The elections are over and we are back to business as usual and focusing on the bottom line. What can businesses take away from this election? The one thing that businesses should learn is that to get results there needs to be more meaningful engagement with their audience.
Social media and data analysis played major roles in the presidential election; both campaigns used social media to engage their audience, but to succeed another step needed to be applied and that was done by the victor by implementing data analysis, because without one the other cannot be meaningful.
A business must connect with its clients and customers using the technologies that they utilize to inform their opinions and decisions. What this election has shown us is that social media is where most people, age 18 – 45, get their information from. The old mainstays no longer have the same pull. Social media is the new information channel, but as businesses embrace social media, they need to use the information gleaned from it to see the bigger picture and this can be accomplished through data analysis.
Nate Silver, a leading statistician and journalist who writes for The New York Times in his blog FiveThirtyEight, proved that predictions through data analysis give us more precise results. He has shown that by using traditional polling methods you can miss a large part of your demographic that connects using technology, hence giving you wrong results.
So how does data analysis apply to social media? What data analysis does is help businesses move from simply engaging to develop informed decisions so as to provide relevant information to their audience. Social media provides insights into the public’s views and by analyzing those views and coming to a conclusion, a business can better serve its client and customer base. A company’s willingness to follow this path can mean the difference between being the leader in its field or losing the race.
Social media engages a demographic that is generally apathetic or ignored. Ignoring one’s audience or a trend like social media and sticking to traditional media can be detrimental to a business. In an article in The Huffington Post, Daniel Burrus, a futurist and trend forecaster writes: “… it should have been a given that all future political candidates put full utilization of social media high on their list of strategic tools as they run their campaigns.” Every business is interested in results and making a profit, no one wants to lose the ‘election’, but to get there, businesses need to utilize available technologies for engagement as well as analyzing data from that engagement to achieve success.
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