Corporate Bias, A Metric of Social Narcissism
We’ve all seen it, the eruption of buzz around a launch event, a scandal, a contest or some other drastic shift in the conversation around a brand. Since we started looking at Social Media as another data source to help clients make sense of the market, we have helped several clients make sense of these volatile phenomena. Our clients worried endlessly when their competition had these volcanic explosions of interest, especially in B2B markets where mindshare was so jealously guarded. Our forensic analysis of these events found they fell into three buckets:
- Legitimate market interest in what the brand had to say and sustained engagement (Yeah!)
- Bot-Storms flooding a brand because someone ‘bought’ followers or attention (Shame on you!)
- Lift generated almost entirely by employees and brand advocates like agencies
Those legitimate lifts are gold for the market and for the brands. It means they are contributing to the narrative in a way that drives overall growth and adoption.(Or a huge scandal was just exposed and heads will roll.) The Bot Storms are more prevalent in B2C but are being used less and less as social media properties do more to filter their impact. The one that is most difficult is where the employees and agencies relentlessly promote the parent brand. There are even tools to make this simpler. The minute any product is launched, press release embargo lifted, memo from the CEO ‘leaked’, swarms of employees and brand affiliates take to the social mediawaves (not quite airwaves) to immediately share how excited they are by X. In past blog post, we have described this as a Loud brand, one so intent on broadcasting their message that they drown out any actual dialogue with the market they are attempting to impact.
We created the Corporate Bias metric for our clients as a way to mute the impact of the advocate driven bursts in buzz. It’s a way to weed out the extra mentions in a conversation driven by those closest to the brand. It’s also a way to hold a brand accountable for how much they speak of themselves. (How many brands do you know that mention themselves in every single tweet?) This metric helps our clients not only separate the market driven buzz from the brand driven buzz, but also helps them manage their own brand advocates, encouraging dialogue over monologue. One of our clients also used this metric to ensure their lift was outside their brand, demonstrating to their leadership the impact of their outbound efforts.
For example, looking at the Network Function Virtualization Market for the last two weeks we see the following results:
You can see that HPE and Juniper had the most Posts during the last two weeks but their Corporate Bias numbers tell a very different story. Of Juniper’s 23 outbound posts, only 17% did not mention Juniper, meaning that the Juniper is acting as a LOUD brand within the NFV market whereas Brocade, even though they have fewer posts, is behaving more as a LISTENING brand, which, in the face of the recent acquisition rumors is admirable. You can quickly see where using Corporate Bias can help manage your engagement with the market narrative, see the impact of social strategies, and identify which eruptions of interest are real, imagined or manufactured…
This is what we do at Argus Insights, we focus on metrics that matter, metrics that help our clients move markets. Corporate Bias is just one of many metrics we have developed to help our clients craft the right actions to drive growth and engagement. let us know if you’d like to learn more! You can also sign up for our free market analysis newsletter.