As social media measurement tools become more powerful, so will the need for highly skilled people to interpret the results.
That was a recurring theme at the opening day of TorontoTechWeek. In both the State Of The Nation address and the Web 2.0. session, speakers acknowledged that while social media data searches had become more precise, they still only showed where users were spending their time. Metrics still don’t exist to suggest why users frequent, link to and post on certain sites.
So what’s the answer? To me, it’s skilled communications analysts who can properly interpret the data.
Technology has advanced to the point where it truly needs human interaction to achieve its full potential. Programs can identify patterns and tally totals of user behaviour, but they can’t, and may never, explain the psychology behind it.
Communicators-those who essentially interpret human behaviour as a livelihood, are necessary to translate the data into usable information.
Organizations still need to adjust for the change, of course. PR practitioners will need to upgrade their skills to know how to interpret social media data. But it’s interesting how the more that technology advances, the greater the need for human involvement.