Facebook got you drowning? Managing the data deluge

JANUARY 30, 2012 – Advertisers rely on market research and online panels to get an idea of the best ways they can communicate with consumers and distribute their promotional materials. However, the same data that determines their success can also serve as an obstacle if there is too much of it.

Social Fresh CEO Jason Keath writes for Mashable that there are a few steps companies and brands can take to stop social networking data from Facebook and other sites from becoming a problem.

Customer comments in particular can prove overwhelming for organizations that use Facebook to get feedback from their fans. “We have seen many times examples from our customer base when the brand is receiving hundreds or thousands of comments per hour,” Joe Ciarallo, vice president of communications for Buddy Media, tells the news outlet.

In order to get any insight from all that consumer chatter, companies need to have an automated system for managing the influx and can no longer just check in on their social pages sporadically.

“Many brands today are forced to manage their Facebook Pages 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Keath notes. For organizations that have built up a significant Facebook following and are struggling to monitor and respond to comments, he suggests taking a few steps.

The first move should be to establish (and more importantly, enforce) rules regarding commenting – this will keep commentators from getting into fights with other fans or take the conversation in an unrelated or inappropriate direction.

Don’t become a forum dictator either, he warns. Keep some of the negative comments, as this will show that the brand is transparent, open to critiques and willing to engage customers and seek ways to improve its products and services. If the job proves too big for manual processing and internal staff, consider adopting Facebook software, which can make the moderating job much faster and more efficient.

If your business is tempted to ignore Facebook in the hope of avoiding the headache altogether, don’t. InformationWeek reports that the CEO of Microstrategy, Michael Saylor, recently named four forces that will be transforming the planet in the coming years: social (Facebook), mobile (Apple), Big Data and cloud computing.

Saylor said that these four factors would be impacting half of the global GDP in just a few years.