More organizations are creating social analytics pilot programmes.
These can be influencer programmes (either as stand-alone programmes or as part of larger sales or marketing programmes), programmes in sales, customer service, business development, product development or market development, or elsewhere.
Any aspect of any organization’s operations that touches a community (customers, partners, competitors) has a social web opportunity. A planned and carefully-constructed programme with clear objectives, measurements, and calls-to-action, will deliver results and will deliver new data to the organization about what the social web means to it, and what the opportunities and benchmark returns on investment might be.
Where social analytics really delivers though is in using these pilots to pump-prime a large, social strategy. The value of a social analytics programme comes partly from the fact that it delivers from the outset, as part of a larger strategy, so that the early investment in a ‘test-run’ can be justified more easily inside the organization.
But the move to embracing social analytics needs to be strategic, even if such a plan builds waypoints in its execution and investment. By creating pilot programmes as part of a bigger strategy, the definition and objectives of these pilots become refined and sharper, ROI is defined more clearly, the consequences and decisions needed are set in context, and organizations can plan how to introduce social analytics programmes and benefits into their operations where the strategic fit is best.