maximizing business earnings, decreasing customer service expenditures, obtaining feedback on services and products, and enhancing public opinion about a business division or specific product. As soon as the business goals are determined, key performance indicators (KPIs) to perform objective evaluation of the data must be outlined.
The advantages of implementing social media tools include:
- Competitive Advantage: SMA tools allow the organizations to gain a competitive edge over their competitors by facilitating a much better comprehension of their brands. This usually includes an understanding of how the customers make use of particular services or products, what issues are faced by the customers while using these services or products, and getting to know how customers' views about a particular company or product.
- Learn From the Customers: In many cases, customers may have effective solutions for some of the issues faced by an organization. For example, if a product is in the market without proper documentation, the chances of use errors increase. Some users may solve these problems through trial-and-error, and then post their findings in forums, which can help the company determine whether better documentation is required, and what users really need to know.
- Improve Products and Services: This is the key goal of SMA. There are countless tweets, blogs, comments and complaints regarding products and services. This huge volume of information contains consumer sentiments that can be used to evaluate users' experience with a particular product or service. This information can then be used to help companies perform better.