Retail - Social

The most important thing to recognize about social media is the fact that the content is user generated. Social networks provide all of the tools their members require to become content producers; social network members submit photos, videos and other forms of multimedia as well as provide customer reviews, content for blogs and vlogs and links to other social networking websites that they find noteworthy. The “content” comes from the users themselves, not from the publishers, and this is an important distinction. The publisher supplies all of the necessary tools for the content’s distribution but it must remain at arm’s length from the actual content to ensure that the integrity of the content remains intact.

A retailer is only as strong as its weakest customer relationship and we believe that social media can help the retailer reach their customers in highly efficient and what can be extraordinarily affordable ways. Social media can help retailers in the following ways:

·       Adding interactivity to its Website

·       Brand and Anti-Brand management

·       Brand loyalty enhancement

·       Building fanbases

·       Crisis management

·       Discovering important brand trends

·       Driving traffic to a website

·       Engaging customers and potential customers

·       Harvesting customer feedback

·       Reputation management

·       Social Shopping

Social Media Analytics is the practice of gathering data from blogs and social media websites and analyzing that data to make business decisions. The most common use of social media is to mine customer sentiment. It evolved out of the disciplines Social Network Analysis, Machine Learning, Data Mining, Information Retrieval (IR), and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Social media analytics is a powerful tool for uncovering customer sentiment dispersed across countless online sources. This analysis is often called Social Media Listening or Online Listening. The analytics allow marketers to identify sentiment and identify trends in order to better meet their customer’s needs.

The first step in a social media analytics initiative is to determine which business goals the data that is gathered and analyzed will benefit. Typical objectives include increasing revenues, reducing customer service costs, getting feedback on products and services and improving public opinion of a particular product or business division.

Once the business goals have been identified, key performance indicators (KPIs) for objectively evaluating the data should be defined. For example, customer engagement might be measured by the numbers of followers for a Twitter account and number of retweets and mentions of a company’s name.

Through social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Weibo, organizations can pick up customer satisfaction in real time. Social media is enabling companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Ford to go beyond standard customer satisfaction data gathering to innovate by setting up and participating in communities to gain feedback from customers.