Listen to customer conversations

According to ‘2012 Insurance Voice of Customer Survey’ report, customers preferred online media to compare policies and services, gathering information and comparing price/rate more often than physical networks. Here is the list of activities insurance customers would prefer to do with social and physical networks.

Note: Question asked was “Based on your past experience when purchasing life (and non-life) insurance, which of the following two, a physical network (agents/brokers/ banks) or online network (internet/Mobile), is more effective at providing the following benefits”.Source: 2012 Insurance Voice of the Customer Survey, Capgemini, 2012

Before making a buying decision, buyers are interested to know what the existing consumers have to say about the brands and the products. This interaction between existing customers and potential buyers has added a new dimension to how marketers interact with their target audience. Social listening is a powerful research tool for generating actionable insights, because of its proximity and global audience coverage.


Tracking the number of likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter, views and subscribers on YouTube will not indicate what our customers like or dislikes about the product or will not signal their purchasing behavior. An active listening program is required to interpret customer voices, allowing brands to engage when conversations take a negative tone. Global brands like Dell, Cisco, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola leveraged social media to get closer to both employee and customer. Forrester Research estimates that companies will spend $1.6 billion on social by 2014 to track brand health, helping to ascertaining the tone of what is being said about the brand, how much interest is being generated about the company and products and how such conversation is influencing potential customers.


With 75% of U.S households participating in social media, it’s time for us to start listening with right set of listening tools partnered with human-enabled filtering and processing.

Free Social Media Listening Tools

Social media is all about listening to what audience has to say about you, analysing the data driving social media business intelligence using all these insights to know our customers better and improve our business stategy. There are a bunch of social media tools available out there, choose the right tool that suits your needs best. More important while selecting a tool one should know what you are trying to meassure and why.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best free monitoring tools:

1) Hootsuite: This is a great tool that allows you to save time when it comes to managing your social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+

2) TweetReach: TweetReach is the right tool for your business if you’re interested in monitoring how far your tweets travel, as TweetReach measures the actual impact and implications of social media discussions.

3) SocialMention: This tool allows you to listen for your brand, company, product, service, competitors or industry keyword mentions across social media channels. Data is pulled from dozens of social media services to give you the most real-time information.

4) Kred/Klout: Kred and Klout are two scoring services that review your social media activity, engagement, influence, authority, etc. and provide you with a score that tells you how you rank compared to others on social media.

5) Twitalyzer: Measure your impact, engagement, and influence on Twitter with this tool.

6) Peerindex: It helps brand identify the biggest key influencers in their social networks without the extensive manual labor that usually goes into the process.

This is not a comprehensive list of tools you can find many such free tools as well.

Share what tools you would use and for what purpose. Will be happy to hear from you all as well!

Best Times to Post on Social Media – By

Sending out messages during day seems to be the best option for brands to reach their audience.

JHR Group Blog

The folks at Fannit have released their latest infographic with the best times to post on social media.

Really good tips for those looking to increase their social media skills. Check out the full graphic below and click the link for tips from .

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Social Media Presence: The New York Times vs. The Washington Post

Janice Camacho

With most readers on the go, most news organizations are providing short updates via social media. Today, we examine The New York Times and Washington Post’s social media methods. Both websites are located on Twitter and Facebook—but interestingly enough, The New York Times makes this prominent on its website by putting it on the top, and The Washington Post puts this on the bottom of its page. Let’s see if their differences stop there. 

  1. The Washington Post’s (over two million followers) and The New York Times’ (almost 10 million followers) Twitters have a similar vibe: dark background, plus short and straight to the point tweets. However, The Washington Post seems a little friendlier because they are more likely to interact with their audience by retweeting. The New York Times mostly tweets about All The News That’s Fit To Print (their own), plus a few tweets here and there from followers.

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Role of Text Analytics In Social Media

In Social Media it is not only about reach, likes, retweets, and follows anymore. The spectrum of data is growing day by day and companies are facing difficulties in gaining the true value from social data. Though the current listening methodologies and strategies help organizations to understand customer pulse, there is a lot of valuable information left unnoticed by of listening experts. This happens because of of the amount of noise and real data harnessed around a brand or product. With the help of text analytics social media data can be sliced and diced to understand different aspect of consumer feedback. 


Gaining Structured Insight to Unstructured data

According to Wikipedia, The term text analytics describes “a set of linguisticstatistical, and machine learning techniques that model and structure the information content of textual sources for business intelligenceexploratory data analysisresearch, or investigation”. 

 Text analytics helps you quickly analyze thousands of social data to identify the customer issues and concerns that demand immediate attention. Text analytics has multiple applications in analyzing text but in this article we will be looking at the following aspects

  • Theme identification: Conversations can be auto-categorized and organized into relevant categories based on automatically detected themes and content.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Determine customer sentiment, on product or brand level.

Gaining Structured Insight to Unstructured data

Theme Identification: Text analytic techniques are useful for sorting through and categorizing large volumes of content. In Text analytics Words are treated similar to other forms of Data. In a text data set, Words are counted, grouped and summarized with statistics. As said before text analytic techniques are quite good at text categorization. 

Classification algorithm looks at features, such as the frequency of words in a document relative to the frequency of terms in all documents.  These techniques are also used to group similar documents even without predefined categories. Using this we can also identify emerging topics around a brand or product. 

Sentiment analysis: Text analytics also have some value in extracting the users emotions or opinion or attitude and classify accordingly but there are some limitations in this area. Sentiment analysis is one of the common text analysis task used by social media researchers in recent times. In common sentiment analysis is categorized as positive, negative or neutral.  Simple text analytic techniques, such as counting positive and negative words, can give reasonable results in many cases. Sentiment is classified based on the list positive words or negative words updated into the system. In such cases this techniques will not differentiate between sarcasm and genuine comments. 

Tools For Text Analytics

Text mining computer programs are available from many commercial and open source companies and sources.

Commercial Tools Open Source Tools
AeroText  Carrot2 
Angoss  GATE 
Attensity  OpenNLP
Autonomy  Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) 
Basis Technology  RapidMiner
Clarabridge  UIMA
Endeca Technologies  Language R
Fair Isaac  The KNIME
IBM LanguageWare KH Coder
IBM SPSS Modeler Premium The PLOS
Inxight  Weka
Thomson Data Analyzer   

In the next article i will try to explain this technique using WEKA Data Mining tool. I will try to explain as comprehensive as possible. Please share your thoughts on this topic, i would love to learn it from you. !Thanks for reading ! 

How to choose a #hashtag

Developing unique hashtag is like building brand equity. Now that all social platforms supporting Hashtag, marketers should develop a hashtag to start conversation with their customers. This article is gives a better flavor of creating #HASHTAG.




The hashtag (#) has become one of the most valuable assets in any modern marketing campaign. The brands that create the most effective ones and employ them well reap the benefits on Twitter. Those who haven’t invested the time and thought carefully about their hashtag(s) and how they are going to be used get predictable results.

To help you make the right decisions when it comes to hashtags I have created this step-by-step graphic that details the different stages involved when it comes to launching a hashtag campaign.

It begins with the basics: asking why you’re using a hashtag, with a reminder that good hashtags should be memorable, so that your customers will easily recall them.

One way to make sure it is memorable is through media integration. The best hashtags are tightly integrated with other marketing activity from TV advertising, to press ads and direct mail material.


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New Metrics in Social Media Listening and Monitoring

New Metrics in Social Media Listening and Monitoring



                                                “When you are not listening you are not learning
Companies now have spent approximately more than 6 years in the social media landscape; it is indeed interesting to see how this space has evolved over the period of time. Now we have luxury to express our likes, dislikes, what we want, when we want and from whom we want. Many individuals all over the world are having conversations about the brands, products, services, online users discuss about your product quality or service quality in a blog, mention your name on Twitter, share your press release on Facebook, leave a comments on a review sites, but with all the talking happening around in this virtual world shouldn’t there be someone listening to it?.


“When you don’t listen you will not be heard”

Millions of online users share opinions and how they perceive about the brand or products. Companies trying to develop better relationship with customers should start engaging in a conversation and a basic of good conversation is to listen. Listening to conversations on what being said on the social space can provide critical insights that companies need to leverage their marketing activity.

Metrics in Social Media

Is social media all about share of voice, sentiment, media Type?  If it was asked before five years, my answer would be YES. But we are in the era of Social Media and already observed its growth, direction and challenges in terms of Marketing, Implementation and Execution. Analytics plays an important role across all the different aspects of brand image. The most difficult task is to convince and influence our clients (marketers). We see different service providers come up with different methodologies and framework to derive meaningful insights with different parameters. When a client look at the frameworks independently it may be hard to digest, however it makes sense if we provide cumulative insights.

Conversation Impact Matrix

In today’s scenario we have realized the importance of brand presence and visibility which will drive reach and awareness. So, now at a broader level, we can easily emphasize on two areas which would play significant role in increase brand visibility and presence, a marketer would also like to analyze its competition based on these factors or metrics:
·         Unique Sites                                     
·         Unique Authors
As a social media professional I have been working with these metrics for quite a long time and have understood how unique websites and unique authors would impact in increasing brand awareness and reach. However, I was trying to figure out a simple framework which would be easily understood and makes sense for marketers/companies to get a quick glance of their overall social media Activity Landscape. I have come-up with the below framework which is a three dimensional chart that describes competitors the exposure level comparing unique authors and sites.
I tried to incorporate all the learning from four broad areas, Educate, Engage, Entertain, and Empower. The size of the bubble represents the Brand Visibility (total no. of articles/news/posts during the period of consideration). Brand Reach (number of unique sites) and Brand Awareness (number of unique authors) can be shown either in X or Y axis. When the brand has more number of unique authors participating in the discussion, Brand Awareness increases. Similarly, when number of unique site increases, the potential Brand Reach increases.

What should a marketer/company do when they are placed in?

Educate: When the conversations emerge from less unique authors and less unique sites, the brand should educate the audience in the respective influential sites. This activity would help the brand toincrease brand presence.
Entertain: If the brand has more unique authors and less unique sites, the brand should entertain the audience by providing rich content. This activity will help the brand to retain its audience.
Engage: If the brand has less unique authors and more unique sites, the brand should engage with the influential sites. By doing this there is an opportunity for new audience acquisition.
Empower: When conversations originate from more unique authors and more unique sites, the brand should try to empower influential authors and sites. This activity would help to increase positive awareness and reach through brand advocates.
This framework can be used an indicator and can be enhanced further. Analyst can develop more valuable frameworks, keeping this as a benchmark while providing Social Media Analysis reports.