Turning social sentiment into opportunity

The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and social media is much more than a fad. Today's customers make decisions based on user reviews and online discussions. Conversations that were once had in person now take place on Facebook or Twitter. People are more informed, and they're getting their information in new ways, from new sources.

Social Media insights are a window into the sentiments and opinions of customers. Retailers can combine the proprietary data they own about past sales patterns with the volume and sentiment of social media conversation around a product or category to further refine their forecasts and better determine areas of investment. Analytics can be used to determine interesting correlations between specific topics trending on social media to spikes in sales of products and categories. These correlations and patterns can be used to better forecast demand at a hyper-local level.

Social Media Data when combined with other data sources like Demographic, CRM and Sales Data enables retailers to create more granular customer segmentation: micro-segmentation. Retailers can then direct specific marketing activities to these micro-segments to maximize their  marketing effectiveness and personalize their customer engagement. Retailers used to rely solely on proprietary data to personalize the engagement with customers. Social Media Data now provides that additional layer of insight into the changing customer trends and preferences.

An excellent example is from BlackBall, a tea and dessert company based in Taipei, Taiwan. BlackBall had built its reputation on the quality of its highly perishable ingredients, and getting them to the right place at the right time was critical to the company’s success. BlackBall offers more than 70 products, and constantly works on developing new ingredients and combinations. By monitoring customer feedback on social media as well as sales data, the company can plan more strategically. BlackBall is using the information to develop new products and execute more effective promotions. Here is a LINK to the full story.

Another example is Marston’s. Marston’s, a nearly 200-year-old UK pub and restaurant brand is known for its heritage, but the company recently recognized a need to reposition itself. The company started an initiative to monitor social media so they could recognize, follow, and analyze trends which would allow the company to swiftly react and meet the customers’ needs. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Social Listening, Marston’s stays in touch with today’s customer. Here is a LINK to the full story.

Hamburg Port Authority addresses challenges with Microsoft Social Engagement as an early warning system. Europe’s second-largest port is caught between the growing needs of European trade and the space-constraints of historic, scenic Hamburg, Germany. The Hamburg Port Authority realized they needed to develop systems to help them make more informed decisions with split-second timing. They looked to Microsoft Social Engagement to allow them to gauge the opinion of citizens about the port in general.  LINK

Real Madrid is able to connect more closely with its fans and give them a better overall experience, while analyzing social media data and other information to customize marketing campaigns. The solution takes advantage of Microsoft Social Engagement to collect club mentions and other data from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. An innovative solution built on Azure aggregated such data into social segmentation of the individual fan. The highest volumes of data reside in Azure Table Storage and Azure DocumentDB, which is used to enable high-performance queries for analysis. LINK

The Liebherr Group harnesses social media to stay ahead with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Social Engagement. It’s a company’s worst nightmare: A single dissatisfied customer posts a rant online, causing a social media uproar that leaves the organization scrambling to save its brand. After watching this happen to some companies in the past, the Liebherr Group implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Social Engagement so they’re immediately alerted and quick to react to customer concerns, and industry news and trends. LINK

Microsoft Social Engagement puts powerful social tools in the hands of your sales, marketing, and service teams—helping them to gain insight into how people feel about your business and to proactively connect on social media with customers, fans, and critics. Check out this video, that highlights some of the features of Microsoft Social Engagement:

Social Media is driving companies to innovate a lot faster. A lot of the pressure can come from messages in social going viral and driving up the collective awareness & expectations of customers. Analyzing the most common complaints and wishlists about products & services over time enables companies to prioritize product development and innovations to be more in line with customer expectations.

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