The social web represents a revolution in the relationship between customer and company. It can provide brands with real-time access to consumers and their desires – as long as the brands are equipped to listen to them. Guilhem Fouetillou, our Chief Evangelist Officer, identifies 5 key social data trends for 2016.
Trend 1: Making the consumer’s voice an integral part of market research
Starting in 2007-2008, social data has been used as a tool for feedback and real-time improvement of a company’s image and communications. It has since become a major marketing force, enabling us to reconnect with consumers – and not only those of the digital variety. The research departments of major groups no longer focus their studies on “digital for digital’s sake”, but instead use the terrain of the social web as a platform for their primary goal of getting to know their customers, environment and competitors.
Trend 2: Increasing the fields of application for social listening
The use of social data is becoming more and more widespread within different corporate functions. It now relates to 3 basic areas: individuals, content and channels. “Individuals” means market research with new consumer insights. “Content” relates to brand communication with new strategies based on online conversations. Finally, “Channels” means optimising the means of communication using performance-based approaches via social analytics. Social listening now has an impact on total value within the attention economy.
Trend 3: Demystifying data so that larger numbers of people can use it
Data scientists shouldn’t be the only ones able to handle social data. Since the entire organisation is permeated by data, all members of the organisation should be able to use it. This means making the user experience more accessible: what matters is not so much the complexity of dashboards as their operational potential. The goal is to transform social listening into a tool for consumer representation, thereby optimising decision-making on both a tactical and a strategic level. Figures alone aren’t enough – we need to be able to work with them.
Trend 4: Making social listening creative, moving into “datatelling”
As a means of transforming both the business and the organisation, data needs to be shaped into an object we can understand. Depending on the objective, it may come in various guises: social data dressed up to convince economic journalists will not look the same as data intended for the consumers of a major brand or the employees of an SME during a digitalisation project. The focus must be less on technical prowess and more on audience-centred creative work. In a word, we need to start “datatelling”!
Trend 5: Further connect Social Data to Big Data
We estimate that by the end of 2016 there will be more software than humans connected to our technology. Our dashboards, intended for heads of marketing, customer relations and communications will be hugely supplemented by requests sent by software to our API, in order to combine social data and link it with other data from both inside and outside the company. 2016 may well be the year when Data Management Platforms fulfil their great promise. The new reality is this: social data will be completely freed from its constraints, by humans and by software ecosystems.