Online reputation management (ORM) tools are rapidly moving into the mainstream as companies around the world look for ways to boost their performance and become more responsive to their customers, write Tony Sousa and Gordon Geldenhuys.
This point was hammered home for us at Social 2011 (http://www.social2011.com), the first user conference for the Radian6* social media monitoring and engagement platform. The conference, held in Boston in May, drew hundreds of participants from around the world, with marketers and brand managers as heavily represented as analysts and online specialists.
The key insight to emerge from this conference is that the ability to monitor and engage with social media in real-time is quickly becoming a requirement for organisations in a world where their customers are constantly having conversations about them on the social web.
Social media isn’t just about marketing any more – it’s also an invaluable tool for product development, sales and operations. If companies are using the right tools to listen and engage, they can use ORM for market research and to inform collaboration between internal teams.
That is why Salesforce.com – a provider of cloud customer relationship management (CRM) solutions – acquired Radian6 for $326 million earlier this year. The combination of Radian6’s technology with salesforce.com’s CRM solutions empowers companies to act on opportunities to build and improve customer relationships as social conversations about their products and brands unfold.
Social 2011 also highlighted the increasing sophistication of social media monitoring and engagement tools with a series of new Radian6 announcements.
The key message here is that an organisation of any size that still tries to manage social media using entry level platforms is missing out on opportunities to reap valuable customer information and harvest meaningful insights from it.
Perhaps the most important announcement at the conference was Radian6 Insights, which adds a wealth of data from third party providers to deliver rich insights about social media conversations. This tool allows marketers to dig into social media data to get to information such as demographics, influence, geolocation, sentiment and topic categorisation. This has led to a greater semantic understanding of social media conversations.
In the past, marketers needed to sift through reams of data to get to information to understand, for example, how influential the person they are engaging with is. One can also receive real time, ongoing social intelligence surrounding one’s brand, industry or any area of interest.
Also announced was the Summary Dashboard, which offers a high-level look at one’s brand on the social web. In one easy-to-read view, this tool allows managers to understand the volume, overall sentiment, key demographics, influencers and more around their brand, product or competition.
Finally, Radian6 announced an app for the Apple iPhone that allows company representatives to monitor and engage with social media conversations in real time when they’re not at their desks.
Combined, these tools allow companies to better manage online customer interactions, watch trends and listen for important information at all times. The value of ORM is that it empowers marketers to keep pace with conversations and sentiment about their brands as they shift in real-time.
* Acceleration Media are authorised Radian6 resellers.
Tony Sousa is CEO at Acceleration Media and Gordon Geldenhuys is digital marketing consultant at Acceleration Media.
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