Social Media's Impact on Database Marketing, Part 1
There once was a time when customer information was only useful when it included a physical address; email address-only records were commonly purged from marketing databases. No longer! Today's databases contain a vast amount of information on web activity, social media interactions and other online behaviors linked solely to email addresses.
Even without a name or physical address associated, all this data is valuable. Any actionable element — e.g., a clickthrough on an email, a search engine referral or a “Like” on Facebook — can be leveraged to identify and consolidate customer activities and preferences.
When looking at social media data, there are two types of interactions you can track and analyze. The first is based on a customer’s direct interaction with your brand’s social profiles, such as creating content about your brand, commenting on your content or reviewing products. The second is a customer’s social interactions with other consumers, or sharing your content with friends.
The first interaction can provide insight for things as varied as deciding which products to carry this holiday season or where to build your next brick-and-mortar location. The second interaction is absolutely invaluable for indirect social marketing. It can help marketers create personas or profiles of target segments that are most likely to build brand affinity or even become brand evangelists within their social networks.
This data can help you develop point-of-sale or email promotions aimed at encouraging consumers to check out your Twitter stream or blog. It also enables you to use your online database to generate brand awareness and build brand affinity and loyalty through effective segmentation, targeting and relevance, all leading to a greater return on investment when these users head to your stores.
It's important to note the unique qualities of social media with regards to database marketing. Social media marketing isn't about pushing products; it’s about building relationships and communities, and engaging customers and prospects in a place where they're comfortable.
Related story: Holiday and Social Media Spirit in Email Marketing