Read the Application Case 8.5, “Social Network Analysis Helps Telecommunications Firms

Social Network Analysis Helps Telecommunications Firms

Social Network Analysis Helps Telecommunication FirmsBecause of the widespread use of free Internet tools and techniques (VoIP, video conferencing tools such as Skype, free phone calls within the United States by Google Voice, etc.), the telecommunication industry is going through a tough time. In order to stay viable and competitive, they need to make the right decisions and utilize their limited resources optimally. One of the key success factors for telecom companies is to maximize their profitability by listening and understanding the needs and wants of the customers, offering communication plans, prices, and features that they want at the prices that they are willing to pay.These market pressures force telecommunication companies to be more innovative. As we all know, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Therefore, many of the most promising use cases for social network analysis (SNA) are coming from the telecommunication companies. Using detailed call records that are already in their databases, they are trying to identify social networks and influencers. In order to identify the social networks, they are asking questions like “Who contacts whom?” “How often?” “How long?” “Both directions?” “On Net, off Net?” They are also trying to answer questions that lead to identification of influencers, such as “Who influenced whom how much on purchases?” “Who influences whom how much on churn?” and “Who will acquire others?” SNA metrics like degree (how many people are directly in a person’s social network), density (how dense is the calling pattern within the calling circle), betweenness (how essential you are to facilitate communication within your calling circle), and centrality (how “important” you are in the social network) are often used answer these questions.Here are some of the benefits that can be obtained from SNA:

  • Manage customer churn
    • Reactive (reduce collateral churn)—Identify subscribers whose loyalty is threatened by churn around them.
    • Preventive (reduce influential churn)—Identify subscribers who, should they churn, would take a few friends with them.
  • Improve cross-sell and technology transfer
    • Reactive (leverage collateral adoption)—Identify subscribers whose affinity for products is increased due to adoption around them and stimulate them.
    • Proactive (identify influencers for this adoption)—Identify subscribers who, should they adopt, would push a few friends to do the same.
  •                              Manage viral campaigns—Understand what leads to high-scale spread of messages about products and services, and use this information to your benefit.
  • Improve acquisition—Identify who are most likely to recommend a (off-Net) friend to become a new subscriber of the operator. The recommendation itself, as well as the subscription, is incentivized for both the subscriber and the recommending person.
  • Identify households, communities, and close-groups to better manage your relationships with them.
  • Identify customer life-stages—Identifying social network changes and from there identifying life-stage changes such as moving, changing a job, going to a university, starting a relationships, getting married, etc.
  • Identifying pre-churners—Detecting potential churners during the process of leaving and motivating them to stay with you.
  • Gain competitor insights—Track dynamic changes in social networks based on competitor’s marketing activities
  • Others inducing identifying rotational churners (switching between operators)—Facilitating re- to postmigration, and tracking customer’s networks dynamics over his/her life cycle.

Actual cases indicate that proper implementation of SNA can significantly lower churn, improve cross-sell, boost new customer acquisition, optimize pricing and, hence, maximize profit, and improve overall competitiveness.

Part 2:Read Application Case 8.6, “Measuring the Impact of Social Media at Lollapalooza,” on pages 379 and 380 of yourtextbook. Then, answer the following questions:1. How did C3 Presents use social media analytics to improve its business?2. What were the challenges, the proposed solution(s), and the obtained results?
pages 379 and 380

Application Case 8.6 

Measuring the Impact of Social Media at LollapaloozaC3 Presents creates, books, markets, and produces live experiences, concerts, events, and just about anything that makes people stand up and cheer. Among others, they produce the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, as well as more than 800 shows nationwide. They hope to see you up in front sometime.An early adopter of social media as a way to drive event attendance, Lollapalooza organizer C3 Presents needed to know the impact of its social media efforts. They came to Cardinal Path for a social media measurement strategy and ended up with some startling insights.

The Challenge

When the Lollapalooza music festival decided to incorporate social media into their online marketing strategy, they did it with a bang. Using Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more, the Lollapalooza Web site was a first mover in allowing its users to engage and share through social channels that were integrated into the site itself.After investing the time and resources in building out these integrations and their functionality, C3 wanted to know one simple thing: “Did it work?” To answer this, C3 Presents needed a measurement strategy that would provide a wealth of information about their social media implementation, such as:

  • Which fans are using social media and sharing content?
  • What social media is being used the most, and how?
  • Are visitors that interact with social media more likely to buy a ticket?
  • Is social media driving more traffic to the site? Is that traffic buying tickets?

The Solution

Cardinal Path was asked to architect and implement a solution based on an existing Google Analytics implementation that would to answer these questions.A combination of customized event tracking, campaign tagging, custom variables, and a complex implementation and configuration was deployed to include the tracking of each social media outlet on the site.

The Results

As a result of this measurement solution, it was easy to surface some impressive insights that helped C3 quantify the return on their social media investment:

  • Users of the social media applications on Lollapalooza.com spent twice as much as non-users.
  • Over 66 percent of the traffic referred from Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter was a result of sharing applications and Lollapalooza’s messaging to its fans on those platforms.
  • Fan engagement metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, page views per visit, and interaction goals improved significantly across the board as a result of social media applications

Part 3:Read Application Case 8.7, “eHarmony Uses Social Media to Help Take the Mystery Out of Online Dating,” on page 383of your textbook, and answer the following questions:1. How did eHarmony use social media to enhance online dating?2. What were the challenges, the proposed solution, and the obtained results?

Your response to each of the six questions must be a minimum of 200 words; therefore, the completed assignment mustcontain a minimum of 1,200 words.

Application Case 8.7 

eHarmony Uses Social Media to Help Take the Mystery Out of Online DatingeHarmony launched in the United States in 2000 and is now the number-one trusted relationship services provider in the United States. Millions of people have used eHarmony’s Compatibility Matching System to find compatible long-term relationships; an average of 542 eHarmony members marry every day in the United States, as a result of being matched on the site.

The Challenge

Online dating has continued to increase in popularity, and with the adoption of social media the social media team at eHarmony saw an even greater opportunity to connect with both current and future members. The team at eHarmony saw social media as a chance to dispel any myths and preconceived notions about online dating and, more importantly, have some fun with their social media presence. “For us it’s about being human, and sharing great content that will help our members and our social media followers,” says Grant Langston, director of social media at eHarmony. “We believe that if there are conversations happening around our brand, we need to be there and be a part of that dialogue.”

The Approach

eHarmony started using Salesforce Marketing Cloud to listen to conversations around the brand and around keywords like “bad date” or “first date.” They also took to Facebook and Twitter to connect with members, share success stories—including engagement and wedding videos—and answer questions from those looking for dating advice.“We wanted to ensure our team felt comfortable using social media to connect with our community so we set up guidelines for how to respond and proceed,” explains Grant Langston. “We try to use humor and have some fun when we reach out to people through Twitter or Facebook. We think it makes a huge difference and helps make people feel more comfortable.”

The Results

By using social media to help educate and create awareness around the benefits of online dating, eHarmony has built a strong and loyal community. The social media team now has eight staff members working to respond to social interactions and posts, helping them reach out to clients and respond to hundreds of posts a week. They plan to start creating Facebook apps that celebrate their members’ success, and they are looking to create some new videos around some common dating mistakes. The social team at eHarmony is making all the right moves and their hard work is paying off for their millions of happy members.

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