Debenhams: Social media analysis is helpful, but not when it is computer generated

By Sooraj Shah
14 Feb 2014 View Comments

UK retailer Debenhams has attempted to clarify suggestions that it is unconvinced by social media analytics by suggesting that social media analysis is helpful, but not when it is computer generated.

Its customer strategy and insight analyst, Caroline Pollard, had told delegates at the Customer Insight Conference 2014 that social media was not an area of the business that the company sees the full value of.

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"We haven't really looked into social media tracking as we're not sure what you get out of it and what it can be built on. Especially at Debenhams where our [board] wants numbers, figures and concrete data, and there is not a lot of buy-in to get data on what customers feel about the company," she said.

But in a statement sent to Computing, a Debenhams spokesperson claimed that the retailer does analyse social media.

They said that when Pollard suggested the company did not value social media analytics, she was referring to agencies that "scrape social media sites to find out key themes that people are saying about us, and whether they are positive or negative".

The spokesperson said that "this computer-generated scraping often doesn't give a clear picture".

Instead, the retailer said that its own staff track, analyse and measure sentiment for every post on Facebook and Twitter, and that this was a "valuable tool".

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