Ted Karczewski

Social chatter takes place every day, and businesses that spark worthwhile conversations online can drive sales. According to a J.D. Power and Associates study, 87 percent of surveyed consumers indicate that social engagement positively impacts their likelihood to purchase from brands they’re connected with online.

With data-driven initiatives becoming standard practice, brands must adopt an analytics-reporting approach to create stronger content marketing campaigns. Brafton recently spoke with Jeremy Epstein, vice president of marketing at Sprinklr (our new partner), about the evolving world of social media analytics.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your company, Sprinklr?

JE: Sprinklr was founded in late 2009 to make it possible for large enterprises to be social at scale. In order accomplish this goal, our platform had to achieve three things. It needed to be designed for large organizations. It needed to allow organizations to be social online, as opposed to just manage social interactions as one offs. And we knew Sprinklr had to work at scale – not with two or three employees, but for 500 staff members, and not for 10 to 20 conversations on Twitter, but for upwards of 10,000 discussions at once. In the end, we created a top-ranked social media management system that serves more than 200 household name brands.

Q: A study from 2012 found that 28 percent of marketers don’t measure social media results and another 27 percent depend on “intuition” to gauge social success. Why do you think brand’s don’t measure their campaigns?

Social listening can lead to stronger content strategies.JE: I think there are a couple key reasons why marketers shy away from measuring their social conversations. To start, companies have to deal with a number of channels like Facebook and Twitter, and it can be a challenge to track different audiences like a group of marketers or customer service professionals. How do you measure the impact? How do you compare results from Facebook to YouTube, or weigh interaction from an industry peer against a comment from a budding young professional? Without the right resources, you don’t know how to prioritize data.

Geotargeting also comes into play. Businesses can’t handle the volume of conversation that happens online every day. They don’t have the infrastructure to create a unified brand voice, so that when Company A’s U.K. division answers a customer’s question online, it sounds the same as when Company A’s South African offshoot responds to to a similar query.

Q: That’s true – so many options can make measurement feel overwhelming. How do you think the social marketing game has evolved to affect how brands use social metrics?

JE: Companies have to adjust to the reality that customers know more about brands today than brands know about themselves. This means enterprises must get comfortable understanding what motivates social audiences to engage in social chatter, and how online discussions lead to word-of-mouth marketing. They need to start being social, instead of just managing social accounts. Consumers deserve to have their favorite brands treat them like individuals.

Q: A study from Pitney Bowes stated that social media analytics – more than metrics from any other channel – provides marketers with the greatest insight for long-term use. Why do you think social data helps brand adjust their strategies to have an impact?

Social media analytics reveal people’s core motivations, not their transient wants.

JE: Social media analytics reveal people’s core motivations, not their transient wants. As social creatures, we often reveal our desires and intent – and these things rarely change. If a company notices that it’s connecting with consumers who are motivated by physical fitness, that’s probably not going to change. If social activity reveals that a percentage of a company’s audience is vegan, those people will likely stay committed to those beliefs long term. Social media analytics helps enterprise organizations create targeted web content, collaborate with cross-department colleagues to get feedback into the right hands, develop smarter campaigns, oversee thousands of conversations online and build an active community.

Q: What audience motivations do you think brands should focus online to gauge their campaigns’ success?

JE: I don’t think there is one metric more important than the rest. Brands must set their businesses’ social goals before they measure success. If a company is trying to increase conversions, perhaps measure comments and clickthrough rates. However, if brand lift and engagement is top priority, Likes and shares may show more meaningful results.

Brafton recently began working with Sprinklr to help clients create smarter content strategies that take into account social chatter. With Sprinklr’s help, Brafton clients can be social at scale, and tailor web content around insights gleaned from online discussions.