Social media has become pervasive as a market space in recent times and there is little doubt that it will surely become the largest, and probably the most unpredictable market there is right now. Because of its rich diversity, it is important to use analytical tools on social media carefully. Not all tools fit all the data and hence, four distinct types of analytical procedures have emerged out of this scenario. Analysts have realized the infinite possibility of social media and its exponential ability to spread the news and hence, they have categorized such data explosion according to the needs and their potentials.
Among social media analytics or SMA, descriptive type is probably the simplest that gives account of the proceedings in the social media by aggregating data in terms of visualizations, reports and clustering. To formulate a business opportunity, such type of analytics works on readily available data like user comments to understand the trends, moods and sentiments of the current market. As it stands, it is the most common form and also the most fundamental one in terms of getting a whiff of the market in terms of the topics in vogue and the themes in context.
This kind of analytics is probably the most sought-after and yet, the most difficult one to perform. As the name suggests, it’s all about telling how the trend will shape up instead of the trend itself, which takes analytical powers to a whole new levels. From future of trends to the emergence of new ones in the future as an event- predictive analytics tells you why it will happen in the future. So, if an user expresses something regarding the product, such analytics will tell you whether the user ends up buying it or not.
It is an interesting kind of analytics that searches the causal connections between an event and the social media reactions. It works in tandem with descriptive analytics and is precisely the opposite of predictive type, as it works on the past. While predictive analytics do work on historical data, it talks about future while diagnostic analytics will analyze and tell you where you went wrong. By working on factors like behavioural analytics, retrospective analysis and causal relations between outcomes and efforts, it allows a company to know if the marketing team is doing it right.
Prescriptive analytics, as the name suggests, don’t just tell you the future trend, but also tells you what should be the best path in a scenario. It comes extremely handy when you are dealing with a diverse group of social media users and you don’t know what they will respond to. in those situations, such analytics comes out with a pattern among the diverse behaviours and will tell you what you need to do so that there is an optimum reach. While these analytical tools are diverse in nature, the most important bit is to use them in conjunction wherever needed depending on the kind of user groups you are targeting.