How to take social media to the next level

by Melissa Kaplan, Director of Digital and Innovation

Published on
July 27, 2016

The majority of Australians are now on social media. This includes 69 percent of Australian consumers, 48 percent of small and medium Australian businesses, and 79 percent of Australia’s large businesses, according to the latest Sensis report. We spend some of this time on social media talking and engaging with friends, family and strangers. And it has certainly expanded the realm of communication. But one of the things that tends to get lost is that this human communication is captured in digital form.

Social media has had a significant impact on people increasingly sharing personal information, creating a social data revolution, leaving behind unprecedented amounts of public and private data. This means that there are new business opportunities for disruptive products and services, as well as the potential for improved decision-making for traditional business and policy makers.

While most companies focus on the content part of their strategy, very few actually take it to the next level to include the data beyond a few token numbers for KPIs. There is a saying that I refer back to all the time.


The value is in the data

So how do you know what data to use and how to use it?

Every social media interaction needs to be part of a larger strategy that identifies what data will be generated, how it will be used and what the ROI is.

Social media data – Where does it come from?

There is a great blog over at Hootsuite that gives a great overview about how to make social media data work for you. They list the following:

  • Social media networks: Tweets, posts, favourites, sentiment
  • Social search: keyword analysis and hashtag tracking
  • Long-form publishing platforms: blogs, wikis, and social opinion sites such as Yelp
  • Public multimedia content-sharing platforms: SlideShare, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

What data is there to collect?

  • Followers/fans
  • Engagement
  • Timing
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Influence
  • Sentiment
  • Conversation drivers

Each one of these metrics is going to have different value for your organisation. That is why it is important to have a digital strategy that isn’t just about posting on social media. It’s also about understanding what data is available and how to use it.

For some good examples of organisations using social media effectively see below.

Using dataHow Brisbane City Council uses social data

Collecting dataHow Rotaract Uses Social Engagement to Build an Online Database