Imagine if your daily social media posts predicted your next purchase, even before you thought of it yourself! Or what if a program could read your tweets and provide you with a checklist of all the things that you could potentially need in the coming month?
The exponential growth of mobile connectivity, social media, and interactivity ensures that we are constantly sharing personal data with each other and the world. This wealth of information— most commonly in the form of status updates, photos, tweets, and more—is creating a new type of data that can be used to predict our personality patterns, purchase traits, and more. In fact, today, the digital information that we generate touches almost 12 trillion gigabytes. But it is not the quantity of this data that is significant. The real revolution lies in what can now be done with this information for greater consumer insights.
This data from the world’s largest social media networks, in combination with deep learning, predictive marketing, and image recognition, could change the way brands target consumers. It is estimated that Facebook alone absorbs 500 times more data than the New York Stock Exchange. Although, as much as 90% of the data is unstructured and spontaneously generated, we’re not far away from being able to analyze this for useful outcomes. Take the case of Walmart that already has store-specific Facebook pages in order to better engage consumers, push specific local offers, and keep track of the company’s huge fan following.
Data-driven decision-making in product development, marketing, and customer interaction is fast becoming the standard protocol in most industries, supplementing and in some cases replacing intuition and experience. It is also streamlining supply chains, refining workforce schedules, and optimizing manufacturing processes.
For instance, the telecommunication sector is all set to gain from social media big data. Successfully harnessing this information could help telecom service providers achieve three critical objectives for industry-wide transformation—deliver smarter services that generate new sources of revenue, transform operations to achieve business and service excellence, and build smarter networks that enhance customer experience. For instance, a leading UK telecommunications provider has recently launched a platform that monitors social media activity across the country in real time to track customer trends and generate valuable insights.
In fact, recent studies suggest that 90% of all telecommunication CMOs will use social media networks to engage with customers over the next five years. Clearly, transformation of the big data generated from these social networks into valuable insights can be extremely helpful in proactively managing user experience, while increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Most importantly, social media big data will help industries serve customers as individuals and not as segments. So how do you think that big data from social media will assist multiple industries to create more powerful products and services?