Socially active customers wield a great deal of influence on the behaviors of their friends and families.
Consider this: 60% of Facebook users and 79% of Twitter users say they’re more likely to recommend a brand to their friends after interacting with that brand on a social network, according to a survey by research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.
And features such as Twitter’s retweeting and Facebook’s sharing options make it easy for fans to immediately promote their positive customer experiences to others, as Aaron Parson notes in an article on the topic.
Indeed, customers’ uses of mobile devices and social networks to research products and evaluate customer reviews help shape their buying decisions. This offers companies rich opportunities for nurturing armies of brand advocates to help promote their products.
One of the ways that marketing execs and other business leaders can use social analytics to identify potential customer advocates is by analyzing customer data to identify similar characteristics between known supporters and other customers that exhibit similar transactional behavior and loyalty.
Executives can also use analytics to probe more deeply into customer satisfaction and loyalty measurements such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or a customer’s willingness to recommend a product or service. Many companies simply focus on those customers who score a nine or 10 (on a scale of one to 10 where one means “highly unlikely” to recommend and 10 means “highly likely” to recommend).
By examining NPS scores and customer data more closely, companies can identify customer advocates in waiting that may not generate high NPS scores but are nonetheless highly satisfied with a brand and their customer experiences. And those customers may, in fact, be willing to share their experiences with other customers and prospects.
Companies can also apply analytics to other tools and techniques, such as Voice of the Customer programs, online surveys, and social listening tools to pick up on customer comments that are indicative of their willingness to play more active roles in promoting a company’s product or brand.
As a growing number of customers are relying upon the advice and reviews of other customers to steer their purchasing decisions – even people they’ve never met before – a rising number of customers are also becoming more willing to share their opinions and feedback.
Companies can create customer advocacy communities to connect highly satisfied customers with prospects, as Bill Lee of the Customer Reference Forum notes in a recent article. These types of programs offer community managers opportunities to use analytics to match customers who already participate in advocacy programs with the right prospects based on information that’s available about both.
While there’s strength in numbers, it’s also important for decision makers to recognize that certain people have considerably more social and word-of-mouth influence than others.
For instance, it only takes 10% of a group of people holding an unshakable belief to convince the majority to share that same belief, according to scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Social analytics can help business leaders identify those customer advocates who hold the most sway with different customer segments to help promote their views to the right sets of people.
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