Marketers are under increasing pressure these days both to come up with creative campaigns that convert customers, and to show how those campaigns work. Conversions and revenues are the language of success, and MarTech platforms have to speak it. That’s as true of social media marketing as any other channel.
While the standard platform can show how a particular campaign on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn led customers to click on a given post or Tweet, the best ones are able to analyze the clickstream data to show how many clickers visited the sales page or even made a purchase. In the end, marketers want to see what social engagement is worth.
But in social media, it’s not always simple to see or understand the connection between an e-mail campaign and the click-through rate on a corresponding landing page.
Social media APIs offer the opportunity to build bridges between social media platforms and MarTech platforms. As social media becomes a marketing channel of choice, the opportunities are proliferating. In April, Pinterest announced that it would offer API access to 10 marketing partners that develop social media management programs. Facebook and Twitter have been doing so for some time, and those APIs offer content tagging, publishing optimization and other tools that marketers will be looking for.
But the social media ecosystem is changing all the time. When a social media platform changes, APIs and systems that process their data must change, too.
Facebook’s APIs change often enough, and sometimes they change in significant, even disruptive ways. For instance, apps used to be able to gather friend data, such as location, relationship status or work history. But when Facebook changed its API to limit marketers’ access to users’ private data, that data was no more.
It isn’t just the APIs. As platforms adjust their business models and offer new capabilities, the very data they gather changes, prompting adjustments from the apps that analyze it. Until now, raw Twitter data has been available through resellers, but at the end of the summer, it won’t be. As a result, apps like HAWQ or DataSift will no longer be able to analyze Twitter data in the same way.
It may be obvious that MarTech platforms must integrate capabilities for streaming social media data for ROI analysis. What’s less obvious, however, is that they must be ready for the constant stream of changes that come with the rich data that marketers are looking for.