social dataSocial networking has exploded in the past decade, with sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ all hosting millions of different users and generating huge amounts of information every day. Social media is a cornerstone of the digital revolution, and it isn’t going to go away in a hurry, so should business be making use of all that free information at their fingertips? We all know that social media can be extremely useful and beneficial for those who use it, but what about as a means of generating relevant, useable data?

 

Data

Believe it or not, sites like Twitter and Facebook are not just home to celebrity gossip, mindless guff and pictures of cats. For those companies who know how to use it, social media can be a valuable resource for data capture, providing businesses with information on market trends as well as customer feedback and sentiment. The immediacy of social media means that your customers and clients will often respond to questions or pose opinions in a more genuine, instinctive manner than most traditional data capture techniques. If you’re prepared to tap into it, social media can be a veritable data goldmine for your business.

 

Issues

One of the main problems with using social media for data capture is the sheer volume of data that it produces. Some businesses can be daunted by the quantity of information available to them on such sites, meaning that they may miss out on an opportunity to give their company a discernible edge over their competitors. Another issue is the nature of the data itself. Social media engagement is not as simple as the yes / no responses you’ll get with other data capture methods. Instead, you’re given reams of qualitative data – customers detailing elements of your business that they like and elements that they dislike in naturalistic written English. This can be extremely difficult to process effectively.

 

So, the dichotomy that businesses are faced with in regards to social media data capture is that there’s a wealth of data on offer, but it’s fiendishly difficult to both capture and process in a useful way. What should you do? Fortunately, our services can provide the answer you need. Our sentiment analytics software can be used to process countless pieces of written data, analysing individual words in terms of emotion and sentiment. These words are then automatically sorted and colour-coded depending on the emotion attached to each word, with the results represented in a data visualisation known as a word cloud. Here, you’ll be able to see in an instant whether your feedback is mostly positive, negative or neutral, and by looking at the words in more detail, you’ll be able to see in what context the statements were made. If that sounds like a useful process to you, take a look at our range of data capture services here, or contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation workshop and discover in more detail how our services can help your business.