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Social media analytics can’t tell you how to become a more customer-centric company.

That’s the core finding of our latest report, What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Customers, released today. The report draws its findings from our partnership with three Vision Critical customers: a major motion picture studio, a renowned broadcasting company and a cross-category apparel brand. These global brands combined social media data with customer intelligence they’ve gathered from their customer communities to uncover what social media analytics can and cannot reveal about customer behavior.

tweet-this_0Social media analytics can't tell you how to become a more customer-centric company. (CLICK TO TWEET)

Our analysis shows that social media users fall into three broad types:

  • Lurkers post on social networks once a week or less
  • Dabblers post two to four times a week
  • Enthusiasts post five times a week or more

We learned that the customers you hear from on social media analytics represent only one slice of the customer base. While 85% of social media updates come from enthusiasts, this group represents only 29% of a company’s social media audience. And while lurkers make up more than half of a company’s social media audience, they only account for 5% of the content captured by social media analytics.

tweet-this_085% of social media updates come from just 29% of a company's social media audience. (CLICK TO TWEET)

As the infographic below shows, dabblers and lurkers also significantly differ from enthusiasts in terms of what they buy, what they watch and whether or not they get influenced by others on social. These differences aren’t trivial—in fact, these differences highlight how social data can mislead companies when making marketing and other business decisions, since social media data doesn’t uncover what truly matters to their customer base.

In the age of the empowered customer, companies need a deeper understanding of their customers to make better business decisions. What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Customers helps reveal why social media analytics hasn’t lived up to its promise of making companies more customer-centric. The differences between lurkers and enthusiasts mean that social media analytics only offer a limited view of your customers and keeps companies from becoming truly customer-centric. Companies need to contextualize what they hear on social in order to validate what they hear and to better understand their quiet customers. Our report shows how engaging directly with customers can get companies the context they need to improve customer service, marketing and other aspects of their businesses.

View the infographic below to see our top findings, and download the report now for complete details.

What Social Media Analytics Can't Tell You About Your Customers


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