#SocialData — Demystified! New IABlog post by Patrick Dolan, IAB
IAB’s Data Council just rolled out a new report—Social Data: Demystification & Best Practice—that can give companies and marketers a sturdier starting point for understanding and making better use of this growing mass of information and its power to positively influence millions of people through social amplification.
Social Data flows from a million directions. For example, many online marketers are using trackable URLs when posting to social media. These allow you to see exactly where your traffic and customers come from. Another popular social media tool allows you to add a share button wherever you need one on your website—a tool that creates data about who comes to your site, when and why. Of course social media sites themselves also generate masses of social data for you to use. All in all, just like other entities that are growing their online community, we at IAB use Social Data analysis tools, to see where our offerings are strong and to get feedback that helps us reach unexplored audiences.
Social Data: Demystification and Best Practice offers best practices and a common language to help analyze and discuss the data generated by these many layers of social media. Creating a common language is key, because after extracting Social Data, making useful sense of it is still often not easy—sometimes simply because people use the same terms for different phenomena. The report further explains what must go into meaningful data analytics—another critical hurdle we all must clear, as we move away from tracking mere page views in favor of deeper aspects of Social Data, including propagation, amplification and sentiment.
What I think is really exciting here—to me, the basis for Social Data’s promise—is that it’s all about social media’s community of millions of people happily and openly coming together. But with the resulting pool of data so deep and varied, the new IAB report is like navigation software that can help you and your particular company or marketing campaign find the right direction through a real jungle of information to your specific goals. You can download the report at http://iab.net/socialdata.
The sheer volume of data coupled with a lack of standardized metrics means that marketers and publishers are asked to plan and execute real-time campaigns without an industry-wide baseline. Moreover, publishers and marketers are not speaking the same language. Indeed, despite the benefits that social media data offers to marketers and publishers, emerging solutions and platforms have introduced numerous new challenges in social media marketing as well as data extraction and use. This document will inform social media practitioners, publishers and marketers who are incorporating social data into their paid, owned and earned media plans. Readers will gain a basic understanding of industry-wide best practices in these areas, including an overview of social data-driven campaign best practices and a glossary of social data terminology. Previous documents published by the IAB regarding Social Media Best Practices and Metrics have explored social advertising’s role in paid media objectives and the broader realm of social media functionality.
In the present paper, we aim to dig deeper into social media marketing, sharply defining social data and applying basic best practices in conceptualizing and interpreting value for earned media as part of a holistic approach in utilizing the social media channel.