Seven ways to use social data
Social media networks have billions of users; as of January 2018 the biggest network is Facebook and key platform user numbers include:
- Facebook: 2.167 billion
- YouTube: 1.5 billion
- WhatsApp: 1.3 billion
- Instagram: 800 million
- Twitter: 330 million
- LinkedIn: 260 million
- Snapchat: 255 million
- Pinterest 200 million
These platforms gather – and generate – huge volumes of user data, revealing how people connect, what their interests are, and how they feel about various products and services. Here are seven ways you can take advantage of this social data and turn its insights into tangible business benefits.
1 Predict demand
Marketers can use aggregates of Facebook ‘likes’, Twitter retweets and the like to identify trends and patterns in an audience or market, helping them plan products and promotions.
2 Understand product life cycles
Once a new product is launched, social networks provide companies with direct and immediate feedback. Whether positive or negative, this can help you understand what consumers like and dislike and, in turn, help predict the product's life cycle.
3 Explore new ways of doing business
The data from social networks is allowing companies to transform the way they do business. Some banks, for example, are now using social data to help screen loan applicants and develop risk profiles. Other businesses, like Yelp and TripAdvisor, have turned crowd-sourced reviews into a commodity.
4 Optimise pricing
Shoppers leave a trail as they move between online retailers and social networks; over time this trail builds into a unique profile. This data can help businesses understand shopping behaviour and optimise prices and offers for their products.
5 Improve product safety
Social data can be used to improve product safety in several ways. First, it allows consumers to communicate with each other about unexpected defects or interactions. Second, businesses can use social data to better understand how products are used and contact customers directly if there’s a problem.
6 Understand other businesses
You can use social data to understand where your competitors and partners stand in the market. This information can also be useful when it comes to your evaluating potential new partners.
7 Hire better candidates
Social media can play a significant role when hiring. You can, of course, use social data to screen candidates, but you can also use it to advertise positions and find candidates who might not otherwise apply.
And that's just the beginning
These are just a few of the ways you can use social data to improve your business and the experience it offers each customer. The possibilities are endless, so start planning today.