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Sentiment: The New Social Net Promoter Score

Joshua March
By Joshua March on Oct 24, 2011 6:06:00 PM

Asking customers if they would promote you can seem pointless in social media - every public comment they make about you is already promoting or disparaging your brand. 

This is particularly relevant in Facebook, as your page is visible to the world. Why ask questions when you can already see the real data in front of you?

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric developed by Bain & Company. It was devised to make it easy to test the number of promoters you have compared to the number of detractors, in a simple way for employees to understand and act on. It is generated by asking customers, on a scale of 0-10, "How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?", with high scores counted as promoters and low scores as detractors. 

It's a great tool when you have the ability and opportunity to ask at scale. However, this is not easy in Facebook and Twitter; the main mass communication method is to send out posts and tweets, neither of which can include the NPS test. You can ask the question in a bespoke tab, but this is hard to find – so take up will be low. 

Sentiment - the New NPS

Companies already have masses of customer conversations happening on Facebook and Twitter, which are great sources for understanding if customers are happy. In fact, because of their public nature and way that comments are pushed to friends across the social graph, social comments about your brand are net promotion in action. Measuring the sentiment of these posts gives you an accurate view of the real positive promotion and negative detraction happening on your pages right now. 

Measuring sentiment automatically is unreliable, with accuracy rates of around 60-80%, aggregating these won’t produce meaningful statistics. Some monitoring tools do this at scale, which is fine for a general overview. But if you really want to understand how your customers feel it's not sufficient. However, for your own Facebook page and Twitter account, if you have agents already checking all customer comments, you are in a prime position to do highly accurate manual sentiment tracking.  In Conversocial, we've made this fast and easy with simple keyboard shortcuts that allow you to mark positive and negative sentiment with the same keystroke that you are using to archive content. 

The key to measuring sentiment consistently and effectively is to provide your social media staff with simple, clear guidelines for what constitutes positive or negative sentiment. The best way to do this is to ask the following question:

"If a friend saw this comment, would it improve or worsen their perception of the company?"

Saying "I shopped at xxx" certainly isn't negative... but it doesn’t quite promote the company either. Saying "I shopped at xxx and it was great" or "I love your new product xxxx!" both clearly promote the brand. Our recommendation is that unless actively positive, comments should be left neutral, allowing you to really compare the percentage of comments that actively promote you vs the comments that actively detract. 

If done correctly, you can discover the 'net promoter score' of your page just by comparing the rate of positive and negative comments. Tracking this over time, on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis allows you to really understand your customers’ satisfaction. It's one of the key stats (along with response time) that you need to be tracking to ensure you're delivering effective social customer service in Facebook and Twitter.

If you'd like to find out more more how Conversocial can help you measure sentiment quickly and easily on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, get in touch.

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