Zeus of Marketing

“The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living” – Social Media Analysis

February 1st, 2011

Socrates preferred to die over giving up analysis

I am positive that if Socrates (469 B.C. to 399 B.C.) were alive today – he would use these same words as it relates to Social Media. Socrates said this at his trial for heresy, for encouraging his students to challenge the accepted beliefs of the time and think for themselves (kind of what Social Media has fostered, isn’t it)?  Found guilty, he could have chosen life in prison or exile, but he chose death rather than compromise his principles.  While I am not advocating as drastic a measure as death for not analyzing the data, I do want to stress its importance.

This week’s blog focus is on the third step of my recommended iterative process. You can review the first two steps in my previous blogs.

  1. Listen:
    Two Ears, One Mouth, Truism for the Ages – The Social Media Age that is.
    January 25, 2011
  2. Monitor:
    So You Are Listening, Now What???
    January 18, 2011
  3. Analyze
    “The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living”
  4. Engage
  5. Measure

Why Analyze?

Simply, data without insights is not actionable  – it’s a waste of gigabytes in your storage.

What’s more important for your business? As an example which of these two scenarios will lead to a better decision:

Scenario 1, Data: Mary C. posted on Twitter that Brand A, a carpet cleaner, works great as a laundry pre-spotter

Scenario 2, Insights from Analysis: By monitoring all Social Media Platforms and analyzing commonalities, you find that Mary C posted this comment in multiple social sites and actually wrote about her experience in her widely read blog about household cost savings tips.

Using only the data on Scenario 1 could send you on a “goose chase” to try to reach for all people using pre-spotting products and “hard sell” this additional use. Using the insights would help you focus on courting Mary C, chances are she will continue to share her positive experiences with your company in her blog.

As context, you could think of Arm & Hammer and the multiple uses of Baking Soda. Imagine how much faster they would have discovered about their product usage alternatives if Social Media were available 30 years ago.

Ideally, I would have a real case example to share, but analysis is so important that it usually delivers insightful information deemed as a competitive advantage. And these insights become non-disclosable intellectual property.  Believe me, you will keep your insights as well guarded secrets as well.

Reach your own conclusions:

I love conjecture. Looking at the never ending Cola Wars, who would you nominate as the best Social Marketer, Coke or Pepsi?
Review the following and please comment below.

Coca Cola, Social Media Strategy presentation: Follow your fans; Let them create their own content around their brand experience, find synergies with other properties such as The Olympics. (http://tiny.cc/7qe7s)

Pepsi: Forego media investment in the Super bowl, redirect it and focus solely on generating goodwill through social media population votes on local charities via www.refresheverything.com. (http://tiny.cc/jx92c)

A couple of additional data points (disclosure: these are just data points for directional context. Actual revenue change or market share information would be a better indicator if it were publicly available)

  • Pepsi stock price change versus last year: 8.02% (as of Jan 31, 2011 at 1:24PM EDT).
  • Coca Cola stock price change versus last year: 16.43% (as of Jan 31, 2011 at 1:24PM EDT).

For consideration:

  • I am assuming both companies have the same objective of increasing loyalty and frequency of purchase (pursuing improved brand perception would have a longer planning scenario)
  • Pepsi has a larger product portfolio than Coca Cola (Snacks, breakfast oatmeal, etc) and its share price reflects all divisions.

What to look for in your analysis:

  1. Identify and confirm key metrics based on your current customers or potential customers conversations. Critical, as mentioned in my first blog, to start this process with a clear value proposition and objective. This will help you focus on your target and the type of interests they have associated to your Brand’s promise. In Mary C’s example, the company confirmed that new customer acquisition metrics are important as they could track category conversions from pre-spotters to their brand.
  2. Allow you to develop strategies to engage with these customers on a more personal level rather than a straight product sell. Identify their common interests that pertain to your brand’s positioning and develop tactics around these interests. Value was identified as a critical interest amongst Mary C’s followers. Developing content about household cost-savings tips will help develop stronger customer ties.
  3. Identifying key influencers in your category after monitoring for reach and frequency of individual’s posts. Develop strategies on how to reach them with real benefits for their communities, establish a two-way conversation. I believe in the 20/80 rule.  Without analysis, Mary C would have been categorized as a satisfied customer but not necessarily as an influencer.
  4. Identify where your customers “gather” for sharing and conversing on the relevant topics and interest. This will not only help you plan Social Media paid advertising more efficiently but also help you focus on whom, where and how to “personally” engage. (Getting ahead of myself again, Engage is next week’s topic). While all platforms were being used in Mary C’s scenario, analysis identified her blog as the critical “gathering” place (Facebook is not always the right answer, see this article just published today; http://tiny.cc/cufnp).

How to do it?

Here is where it gets a bit more complicated. A local small business may be able to hire an intern or part time analyst to do this using available web tools – some free.

My recommendation to large medium and large enterprises is to identify a partner to do this for them while at the same time developing an internal team of evangelists for management of social media efforts (internally and externally).

In my previous blogs I have shared with you some resources that you could tap to identify the right partners for you. For the most part there are basically three choices

  1. Own the Software/Application, you can actually integrate data mining and analysis applications into your current IT architecture
  2. “Rent” the application (s) through cloud computing offerings that integrate with your current customer data.
  3. Outsource the operation to a full service provider

I recently helped a client in reaching this decision; it is not difficult once you understand gaps in capabilities for reaching your objectives versus available offerings.

A couple of free sources:

Forrester published this White Paper ranking some of the existing offerings:


Seamless Social, has created this pretty comprehensive Directory of Social Media Monitoring and Analysis Tools


Stay tuned for my next blog on step number four “Engage,” it only gets better. In the meantime, don’t forget to comment on the “Cola Social Media Wars” below or any other topic of interest. You can also contact me via email: zeus@jrgrana.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana


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  • http://on.fb.me/g8lcxC Donna Saliter

    Heard about you through a Facebook post on Mashable.com. Very interesting blog article! I will follow and recommend to fans and students as applicable.

    I like the scenario analases of Mary C. Getting to the info would be a chore for me as a small business. The article speaks well to the strategy of finding and influencing the influencers.

    Thank you ~ I will stay tuned!

  • Heather

    Another winning blog Jesus – Not just “nice to know” information but a valuablel “tool” and call to action for helping marketers wade through the social media tsunami. I am a devoted follower and look forward to the mind stretch you provide every Tuesday morning. Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.elizabethsuarez.com Elizabeth Suarez

    Wow, this is an outstanding post. It should be used in business schools. The thinking and analysis you provide and encourage us to do is so refreshing and necessary. This is the type of analysis our companies need to do more often. Maybe consumer goods company are doing it; but I can a test that other industries, such as services, lack this analysis capability.

    Keep them coming Jesus. Outstanding job. Love reading your posts.


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