David Churbuck from Lenovo comes up with yet another must read that defines a brand new aspect of new marketing: Social Media Measurement.
Social Media Management — a term that acknowledges that our audience is far more than bloggers, but includes forums, twitters, Facebookians …..
Overall performance is judged on an index of overall trend of positive vs. negative posts, while the second resolves down to one of those metrics that marketers love:
Net Promoter Score programs are more complex and require a significant commitment internally to adopt the principles of NPS programs, including the ongoing surveying of customers (online and offline) with the so-called ultimate question : How likely are you to recommend to a friend that they do business with us? That question is scored on a zero to ten score, with promoters scored as 8 to 10, detractors as zero to two and neutrals from three to seven. The final NPS score is simple to calculate:
% of Promoters – % of Detractors = Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Okay, you’ve got the basics – go read his full post to understand this idea completely. This is the reason you’ll find that when you post something, especially negative or potentially negative on your blog or on a forum about a company that “gets it”, you end up with a comment or post. Proactive customer support – the big differentiator in marketing today.
Look at yesterday’s post here about Mahalo. Jason Calacanis had a comment within about an hour of the post going up. Not that he needed to change my mind, I’m pretty much a Mahalo supporter. His comment ensures that when we read the criticism that Apogee Search offered, we will now see his rebuttal, which was both polite, complimentary and well reasoned. That scores big points.
Similarly, you’ll note that Moduslink never responded to the post I did about my problems with them on the Vista upgrade for my daughters computer. It’s now the #2 result for “Moduslink Sucks” and has become a rallying point for anyone disaffected with Moduslink including their own employees.
So, should we all rush out and start putting in place plans like David’s? No – such soup to nuts Social Media Measurement is the province of the large brands. But we should certainly, as SMB’s who care about our brands, be sure to include some aspects of this.
Here are my recommendations for what you can do today:
- Set up Google Alerts for the keywords that are important to you. If they are heavily used keywords, have the alert emailed to you once a day. Be sure to set one up for both news and for blogs, as I believe neither covers both.
- Check Technorati for tags that would be important to you on a regular basis. Perhaps not daily, but certainly a couple of times a week. If your company is “XYZ Ventures” look for that, and let’s say you’ve got a product called the “de-spaminator” – again something you want to watch for.
- So someone says something that’s not nice about the “de-spaminator” in their blog – what do we do?
- Comment directly on their blog and offer to help resolve the issue.
- If they’ve got key facts incorrect, provide clarification, but don’t be confrontational. You don’t want to get into a he said/she said here.
- Have someone actually try to fix the problem.
- If it really is a product level problem, consider fixing it. This is not just customer service, it’s part customer focus group. These people actually *care* enough about your products to comment on them!
- Realize you can’t fix the world. Some problems aren’t going to be resolved. And some people aren’t ever going to be satisfied.
- Try to bring a level of transparency into your company. Blog, but not only that, offer true insight. Don’t be afraid to say “the emperor has no clothes” because when you do, your customers will begin to realize that you’re doing business differently. Treat your customers as you’d wish to be treated, and never lie to them.
- Over time you’ll develop a list of bloggers and others who wield influence in your field. In fact, in some industries where there is no real trade press, they *are* the key information sources.
- Don’t forget to watch your competitors – you can learn a lot from not only the mentions they get in blogs and online, but also from watching what’s going on with key employees in their blogs and on Twitter. If they’re willing to share their information online, track it. Conversely, watch the thin line in what you do that might tip your hand to competitors.
- Treat competitors online with respect. A little class goes a long way and similarly, a little nastiness is hard to forget.
It may sound like a real time commitment, but much of this is fairly simple, and for smaller companies, brand mentions will be all too rare. Think about it…