Big data and analytics play an important role in the successful monetizing of social networks such as Facebook. Big data collected through social media also can provide businesses with crucial information about consumer preferences and targeting messaging opportunities. Companies are also analyzing information about trends and feedback collected through consumer social media use.
Social media is a gold mine for data collection. Consumers willingly supply information about their demographics. Social network users also supply data about their habits and preferences through behaviors such as posting comments on Facebook, following a company on Twitter, or liking a television show’s social media updates. Advertisers can use this information to target users with direct advertising messages.
The use of big data and analytics allows companies more avenues to learn about consumer preferences through social media. Information collected from millions of users can shape the way products and services are designed and marketed:
- Data collected from social media activity about products shows purchasing trends for specific demographic groups.
- Page visits, posts, and sharing activity can be analyzed to provide companies with specific consumer preferences in features and services.
- Social network activity analytics give companies information about consumer posting or following habits when it comes to products, services, or organizations.
Analytics and Hadoop service providers such as Treasure Data offer companies solutions for data collection and reporting. Using these data points along with demographic information provided by users themselves is giving savvy organizations clearer pictures of consumers, their preferences, and what trends they are following.
Feedback Through Analytics
Companies no longer need to wait for sales reports to find out if a new product will be popular with customers. Businesses can find out how an advertising campaign or news release is received by certain groups of consumers without waiting to see if sales are affected when the media blitz is over. This feedback is also achieved through big data and social media.
There are several forms of feedback made possible by analytics and consumer social media behavior:
- Monitoring consumer reaction to a new product or service
- Gauging interest in upcoming releases
- Determining how well advertising captured an audience
Some industries are leaking product information well before release dates in order to use social media and analytics to determine consumer reactions. The fashion industry has released clothing lines while still in development, making changes based on analytics.
Success for Businesses and Consumers
Companies are increasingly taking advantage of the consumer connection that big data can provide by analyzing information about trends and interests as well as feedback collected by big data and consumer social media use. This trend also benefits consumers. While businesses continue to use big data to improve sales, consumers can take advantage of social media to voice their preferences.