January 25th, 2011
In last week’s blog I commented on the importance of listening and promised to give you additional details about my recommended steps to develop a successful Social Media Marketing Strategy. As mentioned, listening is the first step, but we are not done yet.
Let’s review the iterative steps again:
There are many benefits to be gained from listening to and participating in these conversations, from brand reputation management to improved word-of-mouth networking. But remember, listening once is just a snapshot of a moment in time. In order to reap full benefits you need to benchmark and continue monitoring the conversations.
“Social media monitoring” might sound like something secretive, but it’s really just about on-going listening to your current and potential customers, identifying and tracking their needs and concerns, so you can ensure that they have the information and support they need. But more on the latter in my future blog on Engagement.
mon·i·tor·ing: to watch, keep track of, or check usually for a special purpose (objective).
In our everyday life we monitor all the time. We monitor our relationships, our health, our mood, etc. We monitor to ensure our well being, improve ourselves or take corrective actions when signs direct us that way.
Similarly, Social Media allows us to monitor our customers’ relationship health, their mood/sentiment, changing needs, etc. (that of our competitors as well) to help achieve similar courses of action as for ourselves.
Below, I list various examples of how monitoring has allowed companies to take corrective action by joining in on the conversation, admitting a mistake or even, proactively requesting feedback and ideas from its users.
Company Reputation: Starbucks: http://tiny.cc/hwihx
Product Change: Sun Chips http://tiny.cc/v5vvx.
And an example of not doing it: Domino’s: http://tiny.cc/lzt3z (they have improved since then).
Benefits from monitoring:
The above examples help us illustrate various benefits from monitoring Social Media.
The most salient of which are:
Identifying Influencers: Starbucks and DELL successfully use influencers to either read or prep the market and network their messages far and deep based on their product loyal customers followers. Seth Godin, best selling author, summarizes this well when he says; “I would much rather be in front of ten people who are the right people than ten thousand people who aren’t.” Early identification of the “right people” or influencers through monitoring will save us time in our on-going efforts.
Crisis prevention: Starbucks, SunChips and Tropicana thwarted potential backlash from their actions, while Domino’s should have known better.
Quantifiable Customer Feedback: While not necessarily the most efficient, GAP was able to confirm that it should not change its Logo, and hopefully gained goodwill in the process. The Tropicana example also works in this category.
Product Development/Improvement: As you gain knowledge and experience about your influencers you can start adding additional tools to your process to develop micro community sites for co-creation. This will only strengthen your list of benefits from Social Media. P&G ‘s case shows a highlight of what they are doing. As we review engagement in the next blog we will build upon this benefit further and include Innovation to them – WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
How to do it:
First and foremost – using your marketing objectives and listening benchmarks, identify the key topics your customers are interested in (most passionate about) and places/vehicles in which they are discussing these topics. This will help you focus on the key areas that you will need to monitor.
Second, on its most basic form (and labor intensive), you can develop a spreadsheet or template with predetermined objectives and key words/sentiments that you are listening for and track on a daily basis observing for key changes. Here, I strongly recommend using one of the companies mentioned in my previous blog (Radian6, ListenLogic), you can also find a more comprehensive list of suppliers at http://tiny.cc/rict0.
Third, schedule regular interval for analysis and engagement. I bet you can see now where I am going with my 5 recommended steps.
Last but not least, involve everyone in your organization. While out of scope for this blog, please do keep in mind that success in Social Media is the responsibility of all, not just the Marketing Department. This is an area that is just starting to receive attention, so there is not much written about it. I will continue to research it and inform you as we go on.
In future blogs, I will continue to review the five steps and introduce the emerging trend of Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM). On a positive note on organizational change, we could learn from existing CRM processes as a base to execute relevant organizational change, thus alleviating existing process gaps for Social Media. In the meantime please feel free to comment or contact me here or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org you can also find me in Twitter @zeusofmarketing.