“Positive”, “Negative” or “Neutral” are the most common sentiment measurement related metrics on many Social Media dashboards or visualizations in an executive presentation. As a matter of fact, if organizations or leaders are being presented insights and analyses on the basis of just these metrics then they are not really getting the complete picture or story. Social platforms provide brands with many options to evaluate their positions on the basis of customer voice and opinions. Additionally, social media has enabled customers and brands to engage, discuss and mutually agree to solutions. However, brands need to realize that optimal leverage of social media is not just about brand building or driving sentiments.
Leading firms and brands are leveraging social platforms very uniquely and crafting their own identities. Since brand building is not about blindly replicating or mirroring the competition, it is important to craft one’s own story and let customers define the usage of social platforms.
Prior to crafting the solution and then driving adoption and usage, it is necessary to analyze and understand where suspects, prospects or customers are gaining increasing prominence on social platforms. It is also crucial to understand how they engage on social platforms and what white spaces organizations can create for their customers to engage, collaborate and make decisions about the products/services. It might not be surprising that the analysis reveals that instead of building presence on the most common social platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it is better to create one’s own social platform.
Once organizations identify the platform, it is important to define the strategy for the platform. Social and customer engagement platforms should be used to drive 3 main areas – 1) Brand Building, 2) Sales and 3) Customer Satisfaction. It is also important to understand that neither the 3 areas are independent nor only one can be executed. They are all interlinked and once you start with one, the other is a necessity or a norm. But naturally organizations cannot build a platform to just drive sales on social platforms. They would fail miserably on this.
Social or customer engagement platforms can reveal critical insights that can help you design the business strategy based on product, competition, promotion, pricing, and distribution. Many industries and brands have been able to identify green field opportunities successfully, and then strategically make R&D investments. This has helped reduce cost, improve margins and finally drive better ROI for the organization.
The three focus areas also help define the measurement criteria for any CXO to measure the outcomes/ROI of the investments made on social or customer engagement platforms. Hence, traditional sentiment measurement is slowly dying and industries are now moving to better data and strategy-driven Social Media ROI measurement frameworks.