E-Handbook:

Social media analytics applications live and die by the data

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Social media analytics helps paint a picture of customers

A majority of organizations surveyed by Forrester Research are looking to better analyze social media data. That isn't a surprise, according to Forrester analyst Jessica Liu. Social media analytics applications -- or social listening platforms, as Forrester calls them -- "offer a unique window into customer's lives, opinions and preferences," she wrote in a June 2018 blog post.

As a result, the tools can be "the backbone of not just social marketing practices but marketing in general," Liu said. They can also offer insights to more than marketers, she noted in an August 2018 blog. Combining social media data with info from customer analytics systems and other data sources paints a fuller picture for functions like product development and risk management, Liu explained.

But there's a plethora of technology options to consider. Forrester counted more than 30 vendors across three product categories: social media monitoring and analytics software, general-purpose text analytics tools and social media account management systems.

In addition, there are data collection, management and usage issues to consider. This handbook examines those issues and offers advice on how to effectively deploy social media analytics applications.

First, we look at how to keep social media analytics processes on the right side of data privacy policies and laws. Next, we detail best practices for getting useful information out of social media data. We close with targeted tips on culling customer sentiment from the data.

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