Social Media Monitoring – Is it really that important?

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising." — Mark Zuckerberg

Gone are the days when you had to wait for a letter to arrive in your mailbox or the newspaper to get tossed onto your front door step in order to find out what is going on with your family, friends and in the news. With ACTIVE users in the billions on social sites, we now get INFLUENTIAL information real time. While we might first find out about a product, service, or company through a personal recommendation, what is the very next thing we do?

The answer is not that we immediately act on that recommendation but rather… we take to Google! We Google it… what is it, what does google say about it, what do people across the globe have to say about, should we further pursue buying it or getting service from it. Because companies cannot control what is posted real time about their brand, it makes the content so much more valuable to consumers. Social information is not a branded, highly orchestrated, produced marketing message. It is real people telling real people the real deal. Company owners and executives alike are all in agreement that online reputation review and management is a top priority.

One of the important aspects of managing your online reputation is understanding what channels your audience or customers are using most or are most influenced by. If you are not selling into the baby boomer generation then you can worry a bit less about Facebook because millennials are on Instagram and you tube. Equally as important is what they are using that channel for. Facebook and Instagram come up high in surveys as places that folks follow their favorite brands. While You tube which is often over looked by marketers, it is fast becoming the most popular place to leaver about products and services and is found to be highly influential in discovery, learning and purchasing decisions.

All too often we spend all of our marketing dollars on active social media. We push content. We start the dialogue. We hope to put out something to attract customers. We hope they will respond by buying or using it. If we focus all of our efforts and dollars on active social media marketing we are missing the boat. Passive social media marketing is as important if not more important because it is the true voice of the customer.

Having no presence on social media is no longer an option it is likened to having no website back in 1998 which is about the time that google was birthed. Having stale content or content that is too wordy or too focused on product pushing is also a death knell. If you think of your companies social presence as the windows to the soul of your company when you review them for content and reviews and the like, you will have a better chance at understanding a customer’s perception of you.

  • Listening: It’s an ongoing task that focuses on getting to know your audience and their emotions, creating a baseline understanding of the consumers you want your brand to reach. The goal is to learn what consumers care most about.
  • Monitoring: If you think of Social Media Listening as creating a baseline for what your audience feels, Social Media Monitoring is about maintenance of that baseline.
  • Intelligence: including Social Media Monitoring and Social Media Listening, with a focus on Competitor Analysis.

Although majority of companies feel that social media is a major part of their marketing strategy, studies show that less than half are monitoring social media discussions closely. Don’t spend money on a new before you have tested the concept in the focus group setting. If this research yields some positive results, by all means forward.

Once you launch your product, please start social listening. Do people love them? Crank them out at lightning speed to all markets. Do people hate them? Get them off the shelves immediately. Do people just like them? Now you have some time to do further analysis on whether the product will enhance or detract from your brand longer term.

Do you understand how your competitors are perceived by their audience? How well are they connecting with their customers and communities? What are their customers saying about their likes and dislikes and how does that relate to your products or services?

Businessman Scott Cook talks about what a brand is.

Google yourself and your company. It’s important to know what is being said about you and where. It’s important to know where your information lives and that it is consistent.

Acquisition and loyalty are always business goals. Understanding and listening to your customers proactively is more important than ever. The better you understand them, the better you can engage and delight them. Touching your customers through social media will create a community of customers who will take care of your brand for you.

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