PRSSA National Conference: Big data skills make you stand out

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Marketing and advertising technology are beginning to merge in the social media world, and employees need to know how to use it.

Social media is an ever growing industry, and just understanding its principles isn’t enough to create engaging social content anymore. According to Devon Wijesinghe, Insightpool CEO, we will create more data in the next year, than we have in the last 100 years combined. What does that mean for social media professionals?

Big data refers to all the information social media users generate online and changes the way marketers look at social media. With big data, companies can learn to understand social media trends, and from that data create marketing strategies to target audiences based on their online use.

Learning big data skills can also help professionals become more desirable for employers moving forward. With all of the information we are generating each and every day, companies need people with the skills to interpret that information.

Big Data is king

Wijesinghe spoke to students at the PRSSA National Conference about big data’s takeover.

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Devon Wijesinghe speaks to a group of students at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on November 09, 2015. (Photo credit?)

“Marketing tech plus advertising tech equals madtech and it’s taking over,” Wijesinghe said. Combining these two aspects of technology is going to help social media professionals optimize work for other companies and brands.

Social media is helping to create more data than we know what to do with. Sifting through all that information to find a brand’s audience is difficult. Especially since, as Wijesinghe puts it, “We are the new goldfish,” referring the attention span of online users.

Big data will help companies better understand how to reach their audiences. Some industries that take big data and use it in unique ways include finance, government agencies and even firefighters. With data from social media, government agencies can even track terrorist groups.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Millennials are quickly becoming known as the generation that doesn’t trust authority. Millennials would rather listen to their peers than to brands. This trend has come to be known as word-of-mouth marketing.

Word-of-mouth marketing is becoming the most effective way to win over millennial buyers. The trick to word of mouth marketing is getting their online peers to sell your brand. Knowing what peers are saying about your brand online gives companies the ability to join in on the conversation.

The thing about millennials is they want to buy online, but they don’t want to be sold. “You need to take the interactions we have in person and make them digital,” Wijesinghe said. This is how you’ll find and interact with your audience online.

Winning with big data

Outsourcing big data can be a pricy pursuit. Big data companies charge a pretty penny to interpret information for companies, creating a great opportunity for other professionals.

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Employees who have the ability to understand and interpret big data will become more and more valuable. (Photo credit?)

If companies can save money by hiring employees with big data skills, they will. Employees need to learn to take analytics from social media and interpret them into useful information for the company.

Some tools that could help students learn these skills is to begin to use Hootsuite or other social media management software online. Another option is to find online courses in social media analytics.

Monitoring Social Media

Another way companies can use big data, is by monitoring what their audiences discuss. If companies had the data to see where engagement is online, they could develop a strategic plan around that information.

Imagine the social media department had a report delivered to them that explained where their audience engaged online, what they were talking about and how to interact with them. Wouldn’t it make marketing efforts easy?

Developing the skills to understand and interpret big data can help you to bring value to your company.

Big data will be a growing field over the next few years, and developing big data skills now will allow social media professionals to excel in their profession.

According to Wijesinghe, a Pew Research study states millennials are 62 percent more likely to become loyal to a brand if they interact with it online. So learn how to interpret big data, find your users and develop strategic marketing plans to win brand loyalty.

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