How Social Media Analysis Can Impact the Business World and So Much More
By Rod Smith, Vice President of Emerging Technologies, IBM
Companies have long known the value of business analytics to improve costs and business efficiency. Now, using new big data analytics technology & solutions, businesses can gain new insights into customer perceptions via social media on endless topics from football and baseball - to movies and retailing. These new technologies can even distinguish irony, albeit this technology is still evolving, and figure out which tweets are just noise and which are truly actionable insights. Identifying these nuggets can give companies the opportunity to react in a timely fashion that dramatically (and positively) impact their brands.
Let’s take sports – in this case Football. Sport is in the business of entertainment. What does that have to do with big data analytics? Team and players statistics are an integral part of the game. Wouldn’t it be interesting to also factor in how fans feel about team and players? Well, in advance of Super Bowl XVLI this weekend, IBM and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab are conducting a sentiment analysis of the New York Giants and New England Patriots coaches and players to illustrate how new analytics technologies makes it possible to quickly assess the positive, negative and neutral sentiment shared by fans.
The IBM/USC exercise illustrates the insights and potential benefits that social media analytics can deliver to a brand — whether you’re a professional football player or a global enterprise, it is important to understand how your customers feel about the products and services you are providing. Businesses that ignore the impact of social media will be stuck on the sidelines.
On Thursday (after collecting X number of folks commenting on Twitter), the first day the findings were released, two quarterbacks - Tom Brady and Eli Manning - were in statistical dead heat with Brady earning 65% positive sentiment and Eli Manning earning 62% positive sentiment. However, only 24 hours later, Manning’s positive sentiment percentage has jumped and he’s now leading Brady, 66% to 62%.
Other noteworthy findings show that the coaches and wide receivers have upstaged the quarterbacks:
- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, a target of fan frustration throughout his tenure in New York, is now the leader in positive sentiment with 76%.
- Meanwhile, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, historically one of the most polarizing figures in the league because of his brash personality, received 68% positive sentiment, third most of any game participant.
- New England wide receiver Wes Welker leads all players in positive sentiment, and is 2nd overall, and Victor Cruz is the top Giants player.
The overnight swing in support for Manning and the fact that the two quarterbacks, the main protagonists in the game, are not the leading figures on Twitter, illustrates an important point. Businesses must always be flexible and ready to adjust to the constantly changing opinions of their customers. Today, putting those capabilities into the hands of marketing, sales, journalists – the decisions makers is key to shrinking the time-to-value in this competitive world.
While a certain product, or in this case player, may be a fan or customer favorite one day, one unpopular action or story about that product can turn customers opinions in an instant. Similarly, products which may initially seem secondary in importance can emerge as the most popular in a company’s portfolio. A business must be able to adapt to these changes. By incorporating new big data analytics technologies, companies are now able to monitor those opinions more closely and efficiently than ever before, and are able to respond to changes in sentiment immediately and capitalize on profitable opportunities.
Social Media Today