Though most of us have heard about Social analytics, and much more about the hype surrounding it, let’s see how Gartner defines it - “Social analytics is the process of collecting, measuring, analysing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas.”
So is it worth the excitement? Can social media analytics live-up to its expectations or is it just another technology bubble waiting to be burst?
Almost a decade back, most consumers logged onto internet to mainly search the web and access emails. Corporate website was the key and sometimes the only digital channel for the organizations to communicate news, offers, press releases et al to their customers and stakeholders. However in last few years, the use of social media has become a sweeping phenomenon for social, cultural, political and economic change.
Today close to 2 billion people around the globe have an account on a social networking site with more than 1 billion users on Facebook alone. These users consume and generate a huge volume of data ranging from their personal status to what they like and what they recommend. The speed and scale at which social data is generated every day is unprecedented yet companies are far from capturing the full potential impact of social media.
Benefits of social media analytics
In a socially connected world, it is imperative for companies to engage with their customers over multiple social channels, and these interactions can happen anywhere, anytime. However the key to growing your business is to gain insight into how people feel about your products & services and to proactively connect on social media with customers, fans, and critics. A real time service to an unsatisfied customer or an acknowledgement of a customer recommendation of your product goes a long way in building your brand value.
Social analytics can benefit the business in following ways:
- Enhance the quality of engagement by gaining insight into missed actionable opportunities
- Quickly cut through the noise to avoid the social blind spot
- Derive actionable consumer insights from social media data
- Measure the performance and impact of your marketing campaigns
- Benchmark against competitors performance
- Listen to customer bouquets and brickbats and respond in real time
In our opinion, businesses can also look to scale their use of social media platform and analytics tool to launch new products and services, to redesign customer facing sites/apps and also improve internal processes and infrastructure.
Social analytics at work
BBVA, a global banking and financial services organization, based in Spain, uses analytics solutions to monitor customer comments on social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, message boards etc. BBVA also identifies and tracks opinions about the bank and its competitors on blogs and forums, and follow news stories mentioning the bank in order to detect possible reputational risks. BBVA can now consistently gain insights into customer needs, respond to feedback quickly, measure the success of its outreach efforts, and as a result make better business decisions.
Analytics platform blueprint
An ideal social analytics platform should provide an interactive and highly customizable dashboard to measure:
- Customer reach of your brand, product or a promotion
- Demographics that represents classification by country, language, gender and age group
- Customer engagement with your post e.g. how many liked your post, shared the post etc.
- Brand sentiment that indicates the polarity of the engagement
- Social media competitor analysis so you can assess where you stand and make strides to improve.
We believe the solution should provide a 360 degree customer view powered by a social CRM instead of a traditional CRM. The solution should employ a high quality sentiment analysis engine using techniques like Natural Language Processing, Text Analysis and Computational Linguistics to identify and extract subjective information from large collections of texts, including web pages, online news, internet discussion groups, online reviews, web blogs, and social media. Sentiment charts when used in conjunction with top keywords and volume of engagement can provide a social media marketer with a powerful tool to identify & understand user behaviour.
The way forward
The social media ecosystem is rapidly changing and evolving. Tech savvy Banks and financial institutions that are first movers in synergizing their business strategies with their social media network will find themselves in a more comfortable position to manage customer needs and provide superior customer experience. One of the key challenges for the financial institutions is to find the best fit social analytics solution among a plethora of options. Luckily, with intensifying competition, technology vendors and niche players offer both market and custom solution implementations at a low cost, time and risk. Now it is up to the leadership to embrace the social technology and embark on this exciting journey.