Fostering Smart Customer Experience through Social Media

Corporations and governments alike are in constant search of ways to better understand and engage their customers and citizens. Often employing the use of demographics and prior purchase behavior data, they aim to develop a realistic 360 degree view of their target audiences in order to base how promotions and services can best reach them. Now imagine if that same method were applied to consumers’ social media groups? Social listening empowers us to grok our audiences’ social interactions, likes, dislikes, and interests. With Social Network Analysis (SNA) technology, examining customers’ relationships to assess buying patterns is now easier than ever.

SNA allows businesses to gain insights into non-obvious relationships between people, places and things. By evaluating consumer behavior and identifying individuals who demonstrate a strong ability to influence others, businesses can delineate consumers’ sphere of influence and the likelihood to interact with a company, product or campaign. Because of this, SNA can help develop several highly targeted marketing applications that can assist in gaining a better understanding of customers.

Better understanding of customers means better ways to reach them with relevant content that they are willing to consume and share with others.

This specifically includes:

Improved Customer Targeting: A customer who is linked to other customers is more likely to purchase again. While how much more purchase depends on the specific industry and business landscape, the integration of social network variables can generate enormous increases in response to attraction and retention campaigns. Marketing applications of social network data include the following:

• Best next-offer to customers

• More targeted acquisition campaigns

• More relevant retention campaigns

• Development of marketing automation efforts

Brand Ambassadors: Loyal customers who are vocal, active and passionate typically make great brand ambassadors; they are respected and tend to be in professions that require networking. But finding them is not always easy and SNA is a perfect way to determine who fits the bill. With the rapid growth and impact of blogs, social media sites and other social platforms, enormous sources of data are being created about customers and prospects. Insights gleaned from SNA can be used to identify new product opportunities, optimize pricing, and improve customer service.

Reducing Account Churn: Retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one. What’s more, “saved” subscribers may help decrease churn within their own social networks, depending on their sphere of influence, which is primarily determined based on how ell connected they are. Evaluating this data can provide insights toward offering well-connected customers special rewards or other customized experiences to help increase engagement. With SNA, this can be accomplished without relying solely on external social network data. As a result, integrating internal and/or external network variables into traditional predictive analysis models can dramatically increase their effectiveness.

Social Network Analysis is still in its early days of development, but its adoption is growing quickly. So even if your business is not ready to implement SNA at the moment, it’s vital to begin the process of “future-proofing” data and storage strategies. Organizations will increasingly be looking to ways to understand, identify and exploit network relationships to achieve specific business goals and considering this method will be key to remaining competitive. To learn more about how SNA can work for your business, make sure to check out our whitepaper titled, “The Importance of Social Network Analysis.”

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