Social Media Analytics and Big Data ROI

eMarketer wrote a brief piece on linking digital data to ‘big data’ that caught my eye with some interesting research from the New York Marketing Association.

While I have written hundreds of pages on social media analytics in the past, I’m still troubled by the focus of social media being directed/controlled/managed within the marketing silo.

I’m hoping the trend of social business (instead of social marketing) will continue in the direction it is heading, but I fear that the core issues of properly identifying analytics that count are still outside the reach of 99.9% of marketing executives (and outside 99.99% of business executives in general.)


The #1 Problem of Social Media Analytics

social media analysisAccording to the survey, the number one obstacle of measuring ROI of marketing is lack of sharing data across the organizagtion.

While I agree with the #1 problem: it isn’t limited to marketing ROI.

It encompasses the ROI of the entire business.

If we don’t examine other business silos that have inherent ties to social data and streamlined knowledge management, we fail to realize ROI in PR, product development, customer retention, talent acquisition, process refinement, and executive leadership.

Any one of those ROI areas could be the ‘magic bullet’ that defines an organization as a market leader or as an unknowing victim of business evolution.

Problem #2 – The Shelf Life of Data

social media data and realtime metricsIf you are nimble and fast moving, social media analytics and real time data can be amazing.

The problem with that statement is the requirement that you are nimble and fast moving.

In most enterprise organizations it days weeks or months to make simple direction changes. This makes real-time data collected in the past hour nearly worthless…. sure you know that an iceburg is right in front of you, but you simply can’t turn fast enough to avoid it.



Problem #3 – It isn’t ‘big data’ ; it is ‘evolving data’

social media data, analysis, analytics

In addition to thinking about social media analytics from a marketing perspective, current definition of the social data silos revolving around the term of ‘big data’ are contaminated in my opinion.

Examining the answers from the survey: we no longer have demographic, customer, social media, and mobile phone data.

All we have is ‘evolving data’

Mobile data = Social data = Customer data = Demographic data

We have a constant pipeline of new data points that are injecting thousands of invaluable data assets into our current business processes from hundreds of sources.


The End Crisis – Analysis Paralysis

The massive injection of data is completely disrupting most executives ability to take actionable decisions.

We have executives who are simply looking at a Web 3.0 chessboard and they are trying to interpret the market they are playing in by traditional rules of chess. They don’t realize (and or accept) that the rules are changing on a daily basis and that entirely new pieces are being played.

When we combine analysis paralysis with marketing isolation (problem #1), slow reaction time (problem #2), and changing market data (problem #3) we end up with an interesting business dilemna.

What other problems are social media analytics facing?