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The Power of Social Data

In the fast-evolving world of social media marketing, there are many terms found sprinkled liberally throughout most industry whitepapers and thought pieces. “Advocates,” “influencers” and “engagement” are a few of my favorites. They are used frequently because they represent important and powerful concepts, but all too often they end up simply as buzzwords.

Such things may be easy to say, but they’re not trivial components of a successful marketing program. If a brand wants to generate engagement with its best advocates and most important influencers, how does it go about doing so? Many firms, vendors and consultants claim experience in this area, with the ability to spot advocates and influencers from 1,000 miles away and then expertly engage with them.

As with most things, not all of these claims are grounded in reality. There are too many different solutions and variables to make broad generalizations, but I believe the organizations that can effectively deliver have something in common — they have access to, and mastery of, large quantities of a necessary and very valuable resource: social data.

We call it social data because it is made up primarily of information about people interacting with each other and with brands. It is important to note, however, that it is much more than simply data mined from social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There are multiple ways to categorize such data, but I believe there are four main components to an effective set of social data.

To find out more about social data, including some key concepts for successfully dealing with it, read the rest of the original article posted here.

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