I recently reviewed a presentation I gave on social media monitoring in 2010 and found it fascinating to see how quickly this space has matured in only three years.
Admittedly some organisations are only jumping in to social media monitoring now, but I would say 70% of businesses have been monitoring for some time and experimenting with how social data can benefit their organisation. I find that our clients today are no longer content with just monitoring to see how many mentions the brand receives but are looking to suck a lot more out of the data. And herein lies the inspiration for the following ideas on how you can take your monitoring to the next level – the trends I am seeing in 2013.
This is definitely one of the hot phrases of 2013 – and applied to social it can become very engaging to businesses, taking social media beyond the mar-coms team to the C level. By overlaying social data with call centre data or sales data, social starts to become more relevant to the bigger business picture, and management can start to see how it impacts other key areas in the company. By including social data in standard business metrics the true value of online interactions, and the efficiencies they bring, can be validated. Example? An energy company recently reviewed its call centre data against social media data and found that during a blackout, calls only increased by 8% rather than their pre-social media figure of 76% - what a saving social media had created.
At iSentia we are overlaying social media data with traditional media data to help organisations understand the catalyst of a story or an announcement. Does social-media begin a discussion before journalists take it to the traditional media, or does a story start in traditional media and then social media takes it viral? In truth, it can go either way. By understanding the relationship between the two styles of media organisations we are able to better formulate our messaging, be that for marketing right through to crisis management.
Real time engagement
As a consumer I expect a lot more from a brand than I used to. I expect them to feed me relevant content, deliver products to me on the same day as purchase and to respond to me when I ask a question (within five mins of my tweet!). We are living in an ‘always on’ (34% of westerners are on social media whilst watching TV), instant satisfaction society and social media monitoring, if used effectively, can compliment this shift in behaviour.
By following mentions of your competitors, your brand or your industry, you have the opportunity to be involved in real time with relevancy. This was made patently clear with Oreos’ recent ‘you can dunk in the dark’ stunt aired during a power outage at the superbowl – it saw their Instagram following increase from 2,200 to 87,000 in a day. Or a sporting code might monitor its players, teams and issues, and based on what is trending on social media it can ‘tweak’ its website content to suit the discussions at that point in time.
Monitoring gives us the ability to listen like never before, and to be ‘a part’ of conversations we would have never been privy to in the past. By changing from the old-school business mentality of ‘the customers will come to us’ to ‘go to where the customers are’ businesses are able to become a lot more effective at getting their messages across. A pharmaceutical business was launching a new diabetes product in Australia last year and decided to listen to what people were saying about diabetes online so they could shape the marketing message. Very quickly they realised the online communities were huge so they consciously reached out targeted that, providing key influencers a sample of their product. Within days these people were speaking about (publicising) the product online, at which point traditional media picked up the story and took the message a lot further than the initial marketing budget could have.
My closing message is simply “experiment, experiment, experiment…” This is a new space and a new territory to explore. Ensure your business doesn’t get stuck in the fatigue of using the same metrics and strategies over and over again. Instead, constantly review new ideas and trends and see how they apply to your industry and organisation.