Evaluating ROI on social media for Telecom Service Providers

Which social media website to choose based on certain user specific criteria (Created using Gephi)
Which social media website should be chosen? What is the Return on Investment? (Picture Created using Gephi based on list of social media websites from wikipedia & calculating weighted mean)

Most telecom service providers use IT in key business processes like Marketing, Sales & Service. It would be worthwhile to integrate social media listening capabilities with the current systems so that the social media impact on the business can be measured. Below are a few metrics I could think of that can be used to understand if the social media strategy used is a successful one.

Customer Readiness for Social Media Influence – Marketing

Customer readiness to accept the influence of social media in their decisions to purchase products from the service providers can be understood with the following metrics. Based on the metrics given below, the social media campaign / channels can be decided upon.

  • During customer care / dealer / web portal interactions, are your customers ready to share their social media handles?

  • Which social media handle data are your customers more willing to give (like facebook, twitter, google+, linkedIn, etc.,) and our activity on the particular site.

  • What % of the entire customer base’s social media handles do you have?

  • What is the increase in the readiness of the customer to share their social media data?

  • How many customers interact with you on social media (like / favorite / comment / share)

 Branding – Marketing

Brand perception relies a lot on the products the service provider sells and hence it is important for the listening engine to understand what customers (prospective & current) think about:

  • the products released recently and the positives / negatives through sentiment analysis

  • the most popular products sold (according to the users)

  • the reasons associated with the segment-wise popularity of the product.

  • No. of times a product has been discussed on social media and its impact on sales.

  • Influence on branding by those who are not our customers or unidentified as customers.

 Campaign Management – Marketing / Sales

Nowadays we see a lot of campaigns being created exclusively for those on social media. It is important to keep track of

  • the number of campaigns that have been created based on the requests / interests identified through social media.

  • The number of campaigns created and the revenue out of these campaigns should give an idea of the returns on investment.

  • Map enterprise level data with the campaign data to understand the segment which likes the campaign.

  • How successful are the campaigns through Social Media? Revenue vs cost from these campaigns?

 Generating leads – Sales

While it is good to interact with customers and enhance brand awareness and influence, if the goal of the service provider is to actually find leads and convert them into business, the following are very important:

  • How many people have you converted into leads through Social Media?

  • the % of leads that could be contacted through Social media / outside of Social media.

  • How much % of these leads have been converted into actual customers by selling your products / subscriptions?

 Client specific goals & parameters – Service

The listening engine should take into consideration that each service provider / client base is unique and include the client specific goals into consideration before posting content across the social media. A few examples are given below:

  1. For example, if a telecom service provider wants to increase the usage of self-service portals thereby reducing the customer service requests through customer care channel, the company needs to devise logic to convert the goals to measurable ones & spread awareness through social media

  2. How much time can the service provider afford to spend on social media.

  3. If the customer base is multilingual, are their messages routed to the right support agents? Or is there an internal re-assignment?

Complaint Handling – Service

The number of issues / complaints identified gives a sense of the effectiveness of the listening engine. All identified issues / complaints could be saved as service requests / trouble tickets based on the nature of the issue. It is important to understand how many service requests raised are actually solved so that it can be compared to the traditional way of raising service requests. The Service Requests raised through the listening engine are initially not tagged to any of the accounts (remember “eventual consistency” in previous article?). The approximate account – subscription details to be tagged to this request is maintained in other fields and the customer care agent manually accepts or changes the account tagged. If the information cannot be tagged to any of the accounts, a personal message is sent to the user for the details and responded to their post on the same channel.

  • Number of service requests / trouble tickets have been identified through social media

  • % of service requests / trouble tickets solved

  • % of solved issues required a follow up customer care call VS how many were solved using information in social media itself

  • % of anonymous Service Requests that are later tagged to accounts & channels used as mentioned above

Churn reduction % – Service

Churn is the amount of customers moving from our network to other networks. Social media can help the service provider in understanding the ported out customers by listening to them on social media. The impact of social media on churn reduction can be found by looking at the following metrics:

  • The churn ratio among those people engaged on social media to people not engaged on social media. Higher the ratio, lower is the impact of social media influence on churn reduction

  • the number of Number Portability Requests due to social media. (This could happen due to competitors or due to influencers on social media who influence our customers to move out to another network)

  • Approx. number of customers where social media interactions were helpful to prevent churn beforehand

  • Positive / negative of feedback of customers who have ported our from a network on social media

 Competitor Analysis – Marketing

Most metrics defined here need to be monitored for our competitors as well. This gives a better perspective of the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, as perceived by the direct customers. As we monitor, we could scale up our strengths and also grow in areas considered popular by the end users. The perception & changing perception of our own strengths and weaknesses as perceived by people can be monitored on a regular basis and checked if we are moving in the right direction. The number of customers identified because we are monitoring our competitors can also be noted on a continuous basis.

One more important metric is the number of voices of those who popularize our competitors and their influence rate. These will help us understand the kind of people our customers listen to, in addition to us and our competitors.

Big Data is not about others success stories, but ours!


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