Guest post from Edward Burek, Product Marketing Manager, IBM Social Media Analytics
Follow Ed on Twitter: @edburek
When people learn that I hail from New Jersey I am often inundated with the immortal phrase, “Which Exit?”
It’s the way those from New Jersey help identify with each other and determine exactly where in the state you grew up.
Sometimes it’s not that easy to accurately pinpoint an exact location with just one question.
Often, we end up asking, “Where are we?” or “Which direction do we go?” or “How did I get here in the first place?”
These same questions arise when we talk to customers and potential customers about social media. To help guide them on their social journey, we have developed a framework to determine where they are and where they may want to go.
This Social Framework was created by Jennifer Hanniman, the product manager for our social media analytics solution.
It is a simple and effective matrix that helps communicate the best way to develop a social analytics strategy inside of the business. Each of the phases – Assess, Segment, Relate and Discover – represents pieces of the map to guide a social media approach. In many ways they build on each other but advance as one.
There are plenty of ways to determine where you are on the road to social maturity and thousands of models. This framework, however, is about using social media to validate investment decisions, understand your audiences, get to root cause and discover new ideas or opportunities.
The phases are:
Assess – Typically the initial step in social media analytics usually referred to as listening. In this step you are monitoring what’s happening in the social world but not really harvesting great details and definitely not incorporating it into action.
Segmentation – At this phase you are beginning to delve into the data to garner details for questions such as, “What sites do males comment the most on when buying candy for their wives?” This type of question leads to more actionable results. In this way, you can now target your message and ensure you are getting the most sway with your intended targets.
Relate – This is a more advanced way at looking at key “hotwords” or important topics where you want to determine the strength of negative or positive sentiment. This step is paramount as you begin to expand the usage of social media. It’s also at this stage that you can begin to identify the affinity of two topics. For example, when we see the words “IBM” and “Smarter Planet” we see positive sentiment, but if we see the sentiment clustered together around those terms to be very compacted then we will see that as highly concentrated or a “high” affinity. In this case, a competitor may not want to use those terms as they are strongly associated with IBM.
Discovery – We have all heard or used the statement, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” The discovery component identifies what you don’t know. Many times when you create a model or use a boiler plate or blueprint, you use it as your first step. Discovery is that next step. How do you add what you now know to the model and iterate again? For instance, a bank may be looking at a model for its own credit cards associated with their airline partners. Using a discovery engine like IBM’s evolving topics function, you may see issues like bankruptcy associated with other banks, and that could have an impact on your card’s perception. Even though the bank would never have thought of adding this search to its model because it was not an issue, discovery will show that it is very relevant and important.
What is important about this framework is that this is a continuous evolution and not just a one and done experiment. Moreover, as you add functionality and content you will see this framework grow and evolve.
Stay tuned… over the next few weeks we will delve more into this framework and identify appropriate next steps for your business. Now there’s no need to ever get lost.
For more information:
· Learn more about IBM’s social media analytics
· Download the whitepaper, “Social Media Analytics: Making Customer Insights Actionable”
· Read the Hypatia Research report of top of social analytics vendors