The number of social media measurement tools has exploded over the last 10 years. And the innovation is accelerating on the promise of smarter interfaces, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Change remains the constant.

The team at Nichefire believes three, emerging trends will drive the next generation of analytics tools:

  1. Increasingly social media metrics will be elevated into company KPIs;
  2. Business intelligence tools will become a competitor to established social media tools;
  3. Artificial Intelligence will bridge the gap between social listening and insight.

More on these predictions:

1. Increasingly social media metrics will be integrated into company KPIs

Social media, forums, and review sites provide one of the largest data sources for brand, consumer, and industry insights. With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide (Emarsys, 2019) (each with a megaphone), the world’s conversations are at your fingertips! And these conversations yield insights that extend beyond marketing.

One challenge facing social intelligence leaders is to demonstrate the value of social media data company-wide. Some organizations are beginning to see its value beyond a marketing channel. Here are a few opportunity areas based on projects we’ve conducted at Nichefire:

  • Customer Experience: Use social media as a platform for customers to directly interact with your brand, for customer service, or to foster a relationship for brand loyalty. Identify common complaints your customers have with your brand and improve. (Often managers get defensive about customer criticism, but it’s a gift to guide innovation.)
  • HR: Social media can do more than extend reach for job postings. Sources, like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Reddit, allow you to listen and gauge expectations on salaries, benefits, workplace culture and more. You can see recruiting tactics competitors use to snag employees away from you. All so you can sharpen your recruiting tactics. 
  • Sales: Supercharge account based marketing and B2B sales with social media data. Consider the value of learning the weaknesses of your competitors. And be more agile in solving problems to turn and retain your disgruntled customers. Finally, empower your sales efforts with unique insights to improve a pitch.

2. Business intelligence (BI) tools and CDPs will become critical for social analytics tools

At first glance, you may read that headline and think “Dude, you’re crazy.” But recent research has shown one of marketers’ top pain points with marketing technology is: “Poor integration with other technologies” (Chiefmartec and Ascend2, 2020). Often a company standardizes on one data-visualization tool to build reports and dashboards, but marketing teams get siloed-off by a different tool. That makes it harder to share lessons, harder to get a seat at the table. As a result, marketing teams are marginalized. 

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From Nichefire’s own primary research, most mid-to-large companies use two or three different social media analytics platforms, but demand to unify data findings with other business KPIs is growing. Data integration ranks among the top technology initiatives in 2020, with initiatives to integrate marketing into BI growing (Forbes, 2020). It’s only a matter of time before BI can conduct boolean searches and train AI, like some social listening tools do now.

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3. AI will bridge the gap between social listening and insight

AI is driving many of the latest innovations in social listening, but what’s next? According to Nichefire’s primary research, some social media teams spend 80 hours per month with social listening tools and manually analyzing text and images, building reports, and wrestling keyword searches. 

We’re starting to see some platforms adapt with innovations in AI. For instance, newer methods in AI and machine learning can construct accurate libraries (without the need of keyword boolean searches). Nichefire, for instance, has developed dozens of preset, accurate classifiers that measure marketing tactics and strategies. This, paired with powerful prescriptive and predictive analysis, will introduce the next stage of social media analytics–getting accurate recommendations on social media marketing strategies with the data to prove it. And it will extend valuable insights across the enterprise.

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