Target the right social metrics to the right stakeholder

Durga Prasad aqMost corporations are no longer happy to just have a Facebook page. They are using social media to develop their businesses and become social enterprises. Dell was one of the early pioneers of this model when they used their Twitter account @DellOutlet to offer online deals. Earlier this year, The Coca Cola Company celebrated Black History Month in the US by launching the ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign.The objective of this social media initiative was to build a deeper community engagement by reaching out to young African-American people and helping them achieve their career goals. This online contest allowed parents to nominate their teens (aged 16-19),giving them a chance to win a short apprenticeship with either Grammy winner Ne-Yo, or fashion designer Tracy Reese or Essence president Michelle Ebanks.

Corporations are investing in social media for crowdsourcing ideas, recruiting talent, servicing customers with social CRM, improving sales through online promotions and discounts, monitoring competition, developing influencer programs and of course running brand campaigns.

Where there is investment there must be measurement but the question is , are the indices that we use to measure social media; indices like SOV, Sentiment Ratio, Share of conversation, Message reach, Share of Meme (Influential Ideas), Viral factor really tie back to giving one straight answer on ROI?

It is my belief from interacting with clients across the Retail, CPG, Consumer Technology and Food Services industries that what global marketers want to understand is whether their spends in social media impact their sales, profitability, consumer loyalty in the real world, beyond a “like/dislike’ on a campaign page. So, one definite trend in the social media analytics space is the move from developing “social media listening” tools and platforms which decode and measure social media data, to designing business applications which can integrate external data ( sales, retail panel), internal company data(brand, consumer, traditional media data) and social media data across a campaign period . This will enable clients to understand business performance not social media engagements.

A business application which provides integrated insight works with the following logic ; it aggregates data sets impacted by a campaign,analyzes their interplays and co-relations, and helps clients answer questions like “Did the social conversation around my brand move in conjunction with my sales patterns?” Or “Did a visit description of my store on social media encourage actual footfalls or translate into sampling or sales? “Or “Is there a significant co-relation between consumer awareness of my product and social media mentions?” Or “Does social sentiment suggest that consumers purchase my competition because of better deals?”

The second trend which is developing in this space is what I fondly call “The Post Box Model “. Clients request analytics companies to develop software applications which can “target the right social metrics to the right stakeholder.” For example; a brand manager in a large multinational, should not need to scan the universe of information about his company to figure out what is happening on his brand.Their analytics partner should be able to categorize this information across different brands and publish relevant brand insight to the relevant brand manager.

For a mid-market company, ‘role based’ social insight can be served up. Technology can be used to segment the results from an integrated marketing campaign and provide the CXO with company performance metrics; the Knowledge and Insight Managers with data customized across brands & the Marketing/Brand Managers with performance metrics for their individual product lines. Social Media Analytics is an exciting place for a young company like Analytics Quotient to be in. Every day we come to work and try to redefine what an analytics service provider can do for clients.

(The author is Co-Founder, Innovation Lead and CTO, Analytics Quotient)