Social Media Data: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid

By: Clarabridge Team

September 11, 2015

Sentiment Analysis
social listening
social media
text analytics

Why is social media important? It’s the only platform that gives your brand a personality, lets you engage directly with your consumers in real-time, and deepens your understanding of your customers. But, in order to achieve any of these, you need to be able to effectively and efficiently understand how people interact with your brand via social channels and what they are saying.

We looked to two customer experience (cx) leaders for advice on analyzing social feedback. During webinars with Mason Nelder, Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at Verizon, and Adam Oberweiser, Associate Consumer Affairs Manager at The Clorox Company, we discussed how to transform data into customer insights.

Both CX leaders are subject matter experts: in any given month, 250,000 social posts mention Clorox, while Verizon analyzes social data as one of over 55 listening posts that they bring in.

Through our conversations, the following 3 mistakes to avoid when analyzing social data emerged:

Mistake #1: “Listen selectively, engage broadly”

There is a difference between listening and engaging. As Oberweiser shares, it is important to listen to as many channels as you can. The data will feed your understanding of your consumers and will help you to develop better products. When engaging, though, you need to be more careful. While it is important to cast your listening net far and wide, you may not want to engage on all social outlets. For example, people posting directly to your brand’s Facebook or Twitter page are looking for a response from you. But someone posting on a personal blog or a closed forum may not be looking for brand engagement.

Mistake #2: “Treat all types of social data equally”

Nelder is quick to warn against the dangers of treating different types of social data, such as tweets, Facebook posts, or online reviews, equally. This is especially relevant for Nelder’s team, where Verizon has over 55 listening posts ranging from social, voice and text-based feedback data. But even if your organization is currently only listening to social data, a tweet is not the same as a blog post or an online review. Nelder advises teams to come up with weighting structures so that you can normalize the data and look at all the feedback from the same perspective.

Mistake #3: “Read everything”

Social media is a unique feedback channel. People are constantly talking about you and/or engaging with you, and social sites are rife with information waiting for you to read through. But not everything needs to be read by your team, such as ads. For the most efficient use of your time and resources, Oberweiser recommends leveraging technology to automatically filter out the spam. This way, your team will only spend time acting and following up on the insights that are actually relevant and deserving of your attention.

At The Clorox Company, in any given month, 250,000 posts mention Clorox in some way. Of those, only 20,000 would be relevant to their brands, and an even smaller percentage of those 20,000 would be posts they need to engage with. By using technology to filter out the spam, the team has become more efficient. There are 70% fewer posts to asses and online engagement has increased by 300%.

Social media opens up a lot of opportunities for creating deeper relationships with your customers and for improving the customer experience, products, and the services you deliver. Make sure you have a strong social strategy and vision, with a clear understanding of your social voice and presence. Develop weighting structures and a clear approach for analyzing the different sources and types of data. Finally, set yourself up for success, and leverage technology so that you spend less time reading spam and more time engaging with your customers.

To learn more about engaging on social media, read our ebook: Social Media Etiquette – Your Guide to Engaging as a Person, Not a Logo.

If you missed the webinars with Verizon and The Clorox Company, you can listen to them here: Verizon webinar and Clorox webinar.

Serina Aswani is Manager of Content Marketing and EMEA Marketing at Clarabridge. As part of her responsibilities, Serina serves as the voice of Clarabridge’s customers, highlighting customer stories and sharing proven best practices for implementing successful Customer Experience Management programs. Serina also oversees content marketing strategy and PR for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. She is responsible for establishing Clarabridge’s position as an industry thought leader across EMEA. Serina holds a M.S. in Commerce, specializing in Marketing and Management, as well as a B.A in French and Studio Arts, from the University of Virginia. Read more from Serina on Twitter at @SerinaAswani