Although the trend is being driven by a need to monetise social media sites, the opening up of insight and data to marketers is an important step in them becoming more relevant to consumers.
Instagram is the latest brand to start providing ad data after creating a suite of advertising analytics tools offering a deeper view into how branded paid and organic content is shared on its site. Previously this information was available on request but now marketers can access it via a dashboard.
This works well for social media as people drive it. Consumers don’t use the sites to engage with brand messages, although they are increasingly using it for customer service purposes.
Messages and opportunities are also happening in real-time so it’s a good step change that analytics tool are able to provide brands with data about what works and when, otherwise they could risk annoying consumers or potentially ignoring them.
The reason Twitter’s research tool came to fruition was for this reason and was a direct response to what brands were telling the social media site they wanted, which was to connect with consumers in every day moments.
Facebook also launched a tool to show advertisers how mobile ads on its service can generate sales, which lets brands see how people move between devices before they purchase.
These services might be self-serving to an extent as they want brands to advertise with them but the positive is that the insight exists.
The more tools there are, the more real-time research-led choices can be made for brands to truly connect with audiences in the right way and moment.
However, it’s important that real-time techniques do not have an effect on insight companies in terms of lead-times for project-based or in-depth market research.
Real-time might work in this case but there is also the need for longer lead times on bigger, in-depth research projects into consumer behaviour.