Social media has taken over as a primary method of communication between individuals, as well as between consumers and businesses. Capturing data from social media websites for analysis has proven to divulge a wealth of information related to consumer behavior and so much more.

Therefore, social media analytics describes the process of extracting data from various social media sites for analysis with specialized analytical tools, driving better business decisions.

Analyzed in detail, this data can prove invaluable to businesses from many aspects:

  • Detecting any dissatisfaction with products or services
  • Observing consumer purchasing trends and volumes
  • Providing improved customer service
  • Marketing new products and targeting prospects

Transforming Social Media Data with Analytics

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Data in itself has minimal value until accurate analysis transforms it into information. As a result, value is derived from determining what business benefits are anticipated from analysis of social media data, and establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure expectations vs. actual results.

Hence, business leaders first need to come to agreement on what KPIs will apply to their social media analytics initiatives:

  • Increased sales or revenue
  • Evaluation of success and support of marketing strategies
  • Customer support improvements
  • Determining what customers like or dislike about products – and why
  • Increased visibility (mention) of the business on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and others

Businesses no longer need to engage market research firms to understand their position in consumer satisfaction or marketing campaigns. Therefore, social media contains all the opinions and shared experiences that consumers are all too happy to “share” or “like” with the public.

Seems like sophisticated analytical tools can further detect sentiment attributes to understand not only that your company was mentioned or retweeted, but also what the meaning was – positive or negative.

Using the Right Tools

IBM social media analytics have the power to unlock the information in social media data quickly, presenting results in a comprehensive or visual format that is easily understood by business decision makers.

Furthermore, Watson Analytics for social media provides meaningful analysis and visualization to maximize the value of “big data” for strategic business initiatives:

  • Detect trends quickly to respond to market changes
  • Visualize consumer preferences
  • Perform predictive analysis for business direction
  • Discover quickly how customer reaction and opinions are driving your business
  • Enable simple generation of dashboards for critical business areas

Watson Analytics Works for Your Business

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In addition, harnessing the power of Watson Analytics for social media provides business with a clear advantage through its many capabilities and features:

  • Analysis of critical KPIs with a single click
  • Customizable self-service dashboards for all business areas
  • Straight-forward and simplified analytics
  • Ease of use through natural language dialogue
  • Predictive analysis
  • Access to advanced analytics – without writing code

Watson Analytics Functionality

IBM Watson Analytics provides a full-featured set of applications that empower businesses to analyze data and make business decisions based on real data, not assumptions:

Watson Explorer

Explorer is a content analysis and cognitive search architecture that provides accurate insights from searching various types of data: structured, unstructured, internal, external, and public. Consequently the result is analysis that demonstrates patterns and trends that could take many hours or weeks to discover without such a powerful platform. Understand your customers better than ever before, to make more effective business decisions.

Watson Content Hub

Watson’s Content Management System (CMS) is a feature-rich function for enabling applications with content relevant to your business or industry. As a result, user interfaces facilitate ease of adding and maintaining content for mobile applications, single-page apps, and more.

Watson Knowledge Studio

The Knowledge Studio provides a powerful cloud-based web interface that enables developers to create annotations unique to a specific industry, turning unstructured data into meaningful information that can be further analyzed with Watson Explorer or Watson Discovery Service.

Watson Marketing Insights

Marketers equipped with Insights can utilize social media data to their advantage in understanding real-world customer behavior, and anticipating future activity. Recommendations and target audiences can be identified, and profiles generated for future campaigns and marketing strategy.

Most of all, additional Watson functions are available to maximize value to businesses of every industry and market segment. While Watson Analytics APIs facilitate ease of use and provide cognitive search and quick insight into social media data.

Benefits of Social Media Data Analysis

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Social media continues to be a hotbed of information of increasing value to all types of businesses:

  • Evaluate how often your own social media sites are being accessed
  • What pages or promotions are being “hit” the most, and what action did the visitor take?
  • What products generate the most interest – which ones are largely ignored?
  • Detect opinions and negative posts that may pose potential problems for the company
  • Determine the demographics of your customers, to develop more efficient marketing plans

Consequently, a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute stresses the growing importance of incorporating analytics into business strategy and planning.

In conclusion, IBM analytics for social media and Watson Analytics are sophisticated tools that will contribute to the effective use of online content in day-to-day operations, and in preparing your business plans for the future.

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