Expert: The key to social data

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Kristina: What trends are you seeing in social marketing?

Dana Miller, Senior Vice President of Client Services, Crimson Hexagon: With Facebook and Twitter both introducing “buy” buttons, and Snapchat and Instagram continuing to grow in popularity, we’re seeing a shift toward in-platform engagement. Rather than use social channels primarily to drive traffic to their own websites, brands are increasingly focused on the content and conversation that’s taking place within the social channel itself. This approach give brands more authentic opportunities to engage while also giving them access to previously elusive customer insights.

Additionally, as social advertising becomes more native and increasingly necessary, we’re seeing more brands combine organic and paid posts for cohesive social campaigns. Brands are tapping into audience insights to determine the messages that inform those posts and the strategy for distribution, in terms of both keywords and influencers. Whether through sponsored content or organic engagement, brands are now focused on creating a holistic experience for their fans on social — one that speaks directly to what those fans care about.

Kristina: What is the key to social data?

Dana: Many marketers use social media data primarily to benchmark against competitors and measure performance by counting followers, retweets and replies. While these types of metrics are certainly important, the real value of social media data is what it can tell you about your current and prospective customers. What are they talking about? What do they care about? Who influences them? Armed with these insights, marketers can gain a much deeper understanding of their buyer personas, and then use that information to craft successful programs, messages and targeting strategies.

More from Dana and Crimson Hexagon later this week, including the metrics that are the most important for brands.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.