Qualitative social data analysis in the golden age of marketing


With the abundance of multimedia content shared by users across social media platforms, we are truly in a golden age of marketing. Today, marketers have access to highly advanced tech solutions which allow them to continually optimize their marketing strategies in order to keep up with fickle social media trends and adapt to ever changing user habits. But, determining which strategies and marketing tools will work for your company can be a dizzying exercise in insanity. In this post we’ll explore the two main approaches to qualitative social data analysis to help you take your personalized marketing strategy to the next level.


Social Listening, as the name suggests, listens for trends and conversations taking place on social media and blogs where specific keywords or hashtags are being used. Companies use these tools to monitor for mentions of their products, brands or competitors- all in real time.


Most social listening tools provide a dashboard which provides further insight into the who, when and how these mentions are taking place, including distinctions for positive or negative comments- Sentiment. Crucially, these solutions also allow companies to engage in conversations to provide better customer support and resolve customer issues effectively.


Social Network Profiling approaches social media insights from a different angle. For starters, and in direct contrast to social listening, it is user-permission-based and works by accessing the information users share on social networks at the moment of sign-up or login. Think of social network profiling tools as a sort of magnifying glass allowing you to zoom in on individual users and identify trends within your own, proprietary social user database.


With access to rich social data about each user in your database, the potential for devising user-centric marketing strategies, both inbound and push, is almost infinite. One of the main advantages of social network profiling solutions is their versatility and ability to be merged with a host of CRM and BI platforms, and serve as a complement to your suite of marketing tools- including social listening tools. With individual user data, brands can tailor the user experience across multiple platforms and launch high campaigns targeted at precise audience segments.


Takeaway Points

The main drawback of social listening is that the information provided is less detailed as they analyze on a macro level with limited granularity. Deeper trends may go unnoticed because it is not permission based so individual users are difficult to track. On the other hand, social network profiling, as it is user-permission-based, must be implemented thoughtfully so as not to betray the trust of your users.


Social listening and social network profiling can complimentary when implemented as part of a holistic, user-centric personalized marketing strategy. As a guiding principle, you must strive to ensure that each personalization adds real tangible value to that user’s experience with your brand.

Post by Kyle
Kyle is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Xeerpa. He’s a total marketing automation nerd and believes that the future belongs to those who embrace Beyoncé’s love. To know thy inner Beyoncé is to know thyself.