No one will doubt the power of social media, but not every marketers knows how to make a social media campaign successful and effective by making good use of social data efficiently. A recent research also indicated that there are 39% marketers believe that social data is not yet useful to their business.
The main reason may be the posts and comments in social media are highly qualitative data which require professional expertise and resources to analyze. Although some sentiment analysis1 tools could help, limitations still exist. Most analysis algorithms use simple terms (i.e. keywords) to assign sentiments of a product or service, the context, cultural and linguistic factors will be eliminated in analysis. Even sentiment analysis using algorithmic approach does not yield promising insights.
Seemingly, we can’t find the key to unlock the social data to actionable information. We come up with one simple equation may help — Brand mention + location + time + people. For example, travel plans and certain airlines are frequently mentioned in social media by universities’ students during summer holiday. The airline therefore could make sales opportunities at campus right before the summer holiday starts. They could also base on the popularity of destination mentioned to adjust the supply of different routes and offer different packages. The real time customers’ opinions and reactions on social media help you understand how people respond to your brand and marketing initiatives.
It may be hard to deal with the social data as we can see the current sentiment analysis is not yet ready (at least for Chinese/Cantonese). Do try on other approaches to discover insights, but do not ignore the valuable social data. We are looking forward to hearing your success in utilizing social data.
1 Sentiment analysis (also known as opinion mining) refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information in source materials.