All this data, but to what end?

Wow. I learned a lot this week from the readings I hadn’t thought about, including:

  • spy clip artEven the academics are spying on you! Just hadn’t thought about how social media could be such a wealth of information for the academy. (“Effects of the Recession on Public Mood in the UK”, Lansdall-Welfare, Lampos, Cristianini, WWW 2012, Lyon, France). I found this paper fascinating – to a point. Clearly, while pains were taken to get random samples of tweets, there was no effort to extrapolate it to the broader public. I could see its structure being useful to inform police agencies over time to try to predict a rise in violence or predict a period of calm so that staffing could be adjusted. Or perhaps companies could run the same algorithms on their followers tweets to some purpose? Interesting idea.
  • A simplified way to approach interpretation of website analytics (Online Marketing Blueprint). I felt like Gill Media said nothing we haven’t discussed before, but the simple formula sQ+sV+cE=$$$ helps this marketing novice breakdown the difference between site traffic and traffic quality and the relationship to conversion.
  • Exposure to all the ways different industries are approaching the wealth of data on the web (American Banker).
  • Exposure to the tools that are cropping up to help industry (HootSuite ); (“Why Marketers Should Get to Know Customers’ ‘Digital Selves’”, Mashable).
  • Finally, from the American Banker article and the Mashable piece (Beyond Likes: How Google and Adobe Aim to Measure Your True Social ROI), I feel like I found a nugget of gold. Both cautioned about the dangers of going too quickly and too far in social media campaigns without thinking through the possible outcome:  “If you want to optimize Facebook’s contribution to sales, you have to design that at the front end.” It reminded me of Jorie’s lecture on Wednesday about always having an objective for surveys before you even start writing the questions. It also strikes me that having a clear goal when delving into analytics will help you avoid getting swamped in the morass.


  1. BraveNewWorld_FirstEditionTo those classmates with more familiarity with analytics: Did the Gill Media advice and marketing formula ring true?
  2. What is the point where social media marketing goes too far? For example, I think bankers are wise to go slow on personalizing their social media marketing. What about health care companies? Should they be trying to hunt down patients through social media? Other examples?
  3. Should there be any regulatory limits on how social media info is used in commerce? Or are we all just ready to give our privacy way – Brave New World anyone?
  4. FINALLY, please humor me and take the survey from last week…Not nearly enough responses yet to fully appreciate any analytics 😉 Joni’s Silly Survey

4 thoughts on “All this data, but to what end?

  1. I am not much help in the are of people who are more familiar with analytics, however I agree with you that this week was very interesting learning about all the different tools outside of Google Analytics and how they can all be used.
    As far as pushing the limits with social media marketing, I do think that there is a certain level of sensitivity that has to be considered based on the industry. I would be EXTREMELY hesitant if I was seeking health care through social media, it does not seem like the correct media for it because it is such a casual type of interaction.
    I also think that there should be regulations on how much information businesses have access to. I am fine with them being able to track how I use their website but as far as my social media pages I think those should have privacy. Businesses should not be able to access all of our personal day-to-day information that we post on sites. I don’t like the idea of businesses having accessibility to all of my photos, events, conversations, etc.

    Great idea to actually include your survey to be able to look at the analytics! I completed it for you!

  2. Whether companies receive more business from social media or increase brand equity are two completely different things. A company in the healthcare industry may not just be seeking new patients by being on Facebook or Twitter, although that would be an added bonus. The company may just want to increase their brand awareness and interact with patients, giving out a more positive image of their company. A way that it could gain patients though is through word of mouth. People trust what their friends and family say more than they trust an ordinary advertisement. The fact that someone they know follows a company could encourage them to look more into one particular healthcare group. There is always a point to where a company can go too far though – with anything not just social media. But, I think it is also interesting to see companies pushing to boundaries to see how far they can go, sometimes this creates some buzz and helps a company even more (if done correctly, of course).

    • I think you make a good point…and I wonder how many health care companies, including insurance, have made social media part of their response to the coming registration for the Affordable Care Act…Easy visibility with a younger demographic that is much less likely to have health care coverage now…

  3. In regards to #3- I think eventually, there will be a set of clearly defined rules laid out for social media marketing and analytics. It’s only going to be a matter of time before companies get too out of control with their marketing and have to be reigned in. It’s the way of the world in business, in order to get ahead, you want to do something dramatic and out of the box that someone else hasn’t thought of. It’s going to hit a breaking point though. Possibly the amount of posts a company can post directly to someone’s newsfeed? Or how a marketing campaign can be run, when it is advertised, and the length etc. It’ll slowly become more defined as we go along- someone has to break an unwritten rule before they can write it- thats how rules like “Don’t pee in the pool” and “Don’t walk on the grass” were created 🙂

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