Last week, SmartBrief received about 438 mentions on Twitter, 112 shares on Facebook and 45 links on LinkedIn. Great, right? Well, not if we don’t know what to do with that information.
At an Ad:Tech session on Thursday titled, “Social Media Analysis: Real-time insights for your brand,” a diverse panel of researchers and practitioners shared strategies today’s marketers can use to make sense of social media activity and devise a response plan.
These discussions have always been happening, noted CNN.com’s Vice President of Audience Experience and Engagement Kay Madati. But now we have direct access to these conservations and we can watch them unfold in real time. The problem is not the lack of data, it’s how best to put that information to work, said Nielsen’s Pete Blackshaw.
Bonin Bough, PepsiCo’s Global Social Media Director provided some insights on Pepsi’s action plan. Bough starts by identifying the conversations that can help drive the bottom line. According to Bough, there are plenty of discussions online about Gatorade serving as an excellent hangover cure. There are also a number of conversations going on amongst athletes regarding Gatorade’s benefits as part of a training regimen. Bough makes sure to focus on the latter, since athletes are the true influencers for Gatorade’s market. Bough identifies brand advocates in these conversations, empowers them with information, digital tools or exclusive access to events, and then watches them proudly share with the social circle.
So what’s next for you? Start by identifying your brand advocates — fans who are already talking fondly about your products. Next, measure their influence. Ask how many contacts they have, but also how much credibility they carry in your marketplace. Once you’ve selected the best advocates, show them you appreciate their support by rewarding them with perks, exclusive access to promotions, launches, etc. Now watch these efforts closely. If you manage to filter out the noise and spend your resources engaging the most influential users, chances are you’ll have a more manageable and trackable set of data to work with. Manageable and trackable? Sounds like a whole new kind of social media to me.
Image credit, MorePixels via iStock