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The big piece missing from every industry roundup is a standard set of tests. Being very real and honest, a number of solutions often regarded as "top tier" score well below 50% accuracy on sentiment overall, relevant sentiment and even worse on sentiment at the topic level. And some of those solutions that correctly score sentiment over 70% of the time often leave anywhere from 70-90 percent sentiment undetermined/mixed/nuetral. I have dug into those unscored posts, and they often contain meaningful sentiment.
Most of the automated solutions in the market simply do not work. If a system believes that a reposting of a sales promotion is an endorsement, they are missing the point. And until we get far more accurate metrics, we aren't going to be able to draw the large parallels that many ROI equations rely on.
Thanks for sharing my disclosure codes. Still waiting to see what the community adopts!
Paul, social is absolutely a microphone. But it's also a coffee shop, and a backyard barbecue. ESPN talent went out, on their own and built equity and stronger affinity for the brand. There absolutely needs to be structure and guidelines, but the brand also needs to recognize and appreciate the value of their personalities in the conversation. Putting a cork in it, even temporarily, just wasn't the smartest way to go about doing this.
Andre, there is a lot of value in participating in social. It's not a waste of time for those in the business of building affinities. As a marketer and as an advertiser, I have worked with negotiations that involve engaging on-air talent and having them engage their audiences. The on-air talent built a new channel for the brand, one that can be sold, generating strong revenue. I would hardly call this unproductive. If your job is paint a room social is a distraction. But if your job involves communicating with and learning from your peers and your audience, social is an invaluable resource. It's a matter of balance and in this case, it doesn't look like productivity suffered (from what we can tell).
Hey Paul, I very much appreciate ESPN's position and the unique value that you bring to all platforms as a brand that lives, breathes, informs and inspires passion.
The point of this post is not that ESPN is "banning" anything, but rather that ESPN has a lot to gain by empowering by empowering their employees. The best practices set up are better than most, but they are restrictive in funny places.
The personal touch your employees and personalities bring to social lends an added dimension to their characters, both on and off the air. The personal connections and passions they share will fuel your brand so long as they are appropriate. The guidelines could have come with best practices around remaining professional, and been issued after speaking individually with public talent (this would only take a few days, a week at the most).
The advocacy and passion of your employees make your brand. The fact that you are even responding and participating speaks to the brand familiarity with emerging channels. But the execution could have been more strategic.
That being said, the conversation isn't over. You still can go back to your talent and employees and better explain your message. I'm sure that this will be done over time. My only advice is that you regularly consult with someone who is very knowledgeable and strategic. I'm sure your policies will evolve over time. Next time around, remember that nuance matters, both in the message and how it is delivered.
Looking forward to seeing great things from ESPN in the days ahead. And when you are launching, you know where to find me. http://jburg.typepad.com