This business of Social Networks is really intriguing. Even the very term, and how it's used.
I will not argue here, about whether "Social" media is actually social or not. I only observe, that while Social Media may facilitate more of a certain type of interaction and information exchange, it doesn't really totally do what its proponents claim: that is, give you deep insight into prospective target markets.
Let me start with something simple: From my perspective, what happens on Social Media looks arm's length and superficial. The thing that seems to drive it mostly, is some kind of insatiable need to express one's self or one's opinions. OK, let's say that provides insight. What kind of insight? Is it reliable for marketing purposes? In other words, can you take someone's word about what they think or do, or might do, as authoritative and truthful?
I say no. People are what they do, not what they say they do. They are what they do, not what they say they think. They are what they do, not what they say they are. The truth is, most people cannot be objective about themselves, and largely, not even about what they think.
This is not to say that Social Media provides no meaningful insight. It does. But how to interpret that insight, how to divine the inscrutable intentions of the creators of all this "data"---that is another thing altogether.
Suffice to say, from a reliable marketing point of view, "it ain't that simple"! Potentially useful, yes. But reliably useful? I am holding my fire and keeping my powder dry.
I see Social Media, as it relates to DS and DOOH, as powerfully connective. People are using it, and to me, that's what matters most. I advocate using social in concert with Digital signage networks and displays to connect people to the process of transacting business. Now that tells you something! Give them a suggestion, and see if they respond. Give them an incentive and a quick, convenient, easy way to respond financially, and then you have something.
Of the gathering and analysis of data, there is no end. Give me some people asking for my product or service, or responding to my sales proposition, (even if it's to get something for free,) and now I have something to sink my teeth into. To believe in Social as a primary, necessary element to effective DOOH messaging or campaigns is to believe in the tail wagging the dog.
Powerful compelling messaging on Digital Signage displays is the engine that will pull Social more strongly into the brick and mortar environment. There, you can harness the powerful connective properties of Social to actually sell something, and make some money!