My most recent client project has been to put together a social media analysis. What this means is that I go through a thorough process that helps me to identify the conversations and the influencers online, and then I quantify it.
Sometimes the quantity is comments, sometimes it is hash tags, and in some cases the number is based solely on traffic. Whatever is most realistic, and can represent what the client is looking for will be the focus of my presentation. This post is not about the number I find, or the social media analysis process. This post is about how much I learn about my client’s industry while going through the analysis.
As part of the account team, it is my job to do my research, and learn as much as I can about the client and their industry. The way I typically learn it is through trade magazines and newspaper articles. This is the standard approach, and I read great information, but I also come across a lot of jargon that I don’t always understand. Sometimes this hurts my knowledge of the company or their industry because of the amount of time I spend trying to learn their language.
When I perform a social media analysis however, I am able to learn about the industry, and in some cases, the client on a more intimate level. I get to learn about them from their customer’s perspective. This approach has taught me more then I would ever learn in a trade magazine or any other large publication.
Another major benefit of performing the social media analysis is the fact that I get to ask questions. I can ask these questions as myself, or anonymously. Either way I am able to gain valuable information and feedback without having to waste any time.
Performing the social media analysis, and then putting together a report is going to be a huge help to your client. At the same time though, it will be a huge help to you and your team from a traditional and new media perspective.
This is a prime example of how important it is to recognize that traditional advertising and public relations are not dying, instead they are taking a new form that include social media as both a research and conversation tool.