Cover Story: Social Works
"We look at an intimacy rating," she adds. "So we've been doing a lot of work with sentiment tracking. So not just frequency, but is the sentiment positive or negative? And then we look at opinions expressed in, like, customer service calls to see, 'OK, we've got this level of intimacy and can we convert this interaction to a relationship?' And then, finally, we look at influence. And there, we're still looking at some of the net promoter scores and some of the brand monitoring and brand affinity studies. And now we're really getting into relationship to purchase."
Carter thinks in the future, smart companies will view social networking as a way to gain a competitive edge.
"It's not just about adding a couple things to your marketing outreach," she says. "It's about cultural change, right? So if you're really going to go out there and ask people, crowd-source with a product, and you don't make changes to your product, just with the rules of the road, you're going to get rejected pretty easy."
Essentially, participating in social media marketing is more than just a game for IBM Software Group.
"This is a business model change," she says. "In my mind, that's what this is all about."