Most companies have portals / websites for selling their products or services. Most such portals already have a social media dimension embedded in it, mostly in the form of "social media bars".
These social media bars which allow the portal users / customers to "like" or "share" or "comment" certain parts of their portal/website on popular social media like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
Customers can also like or follow, the company Facebook and twitter accounts, registering interest in these. Customers end up endorsing these products or services on their individual timelines or feeds, thereby generating good sales leads.
So far so good.
Moving beyond using social media as marketing toolsIn the last couple of years, there is also an increasing trend of allowing users to login to company websites or portals using their social media accounts, with an option of sharing the customers social meda account information with the company.
For example, as a customer I can choose to login to a website xyz.com using my Facebook credentials and then, I get a "permissions" screen asking me if I would like to share my data with xyz.com. Once I acknowledge, I can effectively login into xyz.com.
Enterprise CRM Data can be complemented with social media derived customer dataMost companies maintain a CRM database containing their customer's details. This CRM data can be complemented with customer data obtained from social media.
While the social media data might be viewed as untrusted or non-validated, often it can provide great insights for marketing to act upon,
For example, in the CRM context, capturing data such as "marital status" might be a no-no, but in a social context, users may be okay, sharing that data as part of their Facebook public information.
Also things like Facebook profiles, likes, interests, public tweets, twitter following, twitter lists, etc can be analysed for well-known brands etc, can give back a wealth of information about the lifestyle preferences for the customer. This information can further we used to cross-sell and up-sell to the customer.
The following image depicts a possible architecture for collecting social media customer data, for purpose of analytic at a later stage.
Personalization - Targeted ads / content, for individual customer on portal / websiteOnce the above data mined from social media is available for our consumption, one creative way of using that data is within customer portal or website or mobile app.
Customers can be categorized by variety of factors such age, marital status, sex, etc. This categorization or segmentation can then be used to push content, ads and functionality that is more relevant to the customer segment.
For example, customers who are male and below 25 years, can be shown targeted ads like 2 seater cars. Also the insurance or wealth management or banking plans relevant to specific customer segments can be shown up more prominently on the website.
SummaryLooking at the above discussions, it is fairly clear that a social media analytics framework or module is very much the need of the hour, for every enterprise which is customer centric (who is'nt?)
In the next, part 3, of this series, I will look into "how" some of the above ideas can be implemented using existing tools, frameworks and technologies. The solutions need to be easily integrated into any portal / website and also need to be portable and extensible.