The Growing Importance of Social Media and Its Value as a Vehicle for Conversation
written by Matt Prutting
We have mentioned before the growing importance of social media and its value as a vehicle for conversation with a consumer base. Marketers now have instant feedback in the form of hits, clicks, likes, dislikes, trends, and even video consumer review. Companies are now presented with an embarrassment of riches, so to speak, and are under tremendous pressure to utilize this information in a way that is clearly and quickly effective.
John Kennedy, Vice President of Corporate Marketing and IBM, gives an insightful interview in The Atlantic about the challenges and solutions that this sector is faced with. He specifically mentions IBM’s Social Sentiment Index, which helps to organize and extract valuable insight from the “extremely public and unfiltered voice of their constituents”. With social analytics at such high demand, companies are putting increased pressure on marketers to not only promote brand advocacy, but to continually gauge and adjust the efficiency of their efforts.
The paradigm of social media based conversation can be accurately described as millions of voices (all of equal importance) talking over one another. In addition, this ease of access puts added pressure on companies to demonstrate their genuine interest in consumers by incorporating suggestions of social media conversation into their business model. Not only are businesses engaged more intimately with a greater number of consumers, but they are also held accountable to a more diverse and vocal range of opinions and experiences.
Here is a report of the Social Business Index, which provides a weekly ranking of over 30,000 global brands based on social performance. This index, a project of the Dachs Group, analyzes conversations on social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc) and the subsequent activity of the company. It measures effectiveness of driving outcomes from the information they take in, and, in essence- how closely they are listening. A brief look at this list can help us understand who is most effectively utilizing social media and perhaps what it is about their conversational process that is most beneficial.
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