« All Experts

Ask the Experts

We chat regularly with experts and pose them a single question to help share their knowledge and experience with you.
Akbar Jaffer VP of Marketing & Products Social Annex

How can brands use social data to drive their marketing efforts?

In the growing struggle to build solid customer base, harnessing the power of social data is a smart business strategy.

As traditional methods of marketing data-gathering techniques get replaced by social media, retailer and consumer goods manufacturer are getting inundated with lots of data about their consumers, their buying behavior and much more. The key is not big data but the right data. Collect the right

Social Media Gives You Myriad Personalized Data Points

Nearly 46 percent of online users turn to social media when making a purchasing decision, according to research from Nielsen. Additionally, being active on social media has been shown to Increase companies’ and/or brands’ visibility in search engines and plays a key role in boosting website traffic. But the big question for marketers is, “What kind of data points can be garnered from social media activities?” The answer is surprising to those companies that have yet to start taking social media marketing seriously.

The key is not big data but the right data. Collect the right data, develop useful insight and convert those insights into actionable marketing campaigns. 

Akbar Jaffer, VP of Marketing & Products, Social Annex

The types of social data available that benefit marketing efforts the most include:

1. Personal information. This comprises key customer demographics, such as their age, gender, education, and lifestyle.

2. User behavior data. This entails information such as whether customers like to share positive/negative shopping experiences with their friends, what they share, and what they click on.

3. Social connections. Discover who your customers follow and how closely they associate with various individuals and groups (e.g. first circle, second circle, third circle).

4. Choices they make. Based on the topics your customers comment on, you can find out the news sources they like, the types of articles and content they consume, the products they’re shopping for, and the things they’re most interested in.

5. Technology preferences. What percentage of your customers are using Android, iOS, and Windows devices? Social media marketing can give you these important insights.

6. Location based information. Where are your customers when they’re sharing this information? At work? At a coffee shop? At home?

7. Timing. You can also discover the best day of the week and the best time of day to engage with them.

After gathering social data on your customers, the next step is determining what to do with that information. What’s nice about many of the aforementioned stats (e.g. location based information and timing) is that you can use the data at face value to make better marketing choices. When you can analyze multiple data points and draw inferences is where things really get fun. For example, let’s say one of your customers is a 65-year-old male who is looking up information about the band Green Day. With a few more data points you can infer that perhaps this person’s grandchild is going to a Green Day concert and the grandparent is doing some research to get a better sense of what kind of music their grandchild is into. What sort of messaging could be targeted to that person?

Make Social Media Data Actionable Through Data Analytics

Ski equipment retailer Summit Sports is a good example of a company that’s learned how to harness the power of social media marketing. After experiencing mediocre results with its previous ratings and reviews provider, the retailer reached out to enterprise Software-as-a-Service vendor and social media marketing expert Social Annex for assistance. Social Annex helped Summit Sports implement a new ratings and reviews program that entailed transferring 33,000 customer reviews and 10,923 questions and answers to a new platform. The new platform featured a comprehensive analytics dashboard and robust customized curation reporting. The new program contributed to a 51 percent increase in contest entries over the previous year and a 20 percent increase in Summit’s site traffic.

The more in tune you can become with your customers via social media, the more effective you can be with marketing activities such as contests, share and save, post purchase sharing, social login, and visual commerce activities. Keep in mind, that gathering data is only half the battle. Being able to aggregate it, analyze it, and respond to it in a timely manner — before your customers’ interests change — is equally important.