Now that Facebook has hit Wall Street, marketers are concerning themselves with how Facebook’s worth may affect their campaign costs. What markets might be missing is what is next for the social world. Although valuations may be fun water cooler talk, social engagement will be the most valuable measurement during this time of social media growth. The ability to measure engagement and consumer insights across all social media networks has not yet been developed, but one article discussed three categories that will help guide this effort.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Although words make up the social space, understanding actions behind these words can provide key insights into consumer behaviors. Words can mean many different things depending on the context in which they are used. The difference between a customer stating, “this product is sick” and “this product made me sick” can make a big difference in understanding consumer perceptions. This subtle difference in word choice demonstrates the importance of social research and strong data mining tools.
Levels of Engagement
Brands that can understand and identify different levels of social engagement will be able to gain more insights from their audiences. A user who tweets about being at your store is engaging but not making a strong statement toward your brand. But if that user then goes on to write a review on Yelp or Google they have deepened their engagement level and broadcast it to their personal networks. Brands can use these reviews to expand their target audiences.
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People are Talking About You
It is important for brands to listen to customers who have “liked” them, but they should really pay attention to those that actively engage with the brand. If a marketer can understand how customers are engaging with them, it can lead to efficiencies in messaging and save time with testing. Ultimately this will lead to greater profitability in social.
IPO numbers may seem important now, but social is still evolving and what seems important now may not be so in the next few months. Social engagement and the evolution of data tools are keys to the future of social.