10 Practical Applications for Social Data Marketing

By Kit Smith on November 10th 2016

It’s difficult to find a brand that isn’t on social media. It’s widely recognized that brands have to join individuals in social spaces, where so many people spend their time and get their information. The top brands are also employing social intelligence platforms to maximize their effectiveness and get the most out of the social data available.

There are others who are hesitant to devote too much time to social data, worried that social intelligence is just about counting up retweets and likes, filling a report full of vanity metrics that make you feel good but create very little information that you can act upon.

Well, worry no more. There are already well established use cases, and innovative brands are developing new ways to utilize social data. Below are ten use cases that show some of the practical applications of social intelligence.


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Campaign analysis

Campaign analysis is first use of social data for many, and still one of the most common applications of social data. Website and email analytics, as well as CRM data, can be combined with social data to understand a campaign in greater detail.

Social data will include mention volume, share of voice, reach, impressions, and engagement. These metrics can help you understand the how far the campaign reached, but will not tell who the people that saw it are or what they thought of it.

For that, you can look at sentiment, chart emotional responses, and monitor brand associations. Listening for purchase intent language can reveal whether the advert actually drove people to buy your product. Combining these various techniques will mean your social media report will be interesting and insightful, telling the story of your customers and prospects.

Product analysis & product development

Social data can help to surface conversations around both your product category and your specific products. These conversations can be analyzed further, categorizing the conversations by product features, sentiment, audience demographics and more.

Listening to unsolicited feedback is a great way to begin product development research, and is much faster than many traditional methods.

Social selling

Social data can help to maximize your social presence to ensure that you are creating an environment that encourages and facilitates social selling.

social selling is a common application of social data

The right action taken from the right data can boost a variety of factors helpful for social selling. Crafting content and identifying influencers, ensuring customer service is optimized for selling opportunities.

Monitoring conversations of competitor’s products, or the wider category, can provide direct selling opportunities. Purchase intent language or recommendation requests can be flagged, and the conversation joined with helpful advice.

Trending topics

There are several ways to discover trending topics on social media, but social intelligence tools have advanced features that can surface better insights, faster.

Brandwatch Signals are intelligent email alerts that notify you when there are significant or unexpected changes in your dataset. These emails happen automatically, so you are not required to know what changes you’re looking for in advance.

Brandwatch Audiences can surface trending topics, within an audience you have defined through a choice of search operators.

Pricing conversations

You can listen for customers complaining about pricing, or declaring they got a bargain. Reactions to special offers can also be monitored. These conversations can be monitored in tandem with purchase intent: as well as “I want to buy it”, you may find “I would buy it but it costs too much”.

pile of coins - listen to pricing conversation

Influencer discovery

Influencers can help spread your message further, without having to pay for adverts. The message is likely to be more trusted coming from a influential source rather than a paid ad.

How do you find these magical influencers? You can look at the most influential people already talking about your brand, and reach out to them to further your relationship. You can also search for social conversations about your product category and discover the most relevant influencer in that conversation.

Our new audience analysis platform, Brandwatch Audiences, makes finding influencers really easy. Featuring a live database of 200 million active Twitter profiles, you can search a variety of terms to uncover a tailored list of relevant influential accounts.

Recruitment using social data

Increasingly, the job search process is moving from paper resumes delivered by hand towards a collection of online experiences. From search to application, people are going online in order to get their next job.

This process can also flow the other way, with companies using social intelligence to discover candidates. A tool like Brandwatch Audiences can become an important first step in finding people who have particular skills and training, work in particular roles, or have worked for certain companies.

If encouraging employee referrals is part of your recruitment process, using social data to find hires makes even more sense. You can monitor and encourage staff participation, substantially increasing the reach of your ads.

Customer service

Receiving notifications when you are mentioned and ensure you are responding in a timely matter. There is no shortage of reasons why this should be a priority for any brands.

You can also undertake an analysis of your activity and your audiences activity; are you online at the same time of day, and the same times of the week? This will allow you to streamline resources and provide a prompt service.

customer support is improved with social data

You can also discover if you are available on every channel that your audience is. Most brands will have accounts on the major social networks, but what if there is a forum where your brand is regularly discussed or even criticised and you are unaware? Social intelligence can uncover these opportunities to become part of the conversation.

Social media research

Conducting social media research is a broad topic, but can provide a variety of actionable insights that don’t fall neatly into one particular category.

Undertaking an exploratory analysis of your audience or the wider audience around your industry and niche can reveal rich insights in the social data.

Buyer personas

Develop better buyer personas by fleshing out data from other sources with an accurate picture of what your customer segments are like beyond being a customer of your brand.

What content do they read and share? Which social channels are they on? What are their interests? Are there common TV shows and celebrities do they discuss?  What’s the gender skew in this group? What about their interests, profession, and location? You can gain a rich picture of your audience with the correct methodology.

This is far from an exustive list, but hopefully it demonstrates the range of problems social data can assist with. By carefully considering methodologoies and using the right tools, brands are able to leverage social media to understand their audiecne better and get ahead of the competition.


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Kit Smith

@Kit_Smith

Kit is a writer and marketing expert. When he's not researching ways to make you better at said marketing, he's often lost in foreign countries, or making pottery (or both).