Microsoft Social Engagement – Enabling Social Listening and Customer Engagement
The rise of social media platforms as primary avenues for socializing, content sharing and gathering information has huge implications for businesses looking for opportunities to market their products and services to the right people. As an increasing number of people use social media forums to view and compare products, ask for reviews & suggestions and make purchase decisions, the buyer journey has largely been digitized for majority of them.
In today’s age, it takes much more than putting up an advertisement for marketers to convert prospects into customers and instill brand loyalty in them. Paying attention to what opinion makers are saying on different social media platforms about their brand, the general sentiment of customers about their products and the trends that are prominent in the industry, has never been more important before. In short, a significant role of a marketer and a customer care representative nowadays comprises of Social Listening.
While most businesses realize the importance of advertising their products and maintaining an online presence, only a few know how to make sense of the flood of information these platforms provide access to. In other words, not many businesses are confident enough to call their social media marketing strategy “mature”.
Microsoft’s social engagement platform lets businesses drive social engagement in addition to building long lasting customer relationships by providing access to customer sentiments, feedback, questions and concerns. Such information helps marketers tap into customer psyche, make sound predictions about their buying decisions and shape their products and services accordingly.
As part of a client project, we explored the diverse ways in which MSE could be used by a local, large scale retail business, operating in the apparel industry.
Exploring Microsoft Social Engagement
MSE allows its users to define search rules that either focus on particular keywords or relevant conversations over social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc. Keeping in mind the business model of a retail apparel business, we designed a number of search rules. These search rules were designed to look for keywords in content posted on all social media pages operated by local businesses in the apparel industry.
One of the defining features of MSE is its representation of data, that is extremely easy to understand owing to its user-friendly UI. Based on the search rules defined by user, MSE reveals insightful information about what people are talking about, their likes, dislikes and emerging trends in the industry.
The user can easily filter analytical results according to different categories of search rules, allowing him to view data most relevant to him. For example, we were able to view what local brands were most talked about, and exactly what phrases were being used the most.
The star feature of MSE is its ability to categorize conversations under positive and negative sentiments.
This helps the user focus on negative comments or concerns posted by customers on social media and assign them to customer care representatives to be handled on priority.
With the help of Buzz Maps, user can also find out what has been the general conversation on social media users about a topic, in various parts of the world and how positively or negatively people feel about it.
Trend and Post Alerts
To keep track of industry trends, a user can configure trend and post alerts using MSE. Through this feature, the system sends out emails periodically, when relevant content shared over particular social media pages exceed an expected average. The system can also be configured to notify the user when, for example, a negative sentiment is posted on the company’s social media page.
These and many other features of Microsoft Social Engagement application provide an all-encompassing platform for businesses to listen to the conversations around their brand name, keep track of the rising trends in their industry, monitor the sentiments of their customers about their products and those of their competitors and quantify the popularity of their different marketing campaigns in terms of the leads that they generate over social media forums. Marketers and customer relationship management experts can benefit from all these features from the comfort of a single platform.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.