Leveraging the Old to Inform the Present

Data… We have access to more than we know what to do with, and one of the most common types of data from a social media marketing perspective is conversation data. The ability to identify who is talking, what is being said, the motivations behind consumer-generated posts and where people are talking is just a report away. Tools like Sysomos, Radian6 and even Twitter Search allow marketers to monitor conversations surrounding their brands, their categories and their competitors.

I know. This is old news, and you already knew that.

We live in a world of real-time information, and marketers who are monitoring online conversations are constantly struggling to be as fast and as reactive to what consumers are saying online as possible. This leads to missed opportunities.

Three Ways to Leverage Conversation Data

The opportunities that can be leveraged from online conversations depend on what you’re trying to get out of them. That will determine your approach to leveraging the data.

Listening to Learn: One of the most common practices for brands, particularly those just getting into the social space, is monitoring online conversations to identify threats, opportunities and insights. Brands can use this information to inform what they can leverage, should avoid and can provide to social consumers.

Listening to Respond: There’s also the opportunity to leverage social conversations to build brand trust by responding to customer complaints, thanking customers for endorsing the brand and providing value to relevant conversations from a brand’s POV.

Leveraging the Old to Inform the New: This is the one I think we as real-time marketers too often forget. We’re so caught up in the day-to-day need to keep up and be responsive that we neglect the data we’ve built up over time.

One of the immediate opportunities for marketers is around the holidays. Conversations from last year and the year before can be used to inform this year.

  • What were people saying?
  • Who was talking?
  • What motivated them to share?
  • What were the conversation drivers?
  • How were your customers sharing?

We have access to focus groups from last year. They have the potential to tell us something we may have forgotten and can act on.

Old Information is Valuable

Past conversations on social channels can be treasure troves of data, and you can bet Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms know this.

Twitter’s already sold access to its database to data resellers like Gnip and Topsy. This is information marketers will be ready to buy soon if they aren’t already.

You can save yourself a bit of cash by starting to build up your own trove of information and start leveraging old conversations to inform actions taken today.