Are you struggling to get your paid media to perform at optimum levels? Part of the reason for this is that the data you have for paid media and the data you have for earned media probably live in different silos. In fact, you may be in a situation where the data doesn’t even live in the same companies – your ad agency might have your paid media data and your PR agency might have your earned media data. This is a recipe, if not for disaster, at least for mediocrity.

You are paying right now for data about your audience through advertising. You are paying (at the very least in time and talent) for data about your audience through social media and earned media. Are you putting those data sets together?

Here’s an easy example. Let’s say you’ve got your Twitter audience working really well. People are following you, people are engaging with you, and you feel pretty good about it. Let’s say your paid ads aren’t doing quite so well. Take a look at your Twitter audience and when they are active (and a number of different services will give you this information, such as SocialBro, FollowerWonk, Crowdbooster, and many, many others). What times of day are they most active on your social networks?

It shouldn’t be a great leap of imagination to realize that your top performing social media schedule is also a good starting schedule to test when you should serve your advertisements.

Flip the coin around: maybe you’ve got a robust advertising presence and years of data about when people see your ads, when they click on them, and when they convert, but you’re just getting started out with social media, or your social media isn’t having the desired impact.

AdWords Day Parts - Google Analytics

Again, not a huge leap of imagination here: test your social posting schedule using your advertising performance schedule and see if it resonates.

The greatest challenge many organizations are going to face is breaking down the walls that separate earned, owned, and paid media. If you can do this now, while these media types are still relatively segregated, then you’ll have a massive advantage over your competitors who won’t see this train coming down the tracks for years. The future is one in which earned, owned, and paid converge. Converge your data now and you’ll be well-prepared to move first and gain significant advantage in your industry.

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