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For hundreds of years, companies have wished that they could eavesdrop on their customers – and now they can. Users of Facebook and other social media forums routinely post and share opinions and experiences about your products and services. Are you taking advantage of social media conversations and data to refine your product features, enhance go-to-market strategies, and drive additional revenue?

Making the Most of Facebook Insights

Today, Facebook is the leading social forum; Facebook Insights – a free resource provided by Facebook – gives developers and page owners basic usage metrics around their content. For example, Facebook captures valuable demographic information and gives companies the ability to target posts by geography. You can dive into the details with Excel-compatible exports that highlight likes, reach, clicks, and more by location, age, and gender. Another useful approach: export Facebook Insight data into specially designed analytic tools, such as SAP Visual Intelligence and SAP Business Objects Explorer, to generate more powerful insights.

Understanding and analyzing trends around user growth, demographics, and content creation and consumption equips page owners and developers to improve the business and enhance customer experiences.

The Limitations of PTAT

Facebook Insights logs activity associated with your page and identifies the posts generating that activity via its People Talking About This (PTAT) metric. PTAT also tells you how many users have created “stories” about a page or post displayed in their news feeds during any given seven-day period. Though PTAT sounds good, it isn’t particularly prescriptive – it’s not a “clean” measure, but rather a steaming gumbo of behaviors in a single statistical pot.

For the most part, Facebook Insights gives you statistics. What it doesn’t do well is answer your “why?,” “so what?,” or “what now?” questions. If your goal is to ignite your fans’ passion for your company and create loyal brand advocates, those fans’ algorithmically defined activity is only half the story.

Use Big Data to Drive Your Social Media Strategy

To create a successful big data strategy targeted on social media data, keep in mind the following:

  • Know why you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media forum, and the true impact of that presence on your business
  • Use Facebook Insight or the SAP Social Media Analytics solution to select and track metrics that make sense for your business
  • Realize that most social media analytical data gives you the “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when” answers – you’ll still need to analyze the trends to optimize your content and audience interactions
  • Add a qualitative layer to your social media program to answer more of the “why,” “so what,” and “now what” questions
  • Develop a plan to evaluate content of conversation data, so you can instantly interact with sentiments like never before

Measure What Matters

Let’s remember: the goal is not to be good at social media, whatever that means; the goal is to use social media to better your business. Your social media strategy supports your marketing strategy, which in turn supports your business strategy. Selecting precise social media metrics is one of the last things you do when rolling out a social media strategy; you must understand your objectives before establishing your performance measures.

If your social media strategy (and marketing strategy, for that matter) is about creating awareness, measure that. If you’re trying to generate sales, measure that. If you want to use social media as a loyalty and retention tool, measure how well that’s working for you.

The Power of Sentiment Analysis

Looking at the substance of conversations – singling out the attributes that people talk about and the sentiment around those attributes – brings you much closer to actionable next steps. It’s not just that a Facebook user likes the product you sell; what specific attributes are popular? The taste? The smell? The styling? The price point? The really cool TV ad that you ran last Sunday?

If you had only a few posts and comments per day, you could probably handle this manually. However, a larger Facebook presence with its hundreds or thousands of posts a day would quickly overwhelm you with its continuous data stream. That’s when solutions such as SAP Social Media Analytics can help. SAP Social Media Analytics quickly analyzes and evaluates hundreds of thousands of comments, extracting the context of what’s being said about your products or brand and why.

To get more content about this theme read my other article Social Media Analysis with Big Data.

Learn More

SAP solutions for social media big data help you process, store, analyze, and distribute everything you need to make the most of your data, unlocking hidden opportunities. To learn more about how SAP Services can help you craft a social media strategy, identify key metrics, and use SAP Social Media Analytics to gauge net sentiment, visit us at

What metrics are you using to measure social media impact? 

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Nice article!