Imagine a scenario where you and your friend are catching up over coffee and you are sharing all that is going on with your life. Yes, you do the same via Facebook posts, emoticons, chats, status updates etc. but instead, you have an eager and attentive person listening in to you as you express. It is a dialogue and not the steady stream of unrelated monologues one sees so much of on social media channels. This is exactly where companies need to focus on- listening to sentiments, emotions, expressions and every tiny bit of ire that may find its outlet somewhere and may prove to be a smear on a brand.
What can companies do?
We exist in a world increasingly led by perceptions which are created and destroyed in few minutes. Social media has changed or disrupted the way we think, live, interact, converse, react and so much more. This tide is not going to ebb anytime soon with the increase in the adoption of better smartphones, better messaging apps and so much more happening in the area of mobility. Enterprises and brands will need to go beyond the tried and tested methods of listening to what is being discussed about a trend or a product across the various social media channels. They will need to do more as this year will be defined by more people entering this never ending deluge.
Currently, we have leading social media companies working towards making it simpler for legions of new users to log into this digital world through their handheld devices, smartphones and more, including smart watches too. So will the current listening tools suffice? More people, more conversations that could be unrelated and lots of data …..Makes you wonder doesn’t it?
The solution is not simple: and companies need to invest in tools and predictive analytics to sieve through this chatter and more than listen – comprehend or interpret. The need of the hour is listening into social conversations accompanied by detailed analysis and insights that act as a guide to making informed decisions.
How to build context?
In order to make the most of all the social media conversations being listened to, companies need to harness the power of sophisticated tools/ techniques through machine learning, analytics and big data. This comes about by pulling out transactional data and merging internal data with the external data. Personalization of conversations becomes easier with relevant messaging.
Companies have eons of data, needing experts to derive contextual intelligence from them. This data is a ready repository based on which a company can build a solid customer focused strategy.
So how can social analytics help companies?
Social conversations are set to explode and in this context companies need to implement detailed and effective methods to go beyond basic social listening tools. They need timely actionable insights that lead to successful marketing campaigns, product strategy and customer connect, employee engagement with overall brand building. Combining data with actionable intelligence from social media conversations helps companies make inroads into current and potential customers, which hitherto would be easy to overlook.
The writing is on the wall; make each social media conversation the springboard for higher customer engagement and happier customers. Be ready to become the friend and listen at length before giving the desired response. Get involved, jump off the fence and create dialogues.
About the Author
Krishna Ramaswami – Digital Enterprise and India Head