Social Never Sleeps

3 ways social media data helps marketers stay agile

Modern marketing is all about The Now. Because consumers can (and do) engage with and react to campaigns instantly, brands must use this fast feedback to optimize campaigns in real-time. In fact, when a campaign fails, it’s often for some combination of these reasons:

1. That’s so five minutes ago.

Your strategy is no longer relevant to your audience. Their interests have shifted, their focus is on other things, or ads that capture a moment in time and connect to their emotions are no longer important to them.

2. Audience Fail

A new trend has emerged that you didn’t or couldn’t predict. Monitoring an audience and their changing interests over the course of developing a campaign can uncover new interests or potential niche topics of interests that might change the game for your team.

3. Where did everyone go?

Sometimes, the audience that was interested in a potential topic shifts. Tracking that behavior over time can be crucial when building a new program or campaign.

4. Brand on blast

A celebrity decided to dish on your brand, and right at launch time. Yikes!
Luckily, an increasingly popular tactic, agile marketing, has emerged to help marketers create and optimize campaigns to get better results. In this post, we discuss the ways social media data and agile marketing can work together to help marketers make the most of their efforts.
Let’s start with a little background on agile marketing.

How Agile Marketing Can Help

Why should you try agile Marketing and what exactly is it? A big part of agile marketing is just as it sounds — making nimble tweaks to campaigns based on data to ensure the campaigns to improve alignment with the intended audiences. It can also be used to help prevent a full-on brand crisis, removing or preventing an advertisment’s full run through media by pulling it, or removing the controversial section.
The primary goal of agile planning is to build smaller, strategic goals rather than overly broad strategies that might not fully come to fruition or be too hulking to change course in real-time. Agile allows marketing teams to pivot and change strategy quickly, based on data and feedback.

Almost one-third of marketers are using agile marketing to address the blind spots of long planning cycles. In agile marketing, teams run frequent, inexpensive experiments. Through continuous iteration, agile marketers can learn from what’s not working and fuel the things that are. Agile teams are also more responsive. They are better prepared to latch onto relevant cultural moments and real-time crises for their audiences. So how can marketers get to see what’s happening in real time, and what’s going on across all current campaigns?


One key piece of the puzzle is social data, which allows marketers to instantly understand changes in campaign performance and consumer sentiment.

Agile in Action with Social Data

Why is social an important part of agile? Social data is a natural companion for agile marketing. The immediacy of insights, the ability to see audience reactions in real-time, the complete view of a campaign— all of these factors offer a fuller view of your campaign and its results. When might a marketer find value in using social data?

Identify trending events

A great example of using agile was during the most recent World Cup. By monitoring the event in real-time, marketers were able to respond with real-time coverage for Luis Suarez’s now infamous “bite” during one of the games. Snickers was able to plug a quick ad, which received over 15 million impressions. By remaining agile, brands have more room to pivot towards success.
Still not convinced? Hear the value of real-time decision-making it from our one of customers:

“We experienced some negative feedback to our advertising campaign, and we were able to optimize our approach and our brand marketing for campaigns in Q2, and so we’ve seen a really big spike in positive sentiment over that and the next quarter due to those adjustments.”
–Priya Vaswani, Social Media Marketing Manager at SoFi

Change campaigns on the fly

Agile might not be the right choice for everyone— plenty of teams prefer to use the traditional waterfall model. But as the demand for campaign success must match the pace of real-time coverage, live-streaming, and social media, the growth of agile and social data offer more flexibility for iterative sprints and smaller-scale failures when reporting for client campaigns. There’s more room to adjust and improve with social data in hand.

Identify influencers in real-time

When your business is living and breathing a project, it can be hard to see some unusual connections that might prove interesting to your customer base. Agile allows you to see the interactions that naturally unfold with potential influencers and respond accordingly.
The website-building company Squarespace offers a telling example. Squarespace has been using podcasts as one of their larger channels for paid advertising. We can see the conversation spikes related to the promotions. It might behoove their digital ad team to participate with key influencers (similar to their John Malkovich placements) to do voiceover work on the podcast ads.
Marketers never know what developments will help or hurt their campaigns once they’ve launched. Using social media data to react quickly can help companies like Squarespace identify any influencers that are helping expand the reach of their campaigns. Doing so can open the door new opportunities to get a campaign in front of a much larger audience.
New technologies are making agile marketing easier to adopt. Our team at Crimson Hexagon launched HelioSight to help marketers rapidly develop data-driven experiments, measure their impact, and learn from their results. It’s an incredible experience to see a new marketing practice take off. And it’s no wonder we’re seeing this today. Technology, media and culture are evolving quickly, and traditional planning cycles can no longer keep up. A more dynamic world needs an agile mindset.
Have you struggled with research and planning in an agile environment?  Reach out for a demonstration of our social data tool built for agile strategy, HelioSight.

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