Start-ups are being encouraged to invest more time and effort into social media monitoring, after a report revealed 80% of companies struggle to analyse their social media data.
Marketing technology company Alterian surveyed nearly 1,500 marketing professionals about where their brands stand with regard to expenditure, social media, level of personalisation, and whether they are at risk.
The survey reveals 80% of companies are concerned their brand is at risk of failing to engage with customers online or failing to fully understand how online conversations impact their brand.
Most marketers estimate spending on social and digital marketing will increase over the next year, with about a quarter predicting it will increase by 25% or more.
But despite the evidence that digital budgets are increasing, the survey suggests many companies are not analysing what is being said about them online.
According to the survey, 6% of companies have no analytical experience concerning digital media, 29% stop at the basic analytical level, and 28% struggle to tie analytics back to their campaign strategy.
Chris Tew, Alterian senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, says the research highlights how many companies are confused about social media, suggesting they should listen more closely to the comments made by customers and competitors.
“The majority of brands lack direction on what exactly to measure and analyse, how to go about it, and how to utilise that information to continually improve on their marketing efforts,” he says.
The respondents are fairly divided in their level of understanding about relevant social media conversations about their brand. Seven in 10 have very little or no understanding, while 39% use “a few ad-hoc tools”.
Marisa Peacock, of web magazine CMSWire, said in the report that social media engagement should be considered a priority across an entire business, not just within the marketing strategy.
“Engaging users across social media platforms has become a full-time job. Not only do you need to participate, you need to be able to monitor and analyse the chatter,” she said.
“It is no longer enough to simply be active on social media. [Business owners] must consider social media the same way they would the traditional aspects of their marketing mix, analysing what’s on the social web, understanding and applying their findings accordingly.”
According to the report, most respondents have identified the issues affecting their business and are taking clear steps to correct them.
“Marketers could use guidance, the right tools and a clear, strategic plan – driven by consumer intelligence – to move toward fully engaging customers at an individual level,” the report says.
“Marketers now must not only engage with their customers but they must continue to analyse and measure their engagements across multichannel disciplines, taking their findings and applying them across all customer interactions in a very precise and operational way.”