Cutting Through the Noise on Social Media

By: Guest Blogger

January 22, 2014

By:  Ian Michiels, Principal Analyst, Gleanster Research

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The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” What he didn’t account for was the digital revolution. The danger isn’t so much the mouth, but the fact that humans also have ten fingers, and those fingers do a lot of talking! Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the world of social media. In 2013, Facebook surpassed one billion users, which translates to about 3.7 billion likes and comments per day. There are an estimated 400 million tweets sent each day on Twitter; that’s 146 billion tweets a year. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what percentage of those posts were customers or brand mentions?

According to Gleanster research, 95% of marketers report social media channels are a regular part of the marketing mix. The problem is, these channels are also overwhelming to manage. That’s partly because of the nature of the data that’s collected in social media; it’s a massive volume of unstructured data. It’s a mishmash of text, numbers, symbols, and hyperlinks. On top of this, a great deal of the information is repetitive (re-tweets on Twitter), some of it is fake or automated (anonymous accounts and SPAM), and it resides on an ever-expanding landscape of new and emerging social media sites. The problem is, your customers are talking on social media channels and you can’t ignore them. Social media is an avenue your customers use to influence friends, voice concerns, give reviews, make recommendations, and more. Are you listening? Scratch that; how do you listen?