Social Media Analytics and Midsize Firms
Social business analytics is rising in value among firms, according to a new research report by Frost and Sullivan featured in Information Management. As more midsize firms adopt social business plans to increase productivity, IT professionals may decide to implement more strategies that include analytics tools to enable better business decisions.
Improving Business Decisions
According to Frost and Sullivan, "Companies recognize the value of social media as a marketing and brand management tool, as well as a customer service and support channel." The business use of social media is beginning to encompass more than social platform traffic measurements; as a result, analytics is being considered with increasing frequency. Companies want timely insights into how customers browse and use a firm's products and services. Firms are integrating social business analytics with speech, text and Web analytics to review all the ways in which clients interact with their business. As a result, firms can uncover elusive data, gain a broader view of consumer behavior and make better decisions about the business.
The report also found that social media analytics is being used by firms to improve marketing, customer services and network security, citing by way of example that banking and insurance companies use social media to watch for reports of fraud and hacking. However, the research additionally found that, because the value of social analytics is generally unknown, social media budgets are still not a significant priority among companies.
Midsize firms that endeavor to reach clients and partners in new and innovative ways already focus on social business. Companies that go a step further and implement analytics tools can take their business to a new competitive level. These firms understand that the future is social and that gaining new insights from social analytics enables management to make better business decisions. From the data collected, a smaller firm can create actionable plans to reach business goals of improving such areas as client services, marketing and sales. Even so, with limited time, money and resources, IT professionals at smaller firms may not know which offerings are the best choice for their growing needs.
IT vendors that specialize in social business can recommend the right analytics tools to help companies gather the insights they need from a variety of online sources. Firms can also predict customer behavior and identify influencers within a social network channel. IT consultants can offer IT professionals at midsize firms a cost-effective way to integrate valuable social insights into analytics platforms and business processes that suit smaller businesses.
A New Priority
Social business is not showing signs of slowing down and has proven to be an important interactive tool for businesses of all sizes. Midsize firms that prioritize integration of analytics and social will gain a quick competitive edge as they gain valuable insights across marketing, customer service and product development.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.