As of early 2017, statistics show, 2.3 billion users are active users of Social Media. More and more users are flooding in and it is time to understand the flow and how to read through these massive streamlines of data. In terms of business Social Media statistics, which I would be focusing for this post, Social Network’s earning from advertisement accumulated to $8.3 Billion in 2015 and 38 percent of organizations spend more than 20 percent of their advertising budget on social media channels(In 2015). Based on the fact that the accessibility of internet and the influence of social media is exponentially increasing, I can safely assume that these two statistics that I just mentioned would be even greater in numbers.
According to J Donath and d boyd
“Participants in social network sites create self-descriptive profiles that include their links to other members, creating a visible network of connection — the ostensible purpose of these sites is to use this network to make friends, dates, and business connections.”
As mentioned in the particular quote, it is important to note that all of these are included as foundations for having a deeper connection with the audience as a business company so that the audience feels more linked to the products and the brand making it more favorable and personalized.
By now, it’s time to admit and realize that Social Media is not just where you project an interesting thing to talk about to receive likes and comments on your post/wall. That also means Social Media is not just a broadcasting platform but it’s the eye of the storm where all business companies compete to sell their brand better than others. Therefore to do so, it is important to create strategies that revolve around building the right content to the right people at the right time. Business Social Media is a serious business when it comes to boosting your company, and one of the biggest abilities that business companies have to take account to is something called “Social Listening.” Quite a novel term to me, i delved into it deeper to understand what it meant.
Dan Neely, the CEO of Networked Insights described the difference between Social Media Listening and Social Media monitoring as :
“Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”
Although verbal communication skills, marketing strategy, etc all need to be in account when considering strategies for business social media, Social listening seems to be the base of anything related to Business Social Media. Moreover, it is important to really understand what Social Media Listening means and how it’s different from what we think it sounds like. Social Media Listening is the process of tracking social interactions around particular words, sentences, buzzwords and phrases etc. to ultimately dig up and reveal opportunities to create the right content for the right people at the right time. It is not just merely stocking up on data and organizing them so it’s easier to look at, it’s closer to investigating deeper with vestiges that start with those data so that you don’t miss a big part of what people are talking about your brand and your products and even the business owner themselves.
I witness more and more people tagging each other social media posts and with all those intertwined sharing of vast information may be very difficult to track down. Therefore, to successfully monitor and also listen to Social Media people use websites such as the Crimson Hexagon, Hootsuite, Tweet Reach and more to help them hear better. Not only does it help with that but these websites help one’s business to understand exactly how the social media will benefit their business in terms of target audience, purchase intent, campaign effect/impact, product response, and effective ways of competition.
Hootsuite, for example already has 10 million users actively utilizing the functions of the app. And what is does is it helps the business manage their social media more effectively through simplifying tasks and shortening the tedious parts of it. Hootsuite can help manage all of the company’s social networks in one convenient dashboard, and you “get a bird view of what’s happening in the Company’s Social world.” Additionally, responding and mentioning is done with one single click and it organizes and tracks the performance of the business products to grow the audience. Main functions that Hootsuite deals with is scheduling your messages on social media, engaging with customers, analyze social media campaigns for improving ROI(Return on investment), collaboration with other business for efficiency and synergy, and securing the social media networks from hackers or other malware.
However, even with these sites that help you see things clearer and concisely, it is important to constitute a strategy that is appropriate for YOUR business. And with Social Listening, followed by social monitoring, social media will benefit the business as a whole. Once it becomes a fitting strategy, it seems like more and more people will pay attention and be an active member of the company’s social media. Communication will be more frequent and with more of communication with the audience the business will grow no matter what.