Spending on internet advertising recently surpassed newspaper spending, with heavy investment in non-traditional social media marketing programmes. This highlights the fact that businesses - large and small - are beginning to tap into the unique communicative power of social media.
But while social media enables businesses and organisations to reach their target audiences in new and novel ways, it also presents challenges. Millions of social media posts are generated every day, and consumers are routinely bombarded with marketing messages. How can companies - and especially SMEs - cut through the noise to deliver effectively their message?
New tools for analysing, measuring and visualizing social media content are needed, which is why an EU project was recently launched. The OPTIMIZR initiative aims to optimise social media campaigns by tackling unstructured text and information diffusion through the development of an innovative analysis tool. This will ultimately help SME marketing agencies and their customers to improve the efficiency of their social media actions.
The project aims to bring social network analysis up to date. This is crucial, as the market is constantly evolving. For example, online marketing has shifted away from a model based on click-through rates towards a less measurable model that involves multiple transmitters of information (tweeters, bloggers, fans, etc.). Assessing the success of this model is much harder to achieve.
The OPTIMIZR project will address this by combining information technology, marketing data and modelling capabilities that enable the system to provide predicted outcomes from various scenarios and social media marketing strategies. This will provide a better understanding of social network structure and its impact on information diffusion.
The project will first assess how social media campaigns can be maximised. This will be achieved by identifying influencers that could help to improve the diffusion of messages and online communities that best fit their campaign target. Predicting the social spread of a campaign will enable marketing actions to be adjusted according to real performance.
The project will next monitor the social media marketing impact. The aim will be to establish metrics for evaluate the efficiency of an online marketing campaign.
Explore further: EU open source software project receives green light
More information: Project factsheet: cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/109854_en.html