One trend that marketers and entrepreneurs alike are trying to utilize is the mining of dark data from social media. It may sound like something a supervillain in a made-for-TV movie may use to “hack the mainframe,” but it may be the crux of your next marketing strategy.
Research firm Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”
This data is frequently unstructured, making it difficult to utilize effectively. Structured data is easy to analyze, it populates spreadsheets after a customer enters their information on your website and other clear roads of analysis.
Unstructured data, in contrast, is information that may be collected but its not utilized effectively. Almost 90 percent of unstructured dark data falls through the cracks and is never put to use. One big source of unstructured data is social media posts.
Customers will share insights into your business and brand through their posts about their purchasing habits. This is frequently done through not just through the selfie, but the captions associated with the photo as well.
A picture can tell a lot of information to people (what times of items you sell, their quality, and their overall experience) but the caption can help you understand more what their attitude towards those events are.
A picture may show an attractively plated meal, but the caption may talk about how there was a long wait for the food as well as poor customer service. These captions, and subsequent comments, can offer a keen insight into what people like and dislike about your brand called sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis can be utilized to understand attitudes toward your brand, and there’s multiple ways you can go about this. One method of analysis is through the building of word clouds which examine the most used words in a few days of dark data. Pro-marketers can easily pull dark data from those who like or follow a business’ social pages into software which can do the legwork for you.
Brokers have some options that are less sophisticated but can still do sentiment analysis of dark data effectively.
The IProspect blog suggests to use “a blend of monitoring tools,” many of them free, to complete a sentiment analysis.
A better understanding of dark data means you aren’t limited to just basic social media analysis tools. With these concepts, you too can illuminate your dark data and shine some light on future prospects.