Having worked on numerous digital/social organizational strategies for the better part of the last decade, I find that I still occasionally run into organizational leaders that haven’t yet integrated social data into their decision making.
At most of today’s marketing conferences and events, and in modern business literature, the bulk of attention is given to reaching and engaging with your audience on social media. This is great, but it often misses the low-hanging fruit and far less resource intensive element of the social channel, which is the act of researching and analyzing your audience using public data generated by these social tools.
Let me give you some context by starting off with a few recent statistics:
- World Population: 7.2 Billion
- Active Internet Users: 3.o Billion
- Active Social Media Accounts: 2.1 Billion
- Number of Data Bytes Created Every Day : 2.5 Quintillion (that’s 18 zeros)
Out of those 2.1 Billion active social media accounts, it can be safely assumed that somewhere between 20% and 25% are regular content creators, not just lurkers or spectators. Therefore in effect, we’re looking at about 500 Million people regularly creating new data and metadata to feed the massive global social dataset. And while admittedly most of actual complex data mining is happening behind the firewalls of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, there are numerous free tools available that allow you to access a good chunk of this data, since much of it is in the public domain.