Corporate and e-commerce sites sell products and services by providing information, and have the prospects register, so called “closed world”. Through various social network services, information are much more open and connected across the digital space now. This new “open world” is the new standard, and businesses are trying to figure out how to integrate the Social Media data and measure it’s value.
The majority of businesses host their consumer data in their CRM database. Typically, it contains information about their prospects and customers. Data ranges all the way from their profile, survey results, product registration, to customer support call history. In web anlaytics, more companies are investing in integrating online behavior data to CRM data base, so they could better target their marketing efforts and refine communication tactics. For example, reminding consumers to completely fill out the billing info to receive the limited offer. I don’t believe many companies are at the point where they’ve mastered this integration, yet hear a lot of people running around talking Social and Mobile data.
Web Analytics and CRM integration may be common now a days, and analytics solution provider should definitely focus and help businesses get this leg of the solution right. Creating robust segmentations around different rules against joined web analytics data and CRM data should be championed by a company before talking Social integration. The reason I say this is because Social Media data is about ‘people’, and if you don’t have your people database right, I doubt you’ll be able to effectively get the Social Media data integration right. Especially if you are looking at beyond mentions/buzz online and look at those people as part of your brand asset.
What’s missing from the new open world’s reality is that there are growing information about their potential customers online in social media platform, but discussion doesn’t extend to the most detail. Since the introduction of the Open Graph, now web sites and its pages are enabled with social capabilities that are trackable. Great example of that is the Facebook’s Graph API and Twitter API.
Communication and data are being passed from different page to page, sites to sites, platforms to platforms. Data could be pulled and it could also be pushed to update the other end of the authorized property. The challenge today is that these standards and best practices are changing very rapidly. What was open as a standard one day could not be a standard later (e.g. Facebook FBML), companies are being bought out by bigger companies, etc.
It is very important to identify the measurement framework, and identify long term data you want to implement to report as a metric or KPI (key performance indicator). I believe the important key things to think about on-boarding Social Media data are:
- Relationships & Connections
- Outcome (including sentiments or qualitative results)
- Time and Volume
I’m still trying to figure out myself so it’ll be great if I can get some feedbacks and additional ideas.
This is the obvious one. Social CRM needs to enable data to connect with who they are. Who is saying that your product is awesome, and who is liking your service? It becomes pretty important to study and learn how the Social Media service could provide your business with that data. One you have the capability to identify the people that matters to you, think and plan about getting that “segment” of data for you to analyze.
Relationships & Connections
One of the special thing about Social Media is its connection between people and services online beyond websites. Connection means there are communications between people and relationship is built on top of that connection rather it is bad or good. Everything you tweet and like on internet is tagged and identified somewhere in database and accessible through API. With that said, it is vital to think about how you could get that data correctly integrated into the CRM database or any other tools that allows you to segment and measure the Social Media’s value.
When you here of “outcome”, it is tempted to hear ecommerce transactions or some event completion on the web site. In Social Media, it is important to think about the success or some outcome in a form like sentiments (good vs. bad), talking about product/brand/service, spreading the word, etc. It’s that action or behavior that you want to call it a moment of exclamation “!!”. Question is, can you identify and obtain such data, then integrate or curl that into your CRM data environment?
Time and Volume
Time factor is important in data, as you want to be able to see the trend and any positive or negative impact from particular communication or marketing online. Don’t assume the Social Media like Facebook would allow you to pull the entire historical data. In that case, you need to think about the granularity of data (daily, weekly, quarterly) you need and see if that is something you can get. Some social data when pulled will give you the “as of” that time, but may not be able to give you the trended data. Definitely need to ask if those identified KPIs are even available in time series.
Volume is part of the common data we’ll need to plot against time, basic stuff but wanted to call it out. For example, # of likes, comments, mentions, etc.
It is pretty common for companies to correlate Social Media like mentions, re-tweets, or comments against website traffic or sales. Digital data plays a vital role in understanding the media mix. Basically to understand the best allocation of marketing dollars and gain the best return on investment. So what Social Media metrics will play that role in analyzing marketing mix. That said, pulling that data in a Business Intelligence warehouse would be an important factor to think about. CRM aspect comes into play because if you integrated that Facebook ID, Twitter ID with CRM’s people’s profile then your segmentation becomes more rich.
What this all means…
Now, assuming you get this all worked out, and all these Social Media KPIs are set and necessary data about the people are in Social/CRM database. Web Analytics solution plays a pretty important part in gluing the data together and create segments to take action. Not on all occasions though; it works especially well if your website is that core part of user experience towards bottom of the funnel or the property yielding the return. Some other factors why web site and analytics play a key part in the segmentation:
- Your web site may be more measurable than any other online channels
- Single point where all transactions occur
- Primary property where CRM data and cookie data or session data or keys are created.
- Studies show consumer trust corporate web site and great amount of sample data are available
Globally, corporate site plays a pretty important role and consumers do expect brand promisses from corporate’s web site. Web sites will still play a critical part of user engagement with the brand and in the new open world that could be a m.site, landing page from that twitter link, trusted property to opt-in for news letter, unique offers from the brand via their site, etc.
Once the Social CRM environment are set up and you’re able to tie your web analytics data with it, next steps are to segment the hell out of it and find valuable segment of audience or trends. I believe that’s where the insights would come from in this point in time of digital era.