Incorporating Social Media Analytics Into Market Positioning Strategy

Small businesses can gain important insights from Social Media analytics

Huge increases in computing, telecommunications and network technology has made communication cheaper, quicker, easier and universally available. The growth of media means that innovation can happen everywhere.Traditional media and journalism are using Social Media to set the content covered, the information words and images used and the conversation itself. The news audience is no longer just a consumer, it is the producer. The citizen journalist has changed how and what we have access to as news. Communications technology has revolutionized the “news”.


Companies are using Big data to search social media for direction on how to position better position their products, to pursue trends, to create niches and to create change the market place. If Twitter communication are positively following a product in large volume and influencers (those tweeters that have large followings) are saying positive things it is likely that there will be a surge of interest and sales of the product. Similarly, negative chatter about a product or service can identify necessary changes, inform call support center staffing and allow an organization to get ahead of the problem. Social Media research can be very helpful in understanding consumers’ behavior and company human resource engagement. Its value is less clear on other areas of the organization.


James Surowiecki’s well known book Wisdom of Crowds discusses the reality that many independent and diverse individuals will make better decisions and predictions on certain types of problems than even knowledgeable experts. Surowiecki raises an important contrast to Social Media crowdsourcing. That is, for crowd wisdom to be reliable important parallels of traditional statistical sampling have to be considered. The diverse collection of independent individuals is critical for good crowd wisdom. Social Media aggregation results are usually from similarly focused Social Media followers and are analyzed using new statistics which depend on prior assumptions and huge amounts of data for key and search words. And yet we are not yet very good at measuring the utility and accuracy of Social Media results. We are even less sure how to incorporate and assess return on investment (ROI) in such research. Setting up Social Media analysis and integrating it with ongoing organizational data systems is no mean feat, particularly for a small business.

However, a business of any size can get started with a well thought out series of routinely gathered in-house data. One area of opportunity for the utilization of company Social Media research within an organization is in engagement of employees over numerous locations and schedules in creative and collaborative problem solving. It allows the timely transfer of information among trusted team members focused on solving a specific problem. It flattens the organizational hierarchy and allows free flow of ideas in short communications and bridges the age/experience/creativity flow. It can foster a culture of collaboration and quality. For this to work however a few commonly held ground rules must be in place. The organizational leadership must establish the climate where input is welcomed and expected. Clear plans, goals, timelines and measurement criteria need to be in place for the project. Finally the realization (and management acceptance) that some projects will fail has to be understood if innovation and iterative progress is to be made.


For organization with large consumer audiences (governmental, not for profit and business) Social Media analytics can drive growth, attention and revenues. While asking the right questions for your organizations must ground these expenditures, there’s sound decision data readily available.


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