Privacy & the subtle art of media monitoring

Sep 3, 2010 | Best practice, Communications & media, Digital marketing, Social Media

Read anything written about social media brand monitoring and you will swiftly arrive at the advice that every brand should be listening to the social dialogue surrounding their brand. But the question of why is sometimes neglected.

There are a few reasons for this. One is an assumption that clients can figure out the implicit benefits for themselves. Also, in some quarters there is a view that if you can’t understand the space you shouldn’t be there. The first is incorrect, the second is as arrogant as it is unnecessary.

Whatever the motive, the result is that the commercial benefits that follow this type of edict are often neglected.

Sure, hearing the social voice of your customers is a compelling benefit – as is the ability to see problems coming before they hit you or the front page of the morning paper – but the output from a social media monitoring service can offer far more than just crisis control or simply reading other peoples’ mail.

Here are nine often overlooked or understated outputs from your brand monitoring that go beyond social eavesdropping. Some may be obvious but this doesnt detract from their value.

Identify your brand detractors – ask any customer support team leader what diffuses angry customers and they’ll tell you that a fair hearing goes a long way. Your tracking will show you who is angry and allow you to pro-actively reach out and provide a chance to resolve the issue.

Embrace your brand advocates – not all news is bad news. People actually tweet about good experiences as well. Reaching out to those who speak highly about your brand is a bit like reciprocated love – it nurtures the brand relationship and can often generate invaluable additional positive dialogue.

Understand how & where your customers talk – this is invaluable intelligence as it provides a starting point for broader activity and provides a strategic alternative to unsustainable ad-hoc experiments.

Do you suffer from brand dissonance – Do your customers think of your brand the same way that you do? Is there a positioning disconnect? Is there a prevailing view in the broader social community that is lessening or discrediting our mainstream communications?

Find out what people think of your ads – or if they care. Safe creative generally creates little noise. Creative that gets noticed gets commentary. It can be helpful to see if your customers see your ads the way that you do.

How do your compare with competitors? – Its not all about you. Tracking will often show you what your competitors are doing in the space and where your customers see you in comparison.

Do you have competitors you didn’t know about? – Pureplay e-commerce operators use social media to develop markets virally. These operators.This is especially so in prestige markets where knock off merchants may be impacting upon your brand perception without your knowledge or eroding your market without appearing on the traditional radar. This can add momentum to your stalled e-commerce initiatives.

Find and tap into ready-made communities – In some cases, entire “unofficial” communities form around your product or brand. These communities or interest groups are a ready source of focus group-like feedback and can be a powerful ally for your R&D efforts.

Are you making any noise? – Are you getting the most out of the PR that you issue? Is it moving into social media or simply gathering dust on a back page of your corporate site. Tracking can show you here you are falling short and provide hints as to how you can improve the spread of your good news stories.

If you are planning to start monitoring your brand it is worth ensuring that the social brand monitoring service that you select is capable of working with you to provide a breadth of benefits including those listed above.