Is social media analytics overhyped or for real?
It is, I believe, both. It's certainly for real because some enterprises demonstrably do it and get great business value from it. Big companies that enjoy -- or suffer -- a high profile on social networks clearly cannot afford to ignore analytics applications that can tell them how they're faring on customer sentiment and in the court of public opinion. And those analytics had better be state of the art and as near to real time as possible because social media has the attention span of a gnat. If you don't respond effectively to comments and discussions as they're happening, you might as well not bother.
On the other hand, social media analytics is also most certainly overhyped. Social media analytics tools are highly specialized, so they're only of use to companies that have good business reasons to care about what the twitterati think/believe/tweet. For those companies, social media analysis is clearly valuable, but a great number of organizations don't need to invest in it in order to understand what their customers want or think. I'm thinking in particular about small and midsize enterprises, which also might not have the resources and in-house analytical skills needed to take advantage of social media analytics software.
More on social media analytics
Check out this Essential Guide to using social media analytics tools
Take this quiz on the capabilities of social media monitoring software
Get tips on developing applications for mining Twitter data
So, the burning question for any company is not, "Shouldn't we start looking at social media analytics?" Rather, it is, "Do we think that we can gain value from analyzing social media data?" And that in turn should raise a host of other questions. For example, "Do we want to know when we've made a mistake that affects people's opinions of our company? Do we want to know when one of our competitors has made a mistake of that sort?"
The bottom line is that you have to decide what you want from social media analysis in order to decide whether it is overhyped or for real for what your organization has in mind.
Dig Deeper on Customer analytics
Related Q&A from Mark Whitehorn
Here's a guide to primary, super, foreign and candidate keys, what they're used for in relational database management systems and the differences ... Continue Reading
The unstructured data types common in big data systems are often better managed by a NoSQL database than relational software, Mark Whitehorn says. Continue Reading
IT managers should ask cloud providers some pointed questions about the security of data stored in cloud databases, says expert Mark Whitehorn. Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.