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social media monitoring & measurement benefits

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Brands have yet to gain the full benefits of social media monitoring and measurement. Although social media listening and social media analytics can provide a goldmine of information to guide a range of corporate departments, few companies dig into that treasure trove, new research reveals.

Most social media marketers understand that they can provide valuable insights to teams outside of their departments, shows a survey from Sprout Social. Social media monitoring and measurement can unearth information that can help product development, sales, market research and competitive intelligence.

Yet only 12% of social teams say their primary function is to provide business insights for their entire organization.

Some major hurdles:

  • Social media teams often remain siloed in marketing.
  • A historical disconnect between social media marketing and bottom-line business metrics downplays the value of social media.
  • Social media marketers share part of the blame. They could do a better job communicating the value of social media listening to the rest of their organizations.

“The time is now for marketers to learn how to effectively communicate the significance of social data, elevate their strategies to serve larger business goals and secure a seat at the table for social teams,” the research states.

Social Media Analytics Grows Up

Social media analytics and social media listening are maturing. Social media now enables marketers to perform customer research at scale. Marketers can produce hard data straight from consumers to support their beliefs, change marketing approaches, and fix customer-facing processes. With more data and consumer insights than ever at their fingertips, social media marketing teams can become a key factor in driving long-term business growth.

Two-thirds of marketers surveyed say social listening will become more important over the coming year. “As the role of the marketer continues to evolve, analytics and listening tools will become must-haves for the data-driven marketer,” the research concludes.

How to Gain the Full Benefits of Social Media Analytics

Experts offer these key tips to obtain more business benefits from social media analytics.

Create cross-functional social media teams to break down department silos. Cross-functional teams allow marketers to work with other departments to monitor social media, gain its full benefits and better serve customer needs. Cross-functional teams can better match the right employees to customers at the right time, depending on their stage in the buying process, writes digital marketing expert Keith A. Quesenberry, assistant professor at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA, in Harvard Business Journal.

Start with the business challenge. Base your social listening approach on the business challenge your organization is trying to solve and what you hope to gain from social listening.

Choose the right tool. Asking the right questions will help you select a media monitoring service that meets your needs. The best media monitoring services integrate analytics from all media and social networks, including the client’s Google Analytics, into a single dashboard for easy viewing. In addition, seek a service that offers automated sentiment analysis combined with reviews by human analysts for improved accuracy.

Make the benefits last. Don’t just set up a one-off analytics project or tool. Make sure the right conversations flow to the right stakeholders. Make social listening part of normal data gathering practices so that insights gained continue to help you achieve business objectives.

Bottom Line: Social media analytics can now provide key insights for product development, customer service and other business departments. The challenge and the golden opportunity is to spread that valuable data beyond the silo of social media teams and into other corporate functions.