How To Cope With Fickle Social Media Audiences? Know Thy Customer

By Colleen Kazemi | Small Business

The social media landscape reminds me of the weather report – wait a few minutes, and something is bound to change.

Just last month, plenty of social media, technology and marketing professionals were caught off guard by the news that tech titan Yahoo! has agreed to purchase the hot microblogging platform, Tumblr for $1.1 billion —a significant price for a company with only $13 million in revenue a year right now. However, as bewildered as the peanut gallery was by the move, no one could deny the “cool factor” that Tumblr, which is popular among teens, young people, style aficionados and other fans of pop culture, brought to the Yahoo! portfolio.

Of course, that’s likely part of what Marissa Meyer, head of Yahoo!, had in mind.

But there’s also no denying this was a smart move on many more levels. To me, this acquisition says Yahoo! is:

  • paying attention to what its customers want,
  • keeping a close eye on where the industry is headed (and what tools will be needed to get there), and
  • savvy enough to recognize a solid, scalable model when it see one.

For years, Teradata Applications has preached the value of staying on top of where the market is headed. By aligning analytics, data and applications to monitor, predict and respond, you go further, faster. Or, to put it another way, the more you know, the more opportunities you can identify, the more mistakes you can avoid and the more agile you can be overall. Plus, the more quickly you know it, the better chance you have to capitalize on trends, shifts and transitions in your industry.

Yahoo! is clearly using all the tools at its disposal. How can you do the same? How can you stay current with your customers’ needs, your industry’s temperature and the countless other aspects of the way business is getting done?

  • Get fast. Speed is critical, and when it comes to choosing a platform to unite and keep tabs on your marketing, customer service and operations efforts, you want to select a solution that helps you make decisions in real time — not hours, days, weeks or months. In marketing, the Tortoise is beaten by the Hare.
  • Integrate. Make sure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing—and what they’re doing with your customers. The more integrated your applications are across your organization, the more accurate and actionable your data will be, which leads to the kind of continuous audience engagement that truly delivers on the customer’s expected experience.
  • Embrace data. Use the right data tools—and use them frequently and regularly—to say on top of broader industry trends, opportunities and challenges. If you do, you’ll be able to identify exactly how you’re attracting attention and response . . . and which of your efforts are falling short of accomplishing your goals.
  • Ask plenty of questions. The best way to find out is to ask. Surveys, feedback forms and focus groups may give you invaluable insight into which of your methods and messages are hitting the target, and which are falling short Use all of this data to reveal the patterns and answers that will positively impact your decision-making, and ultimately, your ROI.

Yahoo! can make big moves because they’re on top of where things are headed. Can your business afford to be a step behind, stuck on MySpace, so to speak? Teradata Applications believes that knowledge is power—and that the right tools can put that knowledge reliably in your hands, every day.

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