Are you listening??

Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand.

Conversations on the Internet produce massive amounts of unstructured data. Depending on the goal, the right tool would help to do an ad hoc analysis and full integration with legacy customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

Social media listening is quickly becoming an important customer intelligence tool. There are several ways to gain insight, including monitoring online customer support forums, using software tools to gather comments from social outlets such as Facebook and Twitter and encouraging customers to suggest new product features and vote on their favorites.

Social media monitoring tools can mine text for specific keywords on social networking websites and blogs and in discussion forums and other social media. Essentially, monitoring software transposes specific words or phrases in unstructured data into numerical values which are linked to structured data in a database so the data can to be analyzed with traditional data mining techniques.

Social listening can accomplish the following main goals:

  1. Improve your competency and quality – By listening for questions that one can answer and improve regarding subjects not only about a specific product or service being offered by the company. If there are a lot of questions about a particular product, then there might be an untapped opportunity.
  2. Complaints about your company or your brand – Good businesses don’t like unhappy people. Respond by telling them what you’re doing to resolve the situation. Accept the suggestions, try to implement it, finally follow it up and let the people know that, too.
  3. Effectively encourage the pockets of support – Social listening helps you find the movers and shakers within your industry who wield a lot of influence; a mention or like from them goes a long way. Identify these people, convert them into customers, if they aren’t already, and get them to become an advocate for your brand.
  4. Keep a close eye on your competitors – Social listening lends you ears to learn what your competitors are successfully doing or in some cases failing. Use the feedback to improve yourself. Social listening in itself gives you a SWOT analysis if heard properly.

List of companies doing it well:

  1. KLM – 24 minute average first response time and a 92% post response rate
  2. Next Online – average first response time of 36 minutes and an 87.8% fan post response rate
  3. Walmart – 28 minutes average first response time
  4. Tesco – 79.20% post response rate
  5. XBox – 38 minute average first response time
  6. T-Mobile USA – average first response rate of 51 minutes and a post response rate of 70.40%
  7. JCPenney ad apologizes for changes made by former CEO Ron Johnson after social listening

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