Where Social Media Monitoring Fails
Peter Panda

If your company has been leveraging social media marketing at all, you’re probably performing some sort of social media monitoring. This is the process of searching and scanning the web for mentions of your brand and relevant keywords and phrases. Most companies that monitor do so with the intent of responding to negative mentions, ensuring disgruntled customers are engaged and perhaps turned to the happier sort.

This customer service-centric version of social media monitoring is widely used, but is just the tip of the iceberg of what it possible. Sadly, the vast majority of brands using social monitoring are not using the next evolution in the social intelligence space called social listening.

This is the process of widening your scope of monitoring from reactive – find what you see and respond accordingly – to proactive – go looking for specific conversations and insights to use to better your brand. And when you go looking for specific conversations, you also widen the net beyond those mentioning your brand.

A few examples:

  • Isolating your social followers and analyzing their conversations when they don’t mention you. Doing this allows you to see what other topics interest them.
  • Zeroing in on conversations that mention your competitors to find the biggest flaws consumers mention in their products. Doing this arms you with product and feature ideas to ensure you’re answering their needs, as well as messaging insights to attract them to your brand.
  • Analyzing conversations about your brand by gender to see what women may want or need from you vs. what men do.
  • Discovering what prospective customers think about an emerging category (hover boards, drones, ride-sharing, etc.) to see if there’s a new product or service you can provide to fill that void.

And that’s just the beginning.

Approaching the online conversation not only as a customer service function, but also one that can provide consumer insights for product and feature development, user experience feedback and content or messaging needs, you begin to see much higher returns for the investment in your social listening software of choice.

If you’d like to learn more about social listening and using it for conversational research, drop a question in the comments or reach out to me on social channels. I love talking about (as well as doing the work around) this stuff!

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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