The only way to help you grow your full marketing potential against your competitors is by using data to make informed choices.

  1. Data Must Be Connected With Business Outcomes

Reporting on social media should not come to just counting Fans or Likes with no logic behind your actions as this action is completely pointless. Associate the data to what social is trying to drive in to your business – sales, website traffic, brand awareness, or any other business growth areas that you are trying to come up with from your investment using social media networks.

  1. Create Smart Data – Do Not Create Data for Data’s Sake

Do not just report numbers because you need to send a report. Try to compare data at larger scales and find the patters that show how people are having real interactions over different types of content over time. It is always better to have smart data that have inflated, made up data. It is about viewing the right data.

  1. Do Not Keep Data in Silos

Data driven social marketers bring almost everything together to make a comprehensive picture of how social networks drive activities in different parts of your own organization. This would mean that you need to make sure that your whole organization is aligned on social media data. From content to the research and development divisions, you would need to discuss about how social data can inform every aspect of your business and make it even smarter.

  1. Empower Your Superiors to be Able to See Quantifiable Value of Social

Currently, social marketers are using social data primarily to report. This is actually great, but is just not enough. This is where opening data silos would come in handy – when presenting your CEO that social is being used to drive a specific number of objectives from other areas of interest. Try showing them the percentage of applications received by the HR department that recruits on social networks, or an increase in purchasing intent by your own users of your new mobile app. Your team would be given more resources and the whole organization would benefit as well.

  1. Understand Each Metric

More than often, marketers will make business decisions based on metric that they do not fully understand. After all, a “view” does not automatically mean that someone has seen your whole video – might be just 3 seconds or the whole of it. And this occurs on other metrics. Everyone wants to see their reach increase, for instance, but do not consider what goes into reach when they calculate it. You need to actually understand what the logic behind each and every metric is in order to know how to accurately report your results and go forward in using them.

  1. When your CEO asks you to “Show them the money” you have got to have a business objective you are achieving with your request. That means that you cannot just be trying to achieve a certain goal on social, you have to be able to show the monetary value of the goal that was achieved. This will earn you a sit at the decision making table.