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Who “Owns” Social Media Data at Your Company?

I love the game Clue. I always have. Miss Scarlet and Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White all accusing each other of murdering an anonymous dinner party guest with ordinary household items like 30-foot lengths of rope, lead pipes, or 20th-century revolvers…what fun!


In Clue, you’re dealt a set of cards that you keep to yourself. It’s your information, and yours alone, and you use it to make decisions that lead to more insight that will ultimately help you win the game. It winds up drawing the game out for a long time as players roll dice, move game pieces across the board, and horde insight.

Now, imagine if every player laid his or her cards face-up on the table and decided, “We should win together.” With that level of transparency, the competition would be over before the first roll of the dice.

4 Ways to Make Social a Critical Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Unfortunately, many marketing teams have become games of Clue. Email marketing, media buying, marcomm, social, content, performance marketing…each team is working to drive the most value, and this can create a sense of competition.

While workplace competition can drive productivity, it can also create silos, and in the age of data-driven marketing, we can’t afford to be siloed. That’s how Professor Plum wins the game, and NO ONE wants that (am I taking this metaphor too far? Let’s move on).

Breaking Down the Social Data Silo

Social media is one of the most valuable sources of information and insight into your customers’ preferences, interests, and buying signals. Social can play a role in any stage of the buyer’s journey, and social data can be the signal that impacts the entire marketing organization.

Awesome Things That a Social API Enables

But who owns this data? I talk to countless marketing teams on a daily basis, and I’ve seen a few different structures. Here’s a quick look at some common ones:

Social Data “Owned” by Centralized Business Intelligence Unit

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In this scenario, a centralized business intelligence team handles all data and analytics for the company. This is generally more common in large organizations.

The Pros: A unified data strategy. Social is analyzed in the same context as email, web, sales, and customer support data, helping to paint a more complete picture for the entire organization. This holistic approach allows you to see the strengths, weaknesses, and potential areas for optimization throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

The Cons: As a social marketer (or a member of any other team), your analysis becomes less flexible. When you have to submit requests to a team of BI analysts that are getting requests from across the business (including the C-Suite), social can easily be de-prioritized. It’s important to maintain access to the analytics software you need to do your job, and it should be a conversation you have with the BI team and marketing leadership.

Social Data “Owned” by Marketing Analytics Team

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In this structure, the marketing team has an analyst or analytics team focused on measuring, sharing, and reporting on data across the marketing stack.

The Pros: Analysis is aligned with marketing goals. In this structure, all marketing data is pieced together, or at least built up side-by-side. Marketing teams gain insight from other channels, and programs become more unified in working towards common goals.

The Cons: The analytics department reports to someone, and that person has an agenda that they care about more than other objectives. This is natural, but social doesn’t always fit into one bucket. It can help with demand generation and sales, and it can also help with brand awareness. If your analytics team only cares about one of those categories, the others can be ignored.

Social Data “Owned” by Social Team

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In this scenario, social data is owned, managed, and consumed by the social marketing team.

Pros: Direct access. The social team can answer questions when and how they need to, interacting with their social analytics software directly and become an expert at data-driven marketing.

How to Build a Better Social Media Team

Cons: Welcome to the silo. In this situation, social data serves the social team, email data serves the email team, web data serves the web team, and ad data serves the media buyer. There’s limited interplay between the different arms of the marketing team when it comes to sharing data, so breakages and weaknesses aren’t identified, and opportunities aren’t exploited.

Social Data? What the Heck Is That?

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.29.57 AMIn this scenario, the company doesn’t care about social data.

Pros: Are you kidding me?

Cons: You’re ignoring the 2 billion worldwide users across social, all of the insight they can provide, and the revenue potential they’re sitting on.

Imagine a World…

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Imagine a world where marketing data was managed by a centralized team, but accessible to everyone in the marketing organization. There are companies that operate this way, and they are stronger because of it. How could this impact you?

  1. With centralized management, you have oversight. Someone is focused on the overall success of your systems and their architecture.
  2. With easy access, each marketing team can access the data they need, from any source, at any time. This makes iteration and optimization easier, quicker, and more effective.
  3. By training each team how to understand, access, and utilize data from the other marketing stacks, silos get broken down. Communication is inherently easier.

How Do I Get There?

Sell your team on the value of social analytics, and the insight they can leverage to strengthen their own programs, then deliver analysis in a way that works for them. This could take the form of reports, dashboards, or the data visualization solution your company already uses.

Simply Measured offers a new API like nothing you’ve ever seen. We’ve done the heavy lifting of collecting, enriching, and standardizing data across the social networks. We allow you to ask questions, answer them, and pivot to new questions quickly, easily, and with confidence. We’ve integrated with Tableau to give you that extra plug-and-play factor — bypass the database storage and connect directly to Simply Measured from Tableau. This is the perfect analytics solution for your marketing team. To learn more, register for our webinar with Tableau by following the link below. Webinar_API-Tableau-936x250

Learn about the complete social analytics solution

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Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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