So, you have made your presence in Social Media by creating profiles across relevant social networking and professional networking sites. You have ensured that, you have included your logo everywhere, taken absolute care of the colors and other branding requirements for your different profiles across the social web. You have also ensured that your target audience are aware of your presence. Also, you are regularly updating your status, based on a plan !
Fair enough. What Next ?
From consultants to thought leaders to futurists – they all are suggesting you to listen to your customers, measure and monitor the conversations using various tools. Infact, more than 90% of them are trying to tell you about the tools.
You are very much not sure about – How to listen ? What needs to be monitored ? And How to measure it ?
Do you have these questions in mind, which are the missing pieces in the info you have ??
ok. I am trying to give you simple answers in the following paragraphs. Hope it helps you get the fundamentals right.
How & What to Listen ?
Social media is all about people having conversations all across. Imagine, you are amidst a group of 100 people talking among themselves in different groups. Either you will join each group, stand there for a while and listen or you will be asking your team to join different groups and ask them to let you know what they all hear in that group.
Simple… right ?
Listening in Social Media is exactly the same. Either you join different groups yourself and start listening (or) you will have a team to join different groups, make them listen and ask them to report to you every now and then. This is how listening happens as like in the real world.
Consider for example, that you are a mobile phone manufacturer who releases innovative handsets every quarter. You have a good market share and also possess great competition in the sector.
Different people might talk about different handsets of yours in different groups.
- A techie group will always be discussing about the technical details of your mobile – the processor that you use, the OS that your handsets comes preloaded with, the connection speed, types of networks your handsets support etc.
- A group of youngsters, who are price conscious but would like to try new stuff at cheap cost – will be discussing about your handsets in comparison with a similar model from your competitor. They might be discussing about the features of the competitive models and the cost of it – whether its worth it or not – what could be possible improvements that can be made etc.
- Tell them that you are listening.
- A youngster might complaint regarding his new handset, which is from your company and if he has not got proper response from your service agent. This is a very much a valid point from a customer point of view. Respond to him stating that, you will look into the issue and revert ASAP.
- From this point, keep the conversations private. Get his email id. Send him email and get his order number, service agent location etc. for further investigation. Drill down deep into the issue and try resolving it.
- Let them know that you are committed and you are listening and taking appropriate actions
- Revert to the complaints with appropriate response and take proper action. As like in the previous point, work on the details and try to resolve the complaints. If they want, let them thank you in public. Or else, move on to resolve the next issue.
All above mentioned points are about listening !!
What Needs to be monitored ??
There are a lot of stuff that you can monitor. But, before that, let me explain you what monitoring means. If I have to tell you in the form of a definition, then,
Monitoring is all about getting to know what different people are talking about you in different networks / communities / groups, right now.
Monitoring helps you listen to customers as and when they converse and helps you respond to them in real-time. This speeds up the process and helps resolve your customer queries and complaints quickly.
The faster… The Better…..
There are tons of tools available to help you monitor conversations about your products and services. Google it and you will get all the relevant info about these free tools and how to use them !
What to Measure ??? How to Measure ??
If you are a chilled brand like Kingfisher beer or Coke or FastTrack, then majorly people are going to join the communities looking for deals, freebies and fun stuff. For these kind of products, which are established and are cool, the number of fans matter a lot. Equally important is the amount of conversations that are happening around and the number of people who have participated in your campaigns / contests /surveys.
If you are are into PC manufacturing or any other serious product, which people are going to buy only once in every 3 to 5 years or more, and which requires considerable amount of spending from their pockets, then the measurements will be absolutely different. The number of positive mentions about your brand PC, the number of negative mentions, variations in the tonality and the number of concerns that relate to a particular product would be the measurable factors.. ! More the positive tonality of conversations, the sales figures will shoot up later on.. More the negative tonality of the conversations, more people are going to be cautious about buying your product and hence it will have similar effect on your sales figures. Based on the product / service, the measurable factors will vary.
If you are running a charity, the amount collected from different groups will matter a lot ! Equally important is the number of people volunteering for the cause. The increase in the number of volunteers, number of visitors redirected from the community to specific landing pages, increase in donations and other stuff from people, are all indicators to the growing popularity of your charity / trust.
Increase in the number of emails / direct messages / increase in invitations to speak, from downtown community conferences and other SME groups are all indicators of growing popularity of businesses which are into providing Info to the public on specific subjects. This applies to celebrities, writers, columnists and authors.
Hope I have clarified about the fundamentals of Social Media Monitoring & Measuring. Do write to me if you have specific questions. Will revert to you as and when I have enough bandwidth.