Yesterday we featured the winning team of MBA students from a Hult International Business School class competition to define better ways for multi-brand companies to engage in social networking. Fifteen groups of students developed comprehensive marketing plans with strategies for using social media to increase brand recognition, build customer relationships and create new opportunities.
Today, we look at the outstanding ideas of the three runner-up teams*, all of which offer great potential for large enterprises to more effectively leverage the social sphere. The IBM social brand engagement team judged the proposals and selected the teams based on the originality of their ideas and the rationale behind them.
Use text analytics to assess customer sentiment
The Alcatraz 3 team proposed using the emerging technology of speech and text analytics to better understand what people in the social sphere actually feel about a company and its brands. While computer programs today can easily tell a company the quantity of social buzz about its products and services, the team recognized the enormous value of being able to attach sentiment to written social media content.
The team devised the Sentiment Analysis Modeling (SAM) system to attach emotional value to word patterns that appear in the social environment and, essentially, indicate whether a company’s buzz is good or bad.
“We have automated the process of teaching computers how to recognize patterns of human language and how to understand what the person is feeling,” the team wrote.
Armed with a better sense of how the social sphere feels about their products and services, companies can make smarter decisions and best address customer needs.
Build brand equity amongst all stakeholders
The Golden Gate 4 team focused on using social media to help ensure stakeholders’ brand perception is fully aligned with a company’s core values. To achieve this, the team developed a theoretical “Social Media Business (SMB)” model to help companies build brand resonance and create an environment of continual awareness, interest and interaction.
In order to best meet the distinct needs and interests of varying stakeholders, the team segmented them into B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2P (Business to People) sectors (B2P includes a company’s employees). More specifically, companies can apply the SMB model to each unique stakeholder constituency to determine the most effective social engagement tactics to assure consistent brand knowledge and two-way communication with that group.
The team also created a separate “Media Business Interface (MBI)” platform as a one-stop solution for the B2B community to collaborate and share resources in an open social media environment.
Create excitement with a video crowdsourcing campaign
The Coit Tower 5 team believes a company can realize significant benefits with a viral video marketing campaign using a combination of internal and external crowdsourcing.
As an example, the team proposed that a business such as IBM could conduct a campaign called “Are You Smarter Than An IBMer?” from the Smarter Planet Facebook page using a custom built Facebook app. The campaign would encourage both IBM employees and the general public to submit a video of their high-tech “smart solution” to a real world problem.
The ideas would be grouped into two categories — those from IBM employees and from “The World” — and the best ideas would bubble to the top as people vote on them. Ultimately, the top solution in each group would go head-to-head in a sudden death round with the winner receiving company resources to determine whether it’s actionable.
The team believes campaigns such as this could drive a great deal of traffic to company Web sites and create strong brand ties between a business and its top marketing initiatives; engage employees and leverage them to create added value; and build brand equity among the general public, not just the B2B community.
Golden Gate 4: Vivi Chang, Juan Camilo Villegas, Faraz Siddique, Piyush Mishra, Marina Nikitina
Coit Tower 5: Andrey Kalenov, Pallavi Kotagiri, Ricardo Miranda, Pedro Bustos, Sam Murphy, Mike Sutherland