Reputation matters.  Many marketers and brand managers are probably wondering how best to leverage social media to gauge reputation.  Until now, sentiment scores and cherry picked mentions (or as we call them, ‘verbatims’) from sentiment reports have served this function for most.  This method, though, has two problems: 1) the lack of accuracy in sentiment engines, and 2) the need for some math involved—a numerator and denominator or a ‘this’ vs. ‘that’ ratio would provide such a measurable, trackable score.

Enter the Net Promoter Score (NPS).   The NPS is simply the [number of Promoters your brand has, minus the number of Detractors, all over the total Number].   The total number is the number of individuals interviewed and asked one question: “Would you recommend our business/service/brand?”  You may be wondering, “So what if we want real-time results and don’t have the time and resources to interview people about our brand?”  The creator of the NPS had the same thought and earlier this year started working on a solution.   Adobe customers, though, need not wait—we can measure their brand’s reputation right now.

Last month we created a proxy for NPS that works on top of Adobe SocialAnalytics.  If you are an Adobe SocialAnalytics customer, we can add a set* of balanced promoter and detractor terms to go along with your brand.  Along with the terms, we can add brand- or industry-specific terms providing further granularity.  Also, we can duplicate these terms for your competitor(s), which you can track, giving yourself a baseline ‘reputation share’.  One key difference between this method and that of the NPS is the system of scoring.  With the NPS you will get a score (e.g. 48); with this method you will get a ratio (e.g. 14.6 to 1).  The benefit of the ratio is its meaningfulness not only as a comparison to others, but also on its own.  Knowing how many promoting verbatims you have to detracting ones is valuable. Additionally, you can take further action on those by adding another level of classification—those verbatims that are describing a service vs. those that are prescribing one.

Below is a sample test after letting the system run for eight days.  Brand A on the left vs. Brand B on the right—note the large differences.

I recommend you try it.  If you already have SocialAnalytics, it’s free! You just need to account for a slight uptick in the volume of mentions.  Knowing what people say about your brand when they are not being interviewed is important; scientifically measuring brand recommendations and tracking them over time is what you can do to take it one step further.

For Brand A above, I would take the results seriously.  I recommend digging into the verbatims (the content) and classifying the types of detractions.  As mentioned, we have descriptions vs. prescriptions built in; adding levels of actionable classifications within SocialAnalytics is part of the power of the tool.   Perhaps you, as a brand manager, would want to see all the, say, detractions related to customer-employee interactions.  You can split those out.   Further, let’s say your organization decides it would like to address all of these complaints directly.  We can help you craft a dialog grid that takes into consideration not only the taxonomy of the complaint, but also the particular tone within the network where it appears.  In short: There are ways to raise your ratio, it is important to do so, and we can help.

* The set of terms is currently at 74.  Given the capabilities of SocialAnalytics, you could track your and your top ten competitors’ reputations.  Tracking them yourself ensures parity and a clean data set from which to take action.