Opportunities and challenges of social media monitoring
4th International Business and Social Science Research Conference Aarne Töllinen, Joel Järvinen & Heikki Karjaluoto Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics FINLAND
how eWOM can be collected from SM applications by automated SMM and how useful that data is from the B2B firms’ point of view.1. How actively people discuss B2B companies on social media sites and on which sites?2. How B2B company staff interpret the eWOM on their company found on social media sites?
• Social media has gained significant interest both in science and business• Marketers are interested in behavioral targeting• eWOM is a good reflector of overall WOM and can effectively influence web users’ mindset and buying decisions• There is an uncertainty about how to measure the effectiveness of the communications of the interactive digital media• Recent technological advancements enable the measurement of eWOM awareness and persuasiveness, which has great potential to become a modern way to measure brand awareness and image that demands little effort
Social media• SMM tracks and mines online discussions• It is organizing eWOM in a structure that allows a user to slice and dice, drill down, and see how conversations interconnect in one holistic view• It involves collecting data and conducting analysis based on the data• The SMM industry was born in 2004–2005
• SMM is useful in customer research for collecting information• SMM is a solution to listen to stakeholders• SMM is a vital part of an up-to-date social CRM-system• SMM has enabled marketers to gain insight into what customers think about the company – Using SMM allows a company to gather information that would previously have required and interviews• Through SMM, companies can identify brand advocates• SMM is a tool for evaluating the effectiveness and health of a firm’s image
• SMM cannot replace a human researcher; to create deep-understanding, traditional person-controlled research is required• The major challenge in SMM is sentiment analysis• Private discussions and closed interfaces• It is difficult to unify the stars, grades and percentages with free-form text and determine the overall sentiment of eWOM
• Interpretive case study as its methodological approach – context-sensitive investigation – in-depth learning from contemporary phenomena (Yin 1981)• The empirical data is collected from two B2B companies operating in the manufacturing industry• Eight qualitative theme interviews within the case companies – how B2B companies experience the buzz on SM around them• A two month monitoring period on SM around the case companies – the volume, media spread and sentiments of the buzz
• Companies are interested in SMM and have tested its possibilities• SMM is considered important now and it is believed that it will only gain in importance• There are not many discussions of the company or its products• Volume of buzz depends greatly on the industry the company operates in• Customers do not discuss the company’s products or services on SM (only investor speculations• The greatest opportunities are related to listening and participating in online conversations (crisis management)• SMM information is untrustworthy and misleading• Important platforms (e.g Linkedin) are not open for SMM• Firms are not satisfied with the information generated by SMM
• Case companies and their products are popular topics on SM Company Media # of mentions % of total mentions – Average daily mentions Blogs Comments 656 19 48 % 1% regarding company X and Message Boards 115 8% its products 22,regarding Microblogs 493 36 % Company X company Y 40 Social Network 25 2% – Most of the discussions Videos Wikipedia 50 0 4% happen on blogs, and the TOTAL 1358 100 % least used platform is Wikipedia Blogs 1055 42 % – Well known blog Message Boards Microblogs 93 1065 4% 43 % publication platforms (e.g. Company Y Social Network 86 3% Wordpress) are categorized Videos 190 8% by the monitoring program Wikipedia 2 0% as blogs TOTAL 2491 100 %
• Sentiment analysis is a major challenge for SMM – software recognizes less than 10% of the buzz as positive or negative content – software does not understand contexts Company Sentiment # of mentions % of total mentions Positive 96 7% Negative 20 1% Company X Neutral 1242 91 % TOTAL 1358 100 % Positive 123 5% Negative 35 1% Company Y Neutral 2333 94 % TOTAL 2491 100 %
• B2B companies are interested in SMM, but – practices to utilize software are totally disorganized – the knowledge is fragmented among staff• B2B companies perceive their customers to be passive online• There is far more eWOM around both the B2B sector and our case companies, than those companies are aware of• Sentiment analysis is still an insurmountable challenge• SMM does not tell the whole truth about eWOM• SMM should be a ‘listening tool’ for marketing departments• SMM will be accepted as a reasonable tool to be deployed alongside the more traditional news monitoring software
Limitations Further researchUsed only one SMM product More research is needed to verify the results of this study concerning the whole B2BFocused only on content sector written in English More empirical research is needed to examine socialFocused only on two media marketing performance companies measurement in general – How marketers formulate their key performance indicators for social media marketing? – How SMM can help in the formulation of those indicators?
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