Social media monitoring – brands want to know what’s going on

I’m learning about social media monitoring and it’s amazing to see how many different monitoring tools have sprung up over the last couple of years. Most tools out there seem to focus on “listening” or “filtering the noise.” What does this mean?

People use social channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to talk and share whatever is on their minds. Brands have started using monitoring tools like Radian6 and Brandwatch to ‘listen in’ on the things people are saying online about their brands or products. Businesses can thus start monitoring real-time conversations and can then decide to act accordingly. From the case studies I’ve looked at, I feel that these seem to be common ways that organisations harness the feedback and insights generated through social media monitoring:

  1. To actively engage with customers – Identify who your key “influencers” or “brand advocates” are.
  2. Online reputation management – Pick up on conversations which could be damaging to your brand or product.
  3. To filter and segment online conversations – Using “keyword” or “sentiment” filters to segment and group conversations or comment into meaningful categories.

A simple argument in favour of adopting social media monitoring is that conversations about brands and products are happening anyway. Quick searches on Twitter monitoring tools like Twitterfall and Tweetdeck showve, by monitoring these comments, brands can at least respond or engage with customers to address or resolve their issues.

Like with traditional marketing research, online monitoring can be used to generate valuable market and customer insights. A good example is a recent monitoring exercise by Amazon Kindle to find out whether the introduction of Apple’s iPad had altered consumer perception of the Kindle. The exercise, using Brandwatch, generated insights around e.g. pricing and consumers‘ strong desires for a Kindle touchscreen.

Main learning point: businesses can monitor and analyze our conversations online. There’s a range of tools out there that help brands to keep track and make sense of things being said about their products or services. Subsequent action can vary from customer engagement to product innovation.

Related links for further learning:

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