Recently I authored a piece on the power of social media as both a breakthrough source of consumer data and a way of enabling more relevant experiences with consumers. I’ve included an excerpt below and encourage you to read in its entirety over at http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-tapping-social-media-opportunity-summary.aspx

In an age of information over-load and unlimited choices, any marketer worth their salt knows that brand engagement is driven by providing precisely relevant experiences that attract and hold the attention of each consumer.

Consumer relevance cannot be episodic. Maintaining relevance continuously as consumers move seamlessly from one interaction point to the next is a new demand of the digital age. The imperative for consumer relevance requires a brand to harness deep contextual knowledge about each consumer and apply it intelligently to create persuasive experiences at every touchpoint.  This ability to be “relevant at scale”, will determine which brands win and which brands get lost in the war for consumer attention.

To deliver relevant experiences at scale companies need to be able tap into the wealth of data sources that provide valuable signals on what can attract and hold consumer attention at any moment in time – not just data about geo-location, gender and age, product preference or purchase, but also more importantly likes, interests and who they talk and listen to. With the explosive growth in the use of social media, social networks provide a richness of data that can help build more precise insights into consumer context and will allow companies to tailor brand experiences making them more compelling, more persuasive and more relevant.

Tapping the social media opportunity

That social media allows us to connect with others in new and meaningful ways is evident to anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. Importantly, it’s not just the hundreds of millions of individual users who are lured to the always-on, always-connected world. Companies, too, are recognizing that social media can fundamentally change what it means for them to be engaged.

To date, general appreciation of social media’s power has rarely translated into dynamic strategies that lead to relevance at scale. That may soon change as companies learn to use social media to transform how they engage with customers, collaborate with internal and external partners, and align their operations to a common purpose and a new vision for high performance. Here’s what they can do to embrace social media’s potential.

How Social Media Marketers Can Break Through To Consumers

  1. Industrialize engagement - Companies that clearly articulate their social purpose and harness the potential of the data captured by aligning their actions accordingly, stand to benefit most.
  2. Supercharge collaboration - Workplace access to information has historically been dictated by hierarchical organizational structures. The key is to incent, empower and encourage employees so they can become the listening posts for consumer signals to ensure a precise and timely experience is provided at every brand touch point.
  3. Transform operations - Social media is making one thing crystal clear: Customers do not care how a business is organized. Companies that want to get serious about delivering a precise and relevant experience to their customers need to create a social media-ready organization.

Building social scale

The social media phenomenon has not just created a new channel to communicate; it has fundamentally changed the ways in which people interact. As companies expand their focus from being relevant to being relevant at scale, they would be wise to consider the role that social media could play in enabling that transition. Just as Google has adapted its ranking prioritization algorithm to include social context, companies that harness social media will have the ability to deliver up-to-the-second customer preferences, greater levels of trust, a mechanism for direct and dynamic interaction, and more—and more usable—data upon which business decisions can be made. Armed with these advantages, social media can allow any company to not only engage, collaborate and operate in entirely new ways, but also achieve high performance in a networked world.

To read the full report and more about Social Relevance At Scale, please visit Accenture Interactive at: www.accenture.com/interactive.


 

About Jason Breed

Jason is Global Social Media Practice lead for Accenture and co-founder of www.Hashtagsocialmedia.com. Jason has over 9 years of direct experience in Social Media and 15 years of interactive marketing experience. He is an advanced digital strategist with expertise across both online and mobile.  His focus on purpose driven, effective social engagements has created real and demonstrated financial ROI for dozens of clients.