Tag Archives: social media

Social Intelligence Beyond Monitoring #2: Innovating a new mobile payment product

Welcome to the second edition of our blog series on Social Intelligence Beyond Monitoring, from FACE CEO Job Muscroft

In the second blog in this series I want to look at use cases for social media research which go beyond counting mentions of brands and consumer sentiment. Companies can find big, untapped sources of value if they invest in what we call socially intelligent research. What’s that? It’s research that goes beyond merely narrating what’s happening in social media to answer  the real questions ‘Why?’ and ‘What should we do about it?’  With this deeper level of insight, social media can do a lot more than simply monitor discussion.

Last month I talked about how social media intelligence can guide brand positioning; this month, product innovation.

The Brief

A large global financial services brand with a leading position in the credit card market was looking to develop a new proposition in the emerging area of mobile payment. They were interested in exploring peer-to-peer payments – don’t think Bitcoin decentralised networks (it was before that time!) but simply “consumer-to-consumer” payment between friends and family.

Using mobile phone at dinner table

 

What we did

We recognised that payment generates high levels of conversation amongst those communities that need to make regular payments such as students, small traders and families.  So we started wide by listening to discussion about the whole category of sending and receiving money. From this we identified thousands of relevant conversations, from which we identified 10 major pain points.

One notable behaviour was the large numbers of conversations started by people checking with their friend or family member that the payment had actually arrived. This showed people using peer-to-peer payment need validation and confirmation built into the systems so they know for sure when the payment has been made and received. An app can’t just offer financial transfer but needs to have a communication layer as well.

The next stage of the project was a co-creation workshop where we used the 10 painpoint areas to ideate the key features of the new P2P product with the target market. Using rapid prototyping methods, we develop a mobile prototype of potential app functionalities,  which we tested with a larger number of consumers for a further two weeks to refine the key product features.

An example of another P2P mobile payment product, Snapcash

An example of another P2P mobile payment product, Snapcash

Why this worked

The client found this use of social intelligence at the beginning of the innovation process had 4 main benefits. This method…

  1. Helped them quickly root ideation in strong observable and quantifiable global needs
  2. Gave the stakeholder team great confidence that the ideas they were generating would solve a real consumer need from the scale and robustness of the data from social intelligence, more than they felt they got from traditional small-scale ethnographic research
  3. Confirmed and brought to life the key target audience for the product
  4. Enabled the client to move to prototyping within four weeks, which is two thirds faster than their usual innovation approach

At FACE we call this ‘augmented research‘, tying together the best of social and qual and emerging and established research methods to get brands closer to their customers – and ultimately making better business decisions.

In the next blog in this series I will be highlighting how we can use social intelligence to help improve a live marketing campaign. Stay tuned!

Connect with Job on LinkedIn or Twitter, or get in touch by email: Job.Muscroft@Facegroup.com

Introducing SONIC reports: on-demand social media insight

We’re proud to be introducing SONIC – our new social analytics reporting offer that can kick start your social media journey.

Struggling for time to analyse and interpret your social media data?  SONIC is the tool you need to raise visibility and understanding of social media across your business.

Pulsar SONIC image

Get the social media reporting you need

SONIC reports present you with the facts that you need to measure the effectiveness of your social media practices in a clear and engaging format, saving you valuable time in data prep and analysis. Set the pace of reporting, choose between different report lengths, and drive decision-making with minimum investment.

Three levels of reporting are available:

Executive Monthly snapshots to provide you with clear indicators and strategic, actionable insights to evaluate your performance on social media channels

Essential A report bundle delivering key metrics alongside qualitative deep-dives to give you a continuous, holistic view of your brand presence online

Elite An exploratory package giving you a detailed understanding of your online brand equity, based on crucial benchmark figures and contextual analysis.

Prices start from just £1800 per month and we can offer rapid turnaround to help you meet your deadlines – so get in touch with our lead analyst Giuseppe (Giuseppe.Polimeno@Facegroup.com) to find out more.

Custom options and full-service social media research is also available.  Learn more here, or contact Info@Facegroup.com to discuss how we can help you gain smart strategic insight from social data.

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Why we’ve developed SONIC social media reports

At FACE and Pulsar, our mission is to make sense of social data so our customers can make faster, smarter decisions about their brands, campaigns and customers. We deliver this through the cutting edge data science, analytics and visualisations on our social media monitoring platform…

…But we know sometimes our clients might not have even have an hour or two spare to dig into their data every week. Lack of resource is  still a major barriers to businesses becoming more socially intelligent, resulting in many social media programs becoming siloed in the digital team and not reaching across the business.

The SONIC concept was developed as we wanted to deliver a cost-effective way of reporting social data insights. We identified that many businesses don’t require full strategic social insight or long reports. Sometimes you just need to measure what’s happening on your own channels, benchmark competitor performance, and check in on customer opinion.

Think of SONIC reports as your outsourced social media insight department. Our reporting can give your social media efforts greater visibility within your organisation, and they’ll give you the ability to  share bite sized social media insights on a large scale.

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What makes our social media reporting different?

  1. Expert analysts. Our reports are written by experienced market researchers who also work on major global brands such as Tesco, Mazda and Telefonica
  2. Actionable insights. We don’t just report metrics: our analysts know how to dig insight out of social data and make clear recommendations about what this means for your brand and comms strategy
  3. Full global coverage. Pulsar can track social data in 170 languages and our trusted international network of analysts can deliver social media reporting in any European language plus Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and Korean
  4. Flexible report formats, not rigid, one size fits all templates. We can customise our reporting options to answer your specific business queries
  5. On-demand reporting options that allows you to design a support system that truly works in alignment with your business needs, practices and objectives.

Case study: how Mazda used SONIC reports to drive their social business strategy across Europe

Sonic client Mazda facebook page

CHALLENGE Mazda Motor Europe wanted to introduce social media listening as a new way to gather customer feedback and inform its first brand-led marketing campaign in Europe.

They came to Pulsar for our advanced analytics capacities and the fact our platform integrates social listening (Pulsar TRAC) and CRM (Pulsar FLOW) into a one stop social media management tool.

APPROACH A tailor-made set of SONIC reporting options available to the Central team to assess brand performance and measure the effectiveness of different marketing practices at both local and European level.

RESULTS SONIC reports are playing an instrumental role in raising awareness of social media across Mazda’s 12 key European markets. Mazda is now actively integrating social media in its Europewide marketing planning for 2015 and SONIC reports are being integrated with Mazda’s wider agency roster for consistent and long-lasting performance evaluation

Mazda say, “Since rolling out Pulsar across 12 European countries, we’ve been able to get truly insightful information from our customers in real time”

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So that’s our SONIC reporting offer: providing you with the expert resource you need to measure the impact of your activities and prove the value of social media to key stakeholders.

If you want to find out more about SONIC reporting then contact our lead analyst, Giuseppe (Giuseppe.Polimeno@facegroup.co.uk) to build a package that’s right for you.

Social Intelligence: Not Just for Social Strategy

At FACE, we’re a hybrid group of “qualies” and data analysts who keep an open mind about what it means to be a researcher in 2014 – how research should happen and where the most valuable information comes from. We’re increasingly incorporating social media intelligence in our work, used either as a primary methodology or a layer of context in qualitative studies. However, we’re aware that some of our colleagues and clients are hesitant to consider social research methodologies.

I’ll get this out of the way upfront: social analysis is not the right fit for every research objective. Yet social is often dismissed simply because clients assume that anything social is not in their jurisdiction. That’s what I want to argue against in this blog post – instead, let’s start thinking of how social media can inform every dimension of brand planning.

Here are some familiar examples of the reasoning behind why social gets cut from budgets or even passed over in favor in of much more expensive approaches:

  • “This data may be interesting, but our brand doesn’t tweet, so social media stuff is not for us”
  • “Looks like you have strong social capabilities, but that’s not really relevant to my team; maybe I’ll put you in touch with our PR department.”
  • “We’ve got a dedicated team working on social marketing. They’re not set up for research, exactly, but I can have them pull any reports I need”

It seems there is a not uncommon perception that social data is exclusively for social strategy: analyze social conversation and sharing to become a better social conversationalist and sharer.

I disagree. In fact, the value of social understanding is far more expansive than that. Incorporating social insight is an exercise in lateral thinking that can make research more potent across the spectrum of strategic planning.

Stanley Pollitt's book 'Pollitt on Planning'

Stanley Pollitt, co-credited with starting the ad agency practice of account planning, had an important take on this theme long before digital social networks were in play:

“The account planner is that member of the agency’s team who is the expert, through background, training, experience, and attitudes, at working with information and getting it used – not just marketing research but all the information available to help solve a client’s advertising problems.”

This perspective is relevant beyond advertising problems. Research must be focused, but focus shouldn’t mean “same old” or one-dimensional, whether that’s traditional focus groups or brand trackers. If your strategic goals are ambitious, your research goals – and methodology – should be too. “…all the information available to help solve a client’s problems.

We’re now living in a world where the subjective emotion we share and the measurable data trail we leave behind are both signs of our humanity. So as a researcher you’ve got to love talking face-to-face with a consumer as well as studying how that person comes to life in a spreadsheet.

Social is a unique stream of information and is there, as Pollitt would suggest, “to get used.” Social data is exciting in that it’s vast, readily available, and relatively cost effective to access. Moreover, social conversation is generally unprompted – a chance to throw away the discussion guide and purely listen. What you’ll hear will inform far more than how to write your next tweet.

Beyond social marketing strategy, here are several thought-starters for how to get smart from social insight and use it across your brand or business, not just for social media strategy.

1. Audience Profiling

  • Segment social users talking about a brand  or topic to learn more about existing customers – or discover potential new target audiences
  • Improve recruitment for subsequent research, e.g. build a smarter screener based on fresh insight into demographic and lifestyle parameters

2. Advertising effectiveness measurement

  • Optimize media spend by detecting regions of brand interest before messaging is in-market
  • Track impact of online or offline advertising by region, based on social reaction (either organic reactions or in response to a call to action, such as a promoted hashtag)
  • Gauge performance of local activations, e.g. in-store events or franchise promotions
  • Assess PR activity such as news editorial coverage and native advertising
Pulsar location map - US by state

Pulsar location maps can show where people are talking about your brand, stores or advertising

3. Understand your online sales funnel

  • Measure links shared to Ecommerce properties to understand where consumers are talking about buying your products or competitors and the category at large
Pulsar most shared Media visualisation  by domain

Pulsar’s Media visualisations analyse the links being shared within a topic of discussion

4. Design Inspiration for products & services

  • Identify consumer-generated content and use it as stimulus for brainstorming for new product development, creative production, packaging design and more
  • Gather unmoderated feedback on a purchase journey or product experience to inform future UX design

Social media allows real-time customer journey feedback

These four options are just a start: there are many other ways to get more creative and more analytical with social data. Studying social conversation provides a window in to consumer mindset and behavior, not just a view of popular chatter. It’s helpful to think about social media by breaking it down to its basics: networks of people sharing opinions, speculating about the future, and reviewing experiences. In that lies true insight for business problems, so there’s no use in being anti-social!

For more ideas for leveraging social data, see Fran D’Orazio’s Future of Social Media research blog post.

Marc Geffen is based in our US office. If you want to discuss how he can help your business in the New Year then send him an email: marc.geffen@facegroup.com

 

We’re in a book! 2 FACE essays included in new social media “book of blogs”

First you read them here, now get them on your Kindle! Two essays from the FACE social team have been included in a new book collecting together smart thinking on how to do social media research from across the commercial and academic worlds.

On 29 October, the blog NSMNSS (New Social Media, New Social Science) published a “book of blogs” called ‘Social Media in Social Research: Blogs on Blurring the Boundaries’.

This is a collection of over 50 blogs written by researchers from around the world, covering “a researcher’s journey from scoping phases to dissemination, demonstrating how new forms of data produced by social media can be integrated into a researcher’s toolkit.”

Social Media in Social Research

Two FACE essays are included:

  1. Francesco D’Orazio’s The Future of Social Media Research, first published in Research World magazine. In this post, Fran outlines the 10 ways to tackle the challenges facing the research industry’s use of social media monitoring.
  1. Jess Owens’s ‘10 Tactics For Rigour in Social Media Market Research’ outlining how you can ensure the insights from your research project are robust.

 

Research World Magazine

NSMNSS (New Social Media, New Social Science) is a blog that brings together academics, researchers and social scientists to discuss whether social science researchers should embrace social media, and what the implications would be if these methods and practices were used. The blog is jointly owned by NatCen Social Research (Britain’s leading independent social research institute) and SAGE, the research methods publishers.

In the social media research field we’re constantly trying to find new ways of getting insight, solving problems – and working out how to do this accurately, ethically and efficiently. We think it’s really valuable for NSMNSS to be supporting this dialogue between commercial and academic researchers who often have very different priorities. There’s a lot we in market research can learn from academic discussions of what can be legitimately deduced from a given method versus what’s just speculation or error. And we hope our focus on actionability might inspire some students to think more widely about how they might connect their research through into real-world applications.

Despite these differences, both sides are united by a keen interest in what’s next when it comes to making sense of social data. Pulsar has partnered with researchers at the University of Sheffield and 3 other universities to explore new techniques and technologies in visual social media and image analysis, and we’ll be reporting back from the first conference this Friday.

So here’s to blurring the boundaries between research worlds! It’s a fascinating and exciting place to be working.

Interested in Social Media In Social Research? Head over to Amazon to learn more and download the Kindle eBook.

Or find out more about how media research can help you by emailing us on
info@facegroup.com

Watch our webinar: How Social Media Predicts Ticket Sales

Thanks to everyone who joined me last Thursday for my webinar on How Social Media Predicts Concert Ticket Sales. With over 50 attendees we had a great global audience and some really good questions at the end – I had to think on my feet! Feedback’s been really positive, so thank you all for attending.

If you missed it, no need to miss out – the full webinar can be downloaded here with slides and audio for the full experience. The webinar runs for 30 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for questions.

Alternatively here’s our presentation ready to read:

If you liked that…

...Why not check out some of our other research studies, such as How Stuff Spreads, my webinar with Francesco D’Orazio on viral videos Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake – or some big thinking on The Future of Social Media Research.

…Or if you’d like to get in touch to talk about how the learnings might apply to your own business, or explore doing a similar study yourself, just send me an email at Jessica@Facegroup.com.

…If you’d like to learn more about our social data research platform Pulsar that powered this project, head on over to PulsarPlatform.com or email Info@Pulsarplatform.com and our team will get back to you right away.