How to Drive Business Value from Social Media Data with Chris Thomas

How to Drive Business Value from Social Media Data

Every marketeer should love data – whether it’s for measuring success, generating KPIs, understanding your audience or more. Yet, very few marketers can successfully turn raw social media data into actionable insights.

Thankfully, experienced marketer Chris Thomas who has worked agency-side and, currently, in-house at Sage Group PLC, was on hand at DigiConf 2020 to explain how to analyse and present social media data.

Chris has led and implemented integrated strategy, analytics and insight programmes that have transformed revenue growth, brand impact and customer experience. We were definitely in good hands.

“Marketing communication to the boardroom must be stronger”

Primarily, Chris spoke of the importance of “Bringing social media measurement into the boardroom”. In recent years some marketing teams have discredited themselves by, in Chris’ words, “focussing on the vanity metrics, tracking what was easier to measure instead of what would have been more impactful”. His key point was that “Marketing communication with the boardroom must be stronger.”

To regain this integrity, organisations must reevaluate what’s truly important. Marketing teams need to select insights that are valuable for making business decisions. As Chris said: “Gathering data should be the first step to starting any project” but then “To drive an action we need trustworthy and relevant insights”.

“Data needs to be significant, salient & actionable”

Chris explained: “For an insight to be worth surfacing to the business it needs to be all three of these things. Firstly, it needs to be significant, meaning that it represents real volume and not just an odd anecdotal view.

“Secondly, it needs to be salient, in the sense that it has the potential to impact an audience decision.

“Thirdly, it needs to be actionable in the sense that it shows the potential for us to do something with it for instance within a marketing strategy or tactic.”

Context is king

Whilst these three principles are integral, context is arguably the most important factor. Chris explained how Sage had discovered that a certain competitor was enjoying a 40% share of voice on social media for an important industry topic. However, when the context was applied Chris discovered that it was “pretty damaging to them” as a high volume of social posts mentioning the competitor was focused on a negative story.

With this in mind, it poses the question: does high mention volume equal to high performance? Chris strongly responded: “the answer is a flat no”.
When social listening and gathering data on the share of voice, organisations need to take a strong stance on which social conversations you want to win. For Chris, he has prioritised three battle-grounds: “customer stories and testimonials, thought leadership, campaign and product content”.

Watch Chris’s full presentation at DigiConf in which he shares more insightful social media measurement ideas and examples. And to hear more from our expert speakers, just click here to view all our DigiConf sessions.