Data Driven: Social by the Numbers
2. Connecting Social Media Engagement to Customer Records
A more challenging role for data as social media matures is finding ways to connect customer records with social media engagement. The objective is to be able to tag customer records with known interaction with a social media site or program.
Let's look at Facebook or LinkedIn as examples. When your customers interact with these social media sites in connection to your brand, you do not usually have a customer number or email address that would allow you to link the URL activity to a customer record, unless they complete a transaction of some kind. At that point, the reference code that has been attached through your analytics program can be connected to an email address or customer number.
There are other opportunities "under-the-hood," like cookies, that are actionable. Cookies track machines, not people, so there are realities to adjust for relative to linking IP addresses and URLs to names/addresses. Connecting cookie data to customer records is pushing the limits of both technology and privacy.
Here is an example of the URL when I sign in my LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=4393277&trk=tab_pro
The easiest way to start down this path is to establish a simple yes/no flag in each customer record where you have the data to support it. This measurement is not scalable for most brands yet. The role for data now is to simply prepare for the future and get the data capture processes set up. Over time, this tracking will become more visible and we all need to position our data capture/reporting processes to be ready for this. Where the connection exists, it can then be used to make decisions within a contact strategy. For example, should a record with a "yes" flag receive more or less direct mail contacts or lead generation phone calls?