Social media allows businesses a level of engagement with customers that in pre-social days were genuinely unheard of. With modern business intelligence software developed to handle dizzying amounts of data and generate insights of great value, businesses can now navigate their markets with extreme precision.
Data gathered from social media platforms should inform the way your business presents itself online. Social platforms aren't simply there to gauge how many people you're reaching – they also provide valuable information on the customer experience. This information can in turn be used to optimise your customer's experience and develop a relevant and suitable voice for your business.
Here are five ways business intelligence and social media can work hand-in-hand to improve your business's reach, reputation and relationship with your customers.
1) Learn about what your customers are really after
View your social media follows as something of a small community. They'll likely appear to be a diverse group, but using the data collected from these communities can be used to identify trends and common threads between them. This can go a long way towards understanding your customers and what they expect from you. In turn, this information can be used to deliver a better service, grow the communities, and expand your business's reach. The unique insights and perspectives you can gain from a community of followers is essential to continued growth – helping you to make the best decisions possible.
2) Make decisions with reliable demographic data
When it comes to customer interactions, knowing who you're talking to is just as important as what you're saying.
While developing a community of followers goes a long way towards helping you establish your tone, social media and business intelligence can also assist you in finding out more about your customers. Understanding the demographics you're engaging with aids you in delivering a more tailored customer experience, but it also helps you to identify who you're not engaging with. This latter point can help you target new demographics who could benefit from your product or services. Understanding your demographic is also essential information for joining in the conversation. When it comes to customer interactions, knowing who you're talking to is just as important as what you're saying.
3) Use feedback to inform your content strategy
One of the greatest things about social media content is that you can clearly track the success of every piece of content you share. It's easy to discern what has worked and what hasn't, and this loops back to inform the content you'll produce in the future. For example, if you're producing videos that get a lot of likes and shares, but you're also producing longer form written pieces that are generally ignored, you'll know that video is the best medium for presenting information to your customers. Tracking engagement is also a great way to test the waters with different kinds of content. This means you can experiment with different things, and get a feel for what kinds of content work. Knowing how your followers will respond to certain content is the strongest foundation on which to build a content strategy.
4) Spend your marketing budget more wisely
The previous three entries have all been about understanding your customers and how to engage with them – but your online community can fairly be interpreted as a snapshot of your larger customer base. Insights you generate from social media engagement can help you to determine targeted marketing strategies. Targeted marketing performs far better than traditional "wide-net" approaches, and since Facebook introduced it in the context of social media it's become one of the most popular marketing approaches of our time. Business intelligence helps to identify behaviour patterns on social media and these help you determine how to craft your marketing.
5) Monitor your competition
Competition is an ongoing struggle. There aren't many businesses operating today in a marketplace free of competition, and in order to compete, you need to know what your opposition is doing. Social media provides businesses with a platform not just to engage their own customers, but to observe how other companies are doing the same. This might identify shortfalls in your own strategy, or it may save you from attempting something that has fallen flat elsewhere. Further, checking in on the competition can provide valuable insights to your industry as a whole. The best part of all this? You can assess engagement of the competition without them knowing it, since the nature of social media means that numbers of comments, shares and likes are publicly accessible.
Business intelligence and social media working together provides extremely valuable insights that will assist you in generating leads, increasing revenue streams and raising brand awareness. In this day and age, a social media presence is absolutely essential to continued growth. To find out how you can get the most out of these tools, get in touch with AtoBI today.