Social analytics data is most commonly used for community management and engagement, reports NetBase [download page] in a survey of more than 700 marketers in the US and Canada, half of whom are from companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues. Some 72% of respondents are using their social analytics data for this purpose, while close to two-thirds (64%) use the data to inform campaign strategies.

These leading uses seem to be working out. Roughly three-quarters agree that measuring social media impact enables brands to connect with their customers more effectively, and a majority (56%) agree that social analytics make their campaigns more successful, despite a large proportion (38%) not knowing if they do.

NetBase notes that it’s not surprising to see these primary uses – community engagement and campaign strategy – atop the list, given that they were the original use cases for social analytics.

Additional, perhaps more sophisticated, uses have also emerged. A majority (56%) of respondents say that monitoring brand health is a primary social analytics effort. And a substantial portion (41%) use this data to improve social care.

Few Brands Track Crises in Real-Time

The overwhelming majority (76%) of marketers surveyed believe that it’s “very” (53%) or “mostly” (23%) important to respond to negative comments on social media in real-time.

However, only one-quarter track crises in real-time, potentially leaving them unable to adapt and respond to problems as they arise. This is an area that NetBase figures will grow quickly.

The firm makes the case that social analytics data can be applied across the organization and shouldn’t be limited to the marketing department. For now, though, the investments in social analytics seem too small: roughly 6 in 10 are spending $10,000 or less on their social analytics tool, and a plurality (41%) have only 1-2 people using social analytics on a regular basis.

There are indications that this could change in the near future, though, given marketers’ enthusiasm for social analytics. Indeed, research suggests that B2B marketers want to pay more attention to social analytics, and that social analytics is one of the top measurement and optimization tactics planned for use over the next couple of years.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of more than 700 marketers in the US and Canada who use social analytics. Respondents come from a range of industries, with many hailing from enterprises.

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