Social Media: Are you listening?

ListeningSo you’ve gone to the trouble and expense of setting up your social media platforms and engaging in a content marketing program to share topical content you believe will be of interest. But what do your customers really think of you? For some time now we’ve seen and heard of examples of individuals causing quite a storm with seemingly localised complaints or comments which have caught fire and resonated far and wide. But it’s important to note that many customers may not say exactly what they feel directly to you or on your page; their criticism may be on an anonymous page or competitor profile. Put simply, you need to expand your efforts in just looking in the obvious places for feedback. Social listening is the art of listening in to conversations taking place and being willing to engage or join in the conversations. There are several good social listening and monitoring platforms available including from iSentia, Meltwater and Hootsuite. These platforms set up correctly can give you an accurate and real-time indication of the sentiment being displayed towards you and your brand, and identify the key influencers and sceptics. Conversations can be monitored by channel and interacted with in the appropriate way and priorities identified. Social factors are also very important in ranking algorithms for search. With the right tools you can listen in multiple languages, geo-locate your searches to be where your audience is, use conversation maps to monitor emerging trends and keywords, filter out unwanted noise, and quickly identify key influencers. Successful social companies are already contacting disgruntled customers with a possible solution before they have the opportunity to become militant. Airlines, like Qantas and Virgin, are becoming adept at this and addressing many issues at the point of frustration and in real time. Needless to say I find it often easier and quicker to get a Twitter response from Telstra these days than trying the call centre.glad-wrap_300 Glad Australia recently had no choice to but to listen with a wave of backlash over their ill-considered decision to change the cutter on their cling wrap product. Instead of tearing in a downward motion, like we’ve done for decades, Glad decided to change the cutter to the top of the box thereby forcing users to pull up. It just didn’t make sense and infuriated many including yours truly. A back-flip has ensued and common-sense prevailed with Glad soon reverting to the original design. Phew! Thanks for listening.