Social media has proven itself to be one of the most powerful platforms out there when it comes to reaching current and potential customers. Unfortunately, that is all many businesses seem to understand. The late adopters, the skeptics, and all of the followers out there waited for the innovators and risk takers to prove social media’s worth. Once the risk was minimized everyone else felt more comfortable hopping on board, only they missed something very important.
Social media is a conversational platform, and conversations go two ways! A business can’t expect to treat social media like traditional push channels and see the same (or any) results. You have to listen and then you have to nurture the conversation. On top of that, it’s the brand’s job to seek out conversations they should be a part of. When television and radio ruled the media world, consumers didn’t have a choice in what marketing messages they were exposed to. Fast forward to now and you’ll see that they (we) have a choice in what messages we see, how we respond to them, and what we have to say about them.
Social media monitoring is the other half of the equation. Brands need to pay attention to what’s being said to them, about them and related to them and/or their offer. There are countless conversations happening right now that are relevant to your brand, do you know how to find them?
Where’s the value in that?
Let’s start with the fact that referrals or recommendations from friends, family or peers influence purchasing decisions more than any other factor. That means despite any amount of research, reviews from people they don’t know, great marketing strategies, or an incredible value, consumers will turn you down based on what their personal social networks tell them. This was much easier to control (or write off) before social media took over, but now there’s actually something you can do about it.
Brands have the opportunity to seek out bad word of mouth online and turn it around as a positive for their customers and their business. It takes focus, determination, speed and a vigilant eye but you can use social media to moderate any negative conversations taking place around your brand while also magnifying any positive conversations going on. This post isn’t about social media customer service but here are four examples you can learn from.
Still not sold on the conversation piece, how about this?
Businesses have traditionally paid very large sums of money to gather data on their customers. They do this because there’s incredible value in understanding more about who they are, what they care about, and what they need. The good news is that you don’t have to run experiments or interviews to figure that kind of information out anymore. The data is already available, if you know where to find it. Did you know that over 50% of marketers are currently working on a plan to incorporate real time data into their strategies? How about the fact that Facebook has leveraged their social data to create one of the most powerful ad platforms the world has ever seen?
If you’re still a skeptic at this point I recommend a career change. If you’re interested, take a look at the infographic below for some great recommendations on social media monitoring tools and how to use them.
The World of Social Media Monitoring and Analytics
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