tyranny of too much data in social media


A common complaint about social media is that it’s hard to measure success. But the reality is not a lack of metrics but rather there being too many things we can measure. Social media comes in such a diversity of forms and uses cases that the challenge modern marketers face is how to select the right metrics, which is different for every business. It is all too easy to become overwhelmed by the “tyranny of too much data,” and either waste time trying to track too many metrics or the wrong metrics - not to mention the scalability issues that crop up with large data volumesĀ  when you are trying to capture and slice-and-dice every little action that every user performs. In a world where you can track just about everything, how do you focus on the right things?

Some questions you should be asking:

  • Ultimately, what are your organization’s goals for adopting social media? Customer satisfaction? Innovation? Branding? Sales? Upsell and cross-sell, or new customers?
  • Which kind of site visitor metrics has the biggest correlation with the goals you identified: behavioral metrics (eg, spent X minutes on Y page, downloaded Z content), demographic metrics (eg, females in New York), social metrics (eg, several of this individual’s Facebook friends were also interested in this product). For example, maybe the number of votes and comments on a site have nothing to do with upsells but help drive customer sat.

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