How to Reward Relationships Using Social Media Analytics

February 10, 2011
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Here at CI we realize that we are not the only ones working hard in the social media and text analytics field; a number of organization and individuals are doing great things and creating great solutions and so we are always interested to hear and exchange ideas with other people in the industry. Yesterday I joined the Mzinga webinar called ” Using Social Intelligence to Help Shape Customer Relationships & Drive ROI”. The webinar was presented by @yoshinav and @rwang0.

Here at CI we realize that we are not the only ones working hard in the social media and text analytics field; a number of organization and individuals are doing great things and creating great solutions and so we are always interested to hear and exchange ideas with other people in the industry. Yesterday I joined the Mzinga webinar called ” Using Social Intelligence to Help Shape Customer Relationships & Drive ROI”. The webinar was presented by @yoshinav and @rwang0. It was a really great, though-provoking presentation and one that I had the great fortune to attend.

During the webinar, the idea of awarding individuals within a community came up; the presenter spoke about how to acknowledge and reward people who contribute their expertise or time to a community.   One of the suggestions was to use some sort of visual cue to indicate the status of an individual’s place within a community, which is pretty common and obviously works pretty well.  I began posting questions about how to recognize and appreciate the time and investment individuals make within community and received some insightful responses from the twitter feed: namely from Martijn Linssen, @MartijnLinssen and B Ganesan @brenny.  I began thinking more about our default way of assigning visual cues to experts in a community. Most of these reward schemes seem to value the individual in hierarchical highly visible manner.  There is nothing wrong with that approach. Clearly it works. But I also think it can have unexpected consequences within a community: newbies may be less likely to engage if their is culture of competition as opposed to collaboration (hey newbie: read the message board before posting). For example, you may have a Gold card but I have a Platinum, you may be on level 5 of a video game and have earned a sword and a shield but  I’m on level 15 and have that shield, sword, a magic robe and headdress made of snakes.

Social Media and Text Analytics

I think that we are missing out on opportunity to nurture relationships with other members of our community, who may not be status driven.  We have the technology (gosh, I sound like a Treki)  that enables us to gain insights into customer considerations and preferences and from the language they use, where they are in a sales cycle. We can map online profiles, when appropriate, to other data resources, like traditional CRM systems, which will give us a more enhanced view of the customer or set of customers. We can feed that data into business process systems so that the right person reaches out to the right customer with the most appropriate message. Additionally, we are learning that behavior, level of engagement and interaction can be platform specific. I mention all this to suggest that organizations can begin to better recognize and value the level of engagement of their customers beyond levels or badges and that perhaps in an environment that is supposed to be about collaboration and sharing they aren’t the most effective means of acknowledging the value of the relationship.

Once robust analytics are applied to an audience, different subgroups may emerge, and from there organizations can create reward systems that may have more appeal to a particular sub- group’s motivation. Companies don’t need to necessarily rely on the default – status recognition – to value their customers (and provide more marketing opportunities).  As companies begin to  monitor emerging trends or apply filters that surface customer intentions, organizations can begin to build more meaningful relationship that truly value a customer’s level of engagement and interest.

Valuing a Relationship

There are many relationships within a community: between different members of the community, between the organizer and participants, between new and old members, or active and passive participants. These relationships and the level of engagement can be fluid and change as new topics, new member or new ideas are presented.  Monitoring and mapping these cultural shifts and emerging trends is part of having an understanding that a community’s dynamic can change, which is a critical component of any outreach strategy. That strategy coupled with social media insights can give an organization methods or tactics for engaging with once-active community members, passionate and opinionated members, newcomers, or early-adopters. If a visual cue, like a badge, is the most appropriate method for valuing a customer, insights from analysis will provide us with that information.

The webinar went for approximately an hour so this post is really in response to a very small portion. I recommend checking out the recorded version or reviewing the hashtag #mzinga if you want more information on the rest of the presentation.