No Center of Excellence in Social – Interview with Marshall Sponder, Author of Social Media Analytics
This month’s Social Media Analytics Summit in San Francisco was all about measurement—perhaps the most elusive and sought after subject for businesses seeking the best ways to use the latest media. Organized by Useful Social Media and Text Analytics News, the conference featured a discussion by Marshall Sponder, author of the book, Social Media Analytics. I had the pleasure to speak with Marshall and get more perspective on his thoughts about the state of social media.
“What we think we’re going to get out of social media is sometimes different,” Marshall explained.The real challenge with figuring out how to optimize social media, is the nature of social media itself. Marshall identified five key challenges to social media practice for business.
1. No process
"Nobody seems to know how to do this right," Marshall says. "If they are doing it well, aren't talking about it all that much." What this means it there's no standardization of it all. No only are standards lacking, but sharing is missing, as well. So largely, businesses are out discovering social media on their own, and not sharing a whole lot with others.
2. Success unidentified
As Marshall explains it, “A lot of people don’t exactly know how to do it, and what’s being put together and works well once, but can’t always be repeated.” That's causing a lot of confusion, duplication of effort, and uncertainty. It's all evidenced by widely attended conferences such as this one, where companies are all seated, eager to learn more about best practices and social media ROI.
3. 90% unstructured
The type of data we as marketers and strategists normally deal with is structured, meaning we can assemble it, categorize it, and organize it. In customer relationship management systems (CRMs), for example, data is structured. We have specific pieces of information based on columns and rows in a field, such as names, roles, and addresses. Even in search data, we know when and where ads are being rendered. But with social, that structure is lacking, and that makes it difficult to manage and locate.Continued on the next page