Many BtoB organizations these days are spending time and money to listen to the conversations that are happening about their brand, which is a basic essential for any brand. It’s good to be able to see those conversations and have some indication whether they are positive, negative or neutral so you have your finger on the “pulse” of what is being said socially about your brand.
I spent the last 2 years developing a strategy to deal with each one of those mentions. Negative mentions are actually a great opportunity for you to engage and turn the situation from adversarial to something more like an advocate. If you can find, respond and delight those customers that speaks volumes for your customer service. After all customer service is the new PR and it also provides a great ROI! Positive mentions provide an opportunity for you to capture them and stream them on your website or in other places like a blog so think of them as a new form of the customer reference!
But after 2 years of reading, trafficking and routing both positive and negative mentions in my organization I realized there had to be more out in the social sphere than just monitoring social media.
If you think about it there is at least 2 solid years of user generated content out in the social sphere. The most recent Super Bowl is a prime example of just the sheer volume of conversations that can be created about a brand and how badly the advertisers will go to tap into those conversations to get some “Social Lift” for their brand even. But all of this monitoring for mentions of your brand is very reactive and I think the next frontier of social media is something much more proactive.
One of the things I can tell you from reading 2 years of mentions is if you read them closely enough you will begin to find some unmet needs of the customer. Whether that mention was directed at your brand or someone other brand’s product or service in your space they tend to talk about their wants and desires. The problem is you have to always be listening to find them. And Boolean searches won’t help since you wont know what to search for. The very act of searching presupposes you know what you are looking for!
You need a way to objectively mine social conversations to help pre-inform your marketing spend with insights like: what does the market really want from vendors in my space, where there are adjacent markets we can move into, what content really resonates with your audience, where to place your advertising dollars so they provide the greatest reach.
There is a vast sea of unstructured social data about everything you can imagine out there which can be used to help pre-inform your decision making in marketing – the challenge is are you ready for the next frontier!