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Marketing Applicability of Social Media ‘Listening’ Linked to Data Quality

The marketing backlash to social media monitoring has officially begun. And surprisingly, the key gripe is NOT the fear of uncovering potential adverse events, but instead the actionability of the output!

For me, this shift in concerns all starts with the quality of the data used in the analysis. I have noticed a significant drop in the quality of social media data recently, and I believe it can be attributed to the proliferation of vendors who purport to do this type of analysis with the wide availability of low cost, crappy data. Think about it, which of your vendors isn’t trying to sell you a social media listening analysis.

If you’re struggling with the actionability of your social media data, here are the 7 criteria you need to look at to ensure you have the right data provider:

  1. Breadth of Coverage – data collected from a broad spectrum of data types and sources
  2. Data Collection & Cleaning – procedures set in place to avoid duplicate messages from entering the data system and to exclude unwanted content such as spam or inappropriate messages (e.g., financial/stock discussions)
  3. Data Specificity – existing healthcare-specific data universe as well as the ability to create disease-specific universes, particularly important for brands that are indicated for more than one disease state (e.g., Rituxan in NHL, CLL, and RA)
  4. Proactivity – data collection from existing sites, as well as new sites, is regularly assessed to ensure that all platforms or source types are continually incorporated
  5. Historical Coverage – historical data comparisons available to spot trends and evaluate seasonality in the discussion volume
  6. Data Recency – data lag time is minimized without compromising the data collection process
  7. Data Integrity – adherence to industry guidelines, such as the Word of Mouth Market Associations’ ethics code, to ensure ethical practices in data collection

We use the analogy of clay and the sculptor when illustrating the relationship between the data and the interpreter of the data. To truly elevate listening to marketing insights and application, you need the best clay . . . I mean data . . . from the outset!

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