Social Media Analytics: Importance to Manufacturing

Christopher Heiden, Walsh College
June 16, 2021
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Traditional business such as those in the manufacturing industry need to pay attention to social media trends.

The Power of Social Media

Social media is a powerful and dynamic medium used for communicating. "In today’s high-tech business world, marketing is ever-changing. This is especially true of social media, where new platforms and content trends emerge on a seemingly daily basis “(15 Hot Social Media, 2019). The social media platforms are changing. The traditional social media powerhouse – Facebook – is experiencing market pressure from competing platforms (such as B2B platform LinkedIn). The content will also move to more of a “hyper-targeted content” model. Traditional business such as those in the manufacturing industry need to pay attention to social media trends.

Manufacturers need to utilize social media as a marketing tool. This is a way in which to extend their already large sized marketing engines. This should not only be used as a marketing tool but a customer service tool. Manufacturers can take lessons from other industries to couple together marketing and customer service. This can be done to increase the customer experience. Social media is a great tool that can accomplish this goal. “Social media teams – both marketing and customer service – often sit by themselves in organizations, likely because management doesn’t quite know what to do with them. But this is a mistake. Integrating with the core business ensures that the social media team is engaged with other business units to share and act upon customer feedback (Gingiss, 2019). The usage of social media should be included as one of the core business areas. This integration can help to drive strategic goals and profitability. Two ways in which the social media integration can be brought into the core business for the manufacturing industry is “1. Customer feedback, sometimes called Voice of the Customer, can help to improve existing products, services and experiences; and 2. Customer ideas and use cases can help the product development team develop new products or services” (Gingiss, 2019). The integration of customer feedback and customer ideas can help the manufacturer in its core business operations.

Social media posts give the customer a voice. Social media analytics is a way in which to measure and draw insights from the engagement of the customer. The aim can be to not only increase or boost customer engagement, but to increase marketing performance. The goal of the manufacturer that will use this tool is to ultimately work to increase revenue. “Social media analytics helps organizations in collecting and interpreting online conversation, making it easier to separate valuable inputs. Social media analytics tools are also helpful in crawling most social media channels and social networks. Additionally, it aids in gathering data from social media websites and analyzing that data to facilitate better business decisions” (Social Media Analytics, 2019).

These social media posts provide good measures for customer sentiment to the manufacturer. The consumer choices in manufacturing continue to increase as time progresses. Research for measuring the innovation in manufacturing is progressing slowly. Specifically, measuring and analyses of innovation as it relates to the social media customer sentiments and related measurements are lacking.

There are two areas of review recommended in the area of social media analytics for manufacturing – 1) “Empowering Customers / People” and 2) “Changes in Consumer Behavior.” The manufacturer can use social media analytics to help draw insight from this feeling of empowerment along with using it to measure changes in consumer behavior. This can ultimately lead to improve innovation for the manufacturer.

Empowering Customers / People

The manufacturer can use social media analytics to help draw insight from this feeling of empowerment. Sentiment analysis can be used to help get the voice of the customers / people. Therefore, this can be used to help the customers / people feel empowered.

Internet users like to share their experience with products and services that are used. The internet users also like to see the comments of other internet users on those said products and or services. This can grant a sense of empowerment. The manufacturer can therefore gain some insight from the social media analysis. This insight can help to increase innovation in the manufacturer’s product and service offering. According to Wang et al. paper “"If finer-grained sentiment analysis can be achieved, it will yield more specific and more actionable results with detailed negative emotion subcategories such as anger, sadness, and anxiety or positive emotion subcategories such as happiness and excitement” (Wang et al, 2016). The fine-grained sentiment analysis can help to draw from more substantive emotion subcategories. Instead of utilizing only star-based (for example, 1 to 5 start system) sentiment system ratings, the manufacturer personnel can hone in on subcategories. This would help to empower the customers / people by showing that the ratings are being acted on.

Changes in Consumer Behavior

Changes in consumer behavior measurements can be used to help the manufacturer work to improve innovation. “Social media organization and analysis is one of the most interesting research areas nowadays implemented by modern networks and telecommunication technologies” (Ivaschenko, 2018). Modern social media analytics can be used to help broaden how organizations measure changes in consumer behavior through the measurement of insight. These insights can be used by organizations and industries such as the manufacturing industry.

The usage of statistical clustering analysis helps the analyst to generalize the overall consumer behavior. “Despite the successful application of mathematical statistics used to cluster and generalize the user’s behavior the problem of Big Data analysis of social networking remains still open. This happens due to a necessity to personalize user activity models and understand individual features of human behavior” (Ivaschenko, 2018). Human behavior adds to the ability for the analyst to leverage social media analytics in a way that can improve innovation.

Social media is a powerful medium used for communicating. Social media posts provide good measures for customer sentiment to the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers should look to utilize social media analysis to empower customers along with measuring the changes in consumer behavior. Changes in consumer behavior measurements can be used to help the manufacturer work to improve innovation.


15 Hot Social Media Trends To Try Out In 2019 (2019, February 25).

A. Ivaschenko, A. Khorina, V. Isayko, D. Krupin, V. Bolotsky and P. Sitnikov, "Modeling of user behavior for social media analysis," 2018 Moscow Workshop on Electronic and Networking Technologies (MWENT), Moscow, 2018, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.1109/MWENT.2018.8337258

Gingiss, D. (2019, February 27). How Integrating Social Media Into The Rest Of The Business Will Increase Revenue.

Social Media Analytics: Boosting Customer Engagement and Marketing Performance | Quantzig (2019, February 28)

Z. Wang, C. S. Chong, L. Lan, Y. Yang, S. Beng Ho and J. C. Tong, "Fine-grained sentiment analysis of social media with emotion sensing," 2016 Future Technologies Conference (FTC), San Francisco, CA, 2016, pp. 1361-1364. doi: 10.1109/FTC.2016.7821783

Christopher Heiden, Walsh College
Christopher Heiden, Walsh College

Christopher Heiden is an Associate Professor of Information Technology at Walsh College in Troy, Michigan. He works with the latest in data science technologies through his academic studies and practice. Heiden is currently working on his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Information Systems with a concentration in analytics and decision support. His research areas are database, data science, cloud computing, data analytics, data privacy and security. Prior to working in academia, Heiden worked for twenty years as a practitioner in the information technology, digital marketing, and database technology industries.

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