In an article for WebsiteMagazine entitled The Automation of Social, Pam Kostka, CMO of VirtuOz, discusses the accelerating need for businesses to leverage social interactions as a way to improve customer interactions. End users are increasingly using social networking and consumer-based platforms to communicate with, and share experiences about, the companies they do business with. This is both exciting and scary -- especially if you don’t have the tool sin place to monitor and respond to these end user interactions.
There is a reason why social tools are being incorporated into business systems and websites, whether internally-facing or customer-focused: giving people a way to connect, communicate and share makes any process more transparent, and helps people feel engaged. Ms. Kostka continues:
A positive customer experience can create a brand advocate who shares the experience with their network of family and friends. And it’s not just the network effect; studies show that customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20 to 40 percent more money with those companies than other customers.
While most people inherently understand this shift in the way that people expect their business systems to behave, most organizations have not yet developed a specific strategy for automating their social experiences -- which includes monitoring and measuring customer and employee behaviors. Automating is not just about passive listening, but in taking the data and doing something with it.
Companies need to remember that the purpose of automating the social experience is to improve the dialog between your company and your customers (which should then be followed by improved support, happier customers, and stronger advocacy). The technology changes at a rapid pace, requiring all of to keep up on the latest advances, but this is all good news for creating competitive advantages. Specifically, most companies will, at most, automate around passive listening, leaving the competitive advantage to those who automate around taking action based on that passive listening.
Ms. Kostka makes three salient points within her article about the state of social technology automation:
- Consumers are increasingly using social tools.
- Companies are ill-prepared.
- The number of companies providing automation tools is growing rapidly.
Of course, this last point is an understatement. Ms. Kostka barely scratches the surface of what is happening within the social technology sphere. While her focus is almost entirely on the companies that provide tools for content optimization and monitoring -- like SocialFlow, CrowdBooster, Prosodic, and Adobe Social -- she neglects to mention two heavyweights that also provide solutions in this category (web content management), namely HubSpot (publishing, SEO optimization) and Webtrends (analytics).
Also missing from her brief overview is any mention of social CRM, which, I believe, will become a more critical aspect of business as more and more customer interactions turn social. Why? It's one thing to track the consumer social platforms for product or brand mentions, but another thing to build a comprehensive set of tools that allow you to monitor, automate responses, measure success, and then develop strategies based on all of the data you've captured.
Automating social activities begins with monitoring and measuring.
Now, within the SharePoint space, many of these tools can come in handy depending on what you have deployed within your environment, and the business goals you are trying to measure and, ultimately, to automate. But realize that these were developed for websites, and not SharePoint specifically. There are a number of different tools from various administration solution providers, and while Webtrends offers some tools built for SharePoint, the one other company to include as you develop your automation strategy is CardioLog Analytics by Intlock, which is the only solution designed for SharePoint and Office 365.
At Beezy, we're passionate about all-things social collaboration. If you would like to learn more about our solutions for SharePoint and Office 365, and specifically delve into analytics and automation, please contact us to schedule a demo today! You can reach us at email@example.com
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