Social Analytics: A Valuable Tool Evolving To Meet Expectations
By Levi Olmstead
G2 Crowd, a business software reviewing company, recently released a report focusing on social analytic software. The report contains nearly 900 reviews of over 25 different social analytics products. From this data, a few market trends have developed on key benefits and areas in need of improvement across the marketplace.
Key Benefits Social Analytic Software Bring To Users:
Performance Dashboards – These visual dashboards that give users a quick overview of their social media performance, are mentioned the most frequently among social analytics users as a key benefit of their software. Users mention that these dashboards help marketers determine if campaigns are successful early on and create the validation to show managers and directors that their social media efforts are working.
Influencer and Competitor Analysis – Some social analytics products are equipped with features to track the campaigns of competitors, and follow closely the social footprint of key influencers in specific markets. Products that include these features are praised by consumers because they provide important data that helps them stay ahead of their competitors and engaged with their brand evangelists.
Products Offering Platform Services – The ability to offer additional services outside of social analytics tracking and reporting, such as scheduling social posts, monitoring activity, and responding to customer posts is noted as beneficial by reviewers. Users of social analytics products find that those that incorporate all of their social needs in one platform are more cost efficient and save time.
Scalability – Consumers report that social analytics software across the category have the potential to scale to any size campaign and stay on pace with growing businesses. The scalability potential of social analytic software was rated the highest of any feature, at 87 percent.
Areas In Which Social Analytics Products Need Improvement:
Sentiment Analysis – Users feel that many social analytics products have outdated technology when it comes to sentiment analysis features. Many products are cited as having issues recognizing slang or sarcasm, and frequently misinterpreting and miscategorizing social sentiment.
Historical Data – Another issue seen with many social analytics products is the lack of historical data. Users cite the inability to use data past a certain date as frustrating, especially when comparing new campaigns to what worked and did not work with previous campaigns.
Data Quality – Many consumers are skeptical of the data quality their social analytics product is reporting. A common issue is the product’s data being inconsistent with data from reporting tools in social networks themselves. Users also point to the previous two complaints, poor sentiment analysis and a lack of historical data, as adding even more distrust with the quality of many social analytic products.
Paid Campaign Tracking – The ability to monitor paid social campaigns is an area users feel is underwhelming and disappointing. Only eight social analytics products in the category scored a paid campaign tracking satisfaction rating over 70 percent, with the category as a whole scoring the feature the lowest in the social analytics report at 72 percent.
Social Analytics Software A Must For Social Marketers:
Social analytics software is rated highly on core social analytics features such as social monitoring and reporting, but users feel a lack of trust with the data these tools provide. Users recognize that this software category has some areas that need improvement in data quality. However, they also feel that these tools are valuable for validating and justifying their social campaigns.