Capgemini to offer managed social media service

Social media mind map

Capgemini, the IT outsourcer and systems integrator, is moving into the social media monitoring space.

The firm will provide a managed service, in a partnership with Attensity, a text analysis tool vendor. The service will provide text analytics, language processing and integration with business intelligence, and will run in Capgemini's data centres.

Businesses pay for the service through subscriptions, and can choose specific response times to social media events such as a Twitter message depending on business rules they set. One Capgemini client has seven events that trigger a four to six hour response, with other, less urgent events triggering a 24-hour response, or an automated answer, depending on the content.

Too many organisations, Capgemini believes, are leaving their social media monitoring to chance, perhaps relying on individuals in departments such as PR and marketing to "listen" for relevant posts on social media sites.

Fewer than 20 per cent of companies are actively using social media monitoring tools, said Paul Cole, Capgemini's vice president for BPO Customer Operations.

US drinks maker Brown-Forman recently used the Capgemini service to monitor the launch of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey across networks including Facebook and Twitter.

"This is not a self-service phenomenon, where people pick up chatter on the web and try to categorise it. That is firstly, taking a risk, and secondly, missing an opportunity," said Cole.

"Brands need business rules and workflows that take into account customer expectations," he said. If they do not, they will miss the chance to react to negative customer sentiment, or feed back new product ideas to research teams, Cole suggested.

IT, though, is unlikely to be the main user of the social media monitoring tool. According to Cole, the system is delivered as a hosted service, so marketing and other departments can buy it directly.

"Because this is touching customers, we will be dealing with marketing and sales. IT will be in a supporting role," said Cole.

A recent report released by EConsultancy and Adobe found 31 per cent of European businesses believed social media marketing was a "highly significant" trend for them, and a further 53 per cent rated it as "quite significant".