Want to be a truly social business? Strap in. Here’s my advice.
Get yourself a social analyst, or be ready to be one
You have at least two options:
- You can either have a dedicated social analyst, whose sole role revolves around social analytics and social intelligence, or
- Have a social professional adapt social analytics to their role, thus having a hybrid role, like a community manager and social analyst, or a marketing manager and social analyst.
Companies that don’t have much of a social budget should go for the second option when it applies and when both roles can fit without overworking resources (remember that you’re pretty much squeezing two job roles in one for one person to take over).
Most others, however, are just happy going with the first option, having one person fully dedicated to social analytics.
Having been in hybrid roles (e.g. social and web analyst, social media manager and analyst) and in dedicated roles, I can definitely say that both options work as long as you take the right approach towards it.
Whether you’re currently hiring for a social analyst, or you already do have resources allocated to this area, see social analytics as an essential part of your social media team, as essential as your IT department is for your company.
Just like having an IT department is a no-brainer for most companies, social analytics should be viewed the same for your social media team/department – and ultimately for the whole company too.
Now, if you’re going to have a social analyst, you’re also going to have tools – but not just any.
Get the right social analytics tool(s)
There is no perfect tool.
There are great tools, good tools, capable tools, seriously underwhelming tools. The one thing that doesn’t exist is the perfect social analytics tool (despite what a few social vendors may tell you).
What does exist, however, is a set of tools that fits perfectly within your social analytics requirements, and thus your business requirements.
Now, be critical of your tools: don’t be afraid to scrutinise tools that you want to procure, whether it’s a social management tool, a social analytics tool, or a social listening tool.
When it’s time to look for a tool, the first question you should be asking yourself isn’t, “what tool should I go for?”, but rather “what are my social requirements and my business requirements?”.
Only when you have the answer to that question you’re safe to shop around for tools.
Do not shop around for tools without that list of requirements – you may get sales reps dictate what your requirements are in a way that favours them more than you.
As a representative of your business, you should have the upper hand here. While these vendors’ sales managers know more in terms of what works (and what doesn’t) for companies today, and the visions of social intelligence that you should aspire to, don’t let them dominate the procurement process.
A great set of social analytics tools can help you become socially intelligent, which is linked to being a social brand.