Cover Story: Social Works
"So as a result, our client satisfaction is going up," she adds. "And we've seen great results, as well, in terms of … getting more new customers, using this as outreach to drive more customers to our base, ensuring that we reach customers where they are and connect them together so that they're more loyal to us and also so that they become our evangelists."
Driving at specific goals, IBM Software Group measures its social media efforts both traditionally and through engagement.
"We have an integrated, automated dashboard, which, for us, is done through our technology called Cognos," Carter says. "And we can go down to the tactic.
"So, for instance, for our last big event, Impact, we did a Twitter campaign," she says. "If you signed up in the first 72 hours, you got 30 minutes with Jerry Cuomo, [vice president and chief technology officer for IBM WebSphere]. And we can actually measure that because we gave them a code to enter to be part of the 'Get time with Jerry Cuomo [promotion].' … So we do [measurement] in what I call the typical way, trying to quantify it as best we can, with campaign effectiveness, response effectiveness, pipeline contribution."
Similar tactics were used for the October 2008 "Smart SOA World Tour," for which Carter's group tweeted and updated LinkedIn accounts to encourage online registration. Due to these social efforts, registrations increased nearly 10 percent for the face-to-face WebSphere software demos.
"What we've been focused on most recently is how to measure engagement," Carter says. "Is there a way we can get a surrogate measure for that engagement? And what I mean by that is the involvement of customers with us. So perhaps on the frequency of conversation. … What kind of interaction are [customers] having with our brand? And how do they make that real online?