How Social Intelligence Benefits Your Sales Team

By Sheldon Levine - April 28th, 2015

Social SellingYou’ve heard the term ”social selling” before. But is your sales force truly embracing it?

Sales is one the best departments to benefit from social intelligence, yet they often aren’t using it. Some in sales may think that social media isn’t for them or that they’re too busy to start tweeting on top of what they already have to do… help bring in sales. But in truth, social intelligence can actually help make the sales process even easier.

Now, we don’t want to polarize an entire group of people by saying that all salespeople stay away from social. Instead, we want to show those that aren’t how they can use social intelligence and those that already are, how they can use it better.

When salespeople hear the term “social selling” a lot of them start by actively searching through social media for conversations about people looking to purchase their product or a product like theirs and then jump in to seize the opportunity. But here’s the thing…

Social media isn’t the place for a hard sell

Social media is a place for starting and maintaining relationships though, and isn’t sales really all about relationships? Sales people can start by looking for those purchase intent posts in social media, but that should just be a jumping off point. It’s perfectly fine to reach out to someone in social media that says they’re in the market to buy and introduce yourself and your product. But that’s just where the sales cycle starts.

 

Follow what potential clients are doing to understand them better

The world of social media allows you to follow what your potential customers are up to and stay in touch. This is a great way to keep your relationship going without having to pick up the phone or email someone every few days to stay top of mind. The best part is, on social media, not all of your interactions have to be about selling your product. You might find that keeping up with your potential customers might reveal that you some common interests. You can talk to them about these things as well, which only help you to strengthen the relationship even further.

Use social intelligence to anticipate what your buyers need

When it does come time for salespeople to talk about what they’re selling, social intelligence can help them be prepared for that talk. If they kept an eye on what their potential customers have been talking about they should have an understanding about what the customer is looking to accomplish and what their pain points are.

Setting up lists, or MediaSets in our Sysomos software, will allow you to always know what’s happening with your potential customers. Seeing what their business is doing will give salespeople insight into what direction the potential buyer is heading in and what they’re trying to accomplish. Then, when the sales person reaches out, they can speak specifically to how their product can help achieve those goals.

Create a media set in Sysomos to follow clients and prospects

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s how our own Christina Meguerian says she does it:

“I created lists that I follow through Sysomos for both prospects and clients and each morning I scan through the feeds to see if there are any interesting posts to reach out to them about. Find a timely topic that your prospect is working on by researching recent posts on their social channels. Think of a catchy email subject or tweet based on the information you found – anything relevant to them will give you a much better chance of getting a reply. Understanding a prospects needs before they even answer the phone will definitely give you a leg up. And you may not be right on point based off the info you found on Twitter but if you ask the right questions, you will get the prospect engaged and put them at ease, willing to discuss their needs -which is the first step! And remember, it’s not over once the prospect becomes a client! Clients want to know you care and one of the best ways to do this is by listening to their needs and anytime you come across a fitting blog post or use case, tweet it to them. Not only will they appreciate this but another client that’s following you may also value this post. After all, sharing is caring, especially on social!”

By following the individual people from that company you’re trying to sell to, you can get an understanding of what pains them at work. Knowing what people do well and what they struggle with again will help to shape how salespeople can approach them with ways that their product can help them be even better at what they’re good at or help to solve the problems that they struggle with.

If salespeople can use social intelligence to understand their buyers better and form real relationships with them, the entire sales process can go a lot smoother and likely, a lot more in their favour. Social selling could be your best foot in the door.

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social Intelligence

By Mitch Schneider - April 22nd, 2015

Beefing Up Agency Margins Through Social IntelligenceAny one who has ever worked for a creative or communications firm – or even attempted to start their own – knows the financial side of the agency world can be a tricky beast. Agencies are mostly considered “services”, and the margins for companies in the services space are often razor thin.

Most agencies operate on a retainer-billing model where they charge clients either a recurring monthly fee (for example, $15K/month), or an agreed-upon amount based around a project or campaign (like, $25K for work around a product launch or trade show). The retainer amounts and length of engagements vary from firm to firm, but the point is, most agencies bill in terms of monthly retainers and project fees.

And within these monthly retainers, the agency often outlines, explicitly, what services the client will receive in exchange for their monthly fees, along with an estimate of how many hours the agency team members will spend servicing their account. For example:

——

The Mitch Agency charges Company X $20,000/month for communications work. Scope of work includes:

-$6,000: [40 hours (@ $150/hour) for media pitching, placement and reporting]

-$3,000: [15 hours (@ $200/hour) for communications strategy]

-$3,000: [12 hours (@ $250/hour) for content creation for web site, news releases and blog]

-$1,500: [10 hours (@ $150/hour) for crisis communications, alerting, and awareness]

-$1,500: [5 hours (@ $300/hour) for media training of executives and public-facing staff]

-$5,000: for misc. costs, such as travel, subscriptions, tools, ad hoc requests, etc.

Total: $20,000/month (80-plus hours/month)

——

Keep in mind, the above scope of work is very, very basic and non-descriptive. But this is typically how many firms determine client costs, and how they lay them out.

The tricky part to all of is the hours’ piece. While an agency may designate 40 hours/month on a retainer sheet for media pitching, placement and reporting, in actuality, that agency may spend 50 hours accomplishing this task. This overage could be for a number of reasons — it may have been a particularly busy month on the pitching front; there was an unexpected story that boosted visibility; or the firm just didn’t do a good job of tracking its hours.

Regardless of the reason, the agency is now in the unenviable position where they either have to charge the client an unexpected fee for the additional work, or, simply, the agency has to eat the cost (which they’ll often do to avoid aggravating the client). And rather than pocketing the $20,000 for the client work and netting $3,000 (after overhead costs), the agency now pockets the $20,000 but loses $1,000 because of the extra costs it incurred to keep the staff working and lights on during those extra ten hours.

Again, this is an overly simplified example. But the gist here is, agencies have very thin financial margins because they’re selling strategy and human-generated services, which are much more vulnerable to human error and loss of profitability then if the product sold was something tangible and transactional, like software, cars, real estate, etc.

Social intelligence reporting can greatly improve agency margins

So, how can an agency offset its thin margins, while at the same time stay current in its offerings and diversify its product set? Easy. That agency can begin selling and packaging social intelligence.

Sysomos Heartbeat - Executive Overview Sample Dashboard

From what I’ve seen in the market the past year, it’s safe to say most companies are doing very little in terms of collecting and analyzing social intelligence that directly impacts their business. Sure, that company may have a Twitter feed, Facebook Fan Page, and LinkedIn microsite. But when it comes to making light of the trillions of data points in the social sphere, those organizations are doing next to nothing.

Even more surprisingly, very few firms have the tools and the know-how in place today to help companies understand and take advantage of this expansive data set. This represents a GIGANTIC market opportunity for all kinds of agencies – communications, digital, marketing, advertising – to begin collecting social data on behalf of their clients, and then report back those findings to their clients on a weekly/monthly/quarterly or annually basis.

Using another basic example, let’s say a small agency works with a dozen clients who each pay, on average, $8K/month in retainers. This amounts to $96K/month in retainer fees for the agency, or just under $1.2M/year.

What if the agency introduced to all its clients a very simple set of monthly social intelligence reports, where the firm billed each client at the modest rate of $750 each?

Sysomos Heartbeat - Demographic Research Sample Dashboard

If we do the math – $750/report x 12 clients x 12 months – that agency just grossed an additional $108,000. This represent a 10% increase on top of what it was just earning on its old set of standard services.

Better yet, the margins in selling the social intelligence reports are, likely, far better than normal agency offerings, as the only incurred costs to the firm are (a) the data and platform fees (which are extremely reasonable in today’s market), as well as (b) the fast time it can take to extract social data and productize it by way of a report.

Bottom line

Most communications agencies operate in the services space, and as a result, they are subject to thin margins due to the fact that they’re selling strategy and counsel, which are not tangible things. Agencies can improve their bottom lines, not to mention, expand their suite of services, by investing in social intelligence software, and then re-selling this data back to their client base. Social intelligence reporting is a relatively untapped market, it’s easy to productize, and can be quite lucrative.

4 Ways Social Intelligence Can Help You Retain Customers

By Jason Harris - April 20th, 2015

Experts say a customer retained is 2-3 times more valuable than a newly acquired one. Whether you sell a product or service, keeping your customers happy post-purchase is a huge and important task.

With the advent of social media and Internet savvy, socially active consumers, there’s a huge opportunity to strengthen your customer retention strategies.

Let’s stop here though. If you’re looking for a blog post focused on how to monitor and track what’s being said about your brand or product online, you can find these in other helpful Sysomos blog articles. :)

Today we’re going to talk about social intelligence, which is defined as the step beyond listening and reacting to Tweets, Instagram posts and the like. In an earlier post, Amber succinctly defined social intelligence as:

But in the case of “social intelligence”, we really are referring to the next generation of how social data informs your enterprise far beyond “brand watching”, listening or monitoring.

So, how do we take this concept and apply it to customer retention? In my opinion, customer retention is synonymous with customer care and customer satisfaction. A socially intelligent organization is one that has taken steps be able to act in a timely fashion on customer feedback and ensure that in all steps of a customer’s journey that they feel loved and adored.

Use your social fanbase as your most valued focus group

Thinking of a new product or feature idea? Is your company trying to decide amongst two or three features and you want to check in with your community?

I am an Engineer

The beautiful thing about social-powered focus groups is that they can be impromptu, fast-flowing and even fun!

When structuring your focus group, be sure to ask specific questions that will inform your business processes. As a team, decide what aspects of the decision you’re willing to crowd-source and be specific with the asks.

Also, think about how you’re going to collect opinions. Will you use a hashtag and manually collect responses or would you rather use a tool such as PollDaddy?

To honor the time investment given by your community, be sure to report back after the poll on how your team will make use of and act on the data.  Most of all, thank them!

Go beyond listening and build a team capable of taking action

Any brand can hire a community manager or agency to respond on Twitter to praise, complaints and feedback. However, it’s the socially intelligent organizations that build teams composed of people empowered to take action.

When a crisis hits, responsive action is the name of the game. So, in addition to monitoring and responding to complaints, your brand should construct a small group of rapid responders from marketing, fulfillment, customer service, legal and an executive sponsor to help push actions through.

Team With Medals

Also, on a regular basis, the community team should be sending regular reports to stakeholders in your organization about feedback gathered from the online community. These include metrics such as inbound mentions, top complaints, and praises and individuals that were specifically mentioned on social media.

Remember, it’s the small things that count most

Socially intelligent companies are online not only to push a marketing message and inform the public about products, but also to make sure customers are being listened to and respected. As a result, any community manager or department should have a good system in place for keeping tabs on top clients and most vocal advocates.

In my former position as an influence marketer at Republic Publishing for Nokia (now Microsoft), I used social intelligence to make sure our influencers were remembered during life’s milestones in a personal way. Despite having an influencer population of 400 people, we worked hard to recognize and reward our brand advocates and influencers.

Whenever a milestone was mentioned such as an anniversary, child’s graduation or similar event, we recorded the upcoming milestone in a shared notebook. By using surprise gifts such as a bouquet of flowers or a Starbucks gift card on Father’s day, we made efforts to ensure each of our brand influencers felt valued.

In your organization, you might take action by congratulating a subscriber on their 1-year anniversary of using your service or by sending them some company swag when they report being a repeat customer. Evaluate your online audience and construct a plan to delight and honor your fanbase.

Predict what your customer wants next

Every day, social data exposes customer’s opinions – good and bad. Here at Sysomos, we ingest multiple petabytes of data every day.

So, after monitoring and collecting data of what your social community is saying, the socially intelligent company will then move to an analysis and predictive phase by analyzing the conversations.

For example, say an electronics company releases a blockbuster toy. After 3-4 weeks of monitoring social conversation, a pattern appears of numerous complaints about battery life. The next step would be for that company to take this feedback to the engineering group to push for a larger battery to be potentially included in the next version of the electronic gadget.

Furthermore, moving along the social intelligence continuum, social data can be used to predict what your customers are looking for next. How do we build actionable information from social data? One technique is to look at mentions of your brands and products and discover what words are being said in relation to your proprietary terms. An integrated digital marketing organization can use search data from Google to help extrapolate this.

On the social data side, we can use Buzzgraph from Sysomos MAP to do the trick. For example, say you are a small-town microbrewery that just expanded your brewing capacity and you’re wondering what beer you should brew next.

By analyzing your brewery’s name in a Buzzgraph, you can surface social posts and unearth questions such as “Does Vagabond brewing make an Irish stout?” If you see this pattern over and over again, perhaps stout should be the next beer on Vagabond’s available sign. J

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph around community management

Wrapping up

As you can see, there are many ways social intelligence can be applied to customer retention.  What’s your favorite way of ensuring your customers are forever fans?

(Photo credit: orinrobertjohn and thejesse)

Ensuring the Best Data For Our Customers

By Jason Harris - April 17th, 2015

Sysomos Twitter CommunitiesAt Sysomos, we pride ourselves on the quality of our data and of our data science. For the last eight years we have enabled our clients to leverage social intelligence to help power their business decisions and keep them aware of trends, insights and discoveries.

We’re also proud to partner with some of the most exciting companies to provide access to real-time conversations as they hit social networks.

One of our valued data partners is Twitter.

With a recently announced change to Twitter’s API, we wanted to ensure our customers that it’s business as usual for Sysomos.

Through our work with Twitter, we have been and continue to be a Twitter Certified Partner. This gives us complete and direct access to Twitter data.

As a part of our ongoing relationship with Twitter, Sysomos is able to leverage the benefits afforded to Twitter Certified Partners including:

  • Insights into Twitter’s product direction
  • The ability to work with new products
  • An open dialogue with and direct communication to the Twitter team

Upcoming Changes to the Facebook API

In addition to Twitter, Facebook is also changing the way it provides data to the marketplace. As of April 30, Facebook is making changes to the data they offer to analytics companies to help protect the privacy of their users. (See important update below)

It is important to note that this deprecation will affect all social listening platforms that rely on this data. Only public Facebook data will be affected – Facebook fanpage data will still be available in Sysomos.

While public status updates will no longer be available from Facebook, Fanpage data continues to be accessible. Post April 30th Sysomos customers will now be able to search this data within Sysomos. Data collected from Heartbeat via existing integrated Fanpages will also remain in your Heartbeat and will continue to collect mentions without change.

Update Apr 30, 2015: We have extended our access to Facebook public posts until at least June 19th. Customers will continue to see Facebook data in MAP and Heartbeat for the time being.

Engineering a new solution

In the wake of this Facebook API news, we’re taking a two-pronged approach to ensure the best data for our customers. First, we’ve held ongoing discussions with Facebook and are working on new ways to use Facebook’s available API’s within our platform.

Also, through our longtime partnership with Datasift (a preferred data provider that is working with Facebook) we are investigating integrations including using a new data set called Topic Data.

Our Partner and Data Science teams are very excited about exploring future ways to ensure the most complete data sources for our customers.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Sysomos representative.

How social intelligence benefits Human Resources

By Sheldon Levine - April 15th, 2015

It’s a common misnomer that social media is solely a function of their company’s marketing or communications department. While marketing is likely the group that holds the keys to a company’s social media accounts, to think that they’re the only ones who could benefit from social intelligence would be a mistake.

Here at Sysomos we truly believe that any part of a company can benefit from social intelligence, especially if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

So, how do departments across your organization see the benefits of listening and learning from the social media space? We’re going to explore this in a series of posts.

Today we’re going to start with your HR department.

Finding the right talentFinding the right talent

Finding candidates to fill roles in your company can sometimes be challenging and time-consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be that way when the right people are under your nose… if you know how to find them.

Social intelligence can help you narrow down your field of candidates. Start by thinking about what someone who would fit the role would be talking about in social media.

For example, if the open position that you’re looking to fill is that of a community manager, you may want to look for people who are talking about community management in social. Make a list of community management related words and phrases and start searching for the people talking the most about it.

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph around community management

Even if remote working isn’t right for your company right now, social intelligence can also help you find local candidates. All you would need to do is narrow your search for these people to a specific region. Our Sysomos software will let you monitor for people all the way down to a city level, making finding a local candidate even easier to find through social media.

Use Authority Score to find the cream of the crop

Next, they can narrow down those people that talk about community management to find people with a high authority score on the subject. However, the highest ranking authorities on the subject may have that score because they already have a job they love doing that. That’s not a reason to not pursue them as a hire, but it may make them a bit harder to recruit. But you don’t always have to go after the people with the highest authority score, you can also search for those with a medium level score. This means that they probably know what they’re talking about and that people listen to what they have to say, but their role may not be the most visible and they may be open to learning about new opportunities to further their career.

An authority score allows you to see a person’s influence on a specific social channel. People with a higher authority score are usually more engaged on that channel and are also more likely to be engaged by others. You can run a search on a subject, such as our community management example, and then look for the people with the highest authority score on the subject to flush out great candidates. Not only can you view your candidates authority score, but it might also be interesting to also take a look at what the authority score of their followers is. Are they already being listened to by people with authority? That may make them more intriguing.

Sysomos MAP - Follower Authority Breakdown

Once you’ve narrowed down a few good candidates, social intelligence can help you to further narrow down that list. Listening to the people on your list for what they talk about through social media and even how they talk can be a great indicator for if that person would seem like a good culture fit within your organization.

In just a few easy steps your HR department can utilize social intelligence to help find great candidates for your organization without having to wade through giant piles of resumes.

Keep watching our blog as we update this series with ways that other departments in your company can utilize social intelligence to do better work and make their jobs easier.

Would you like to know more about how to get the right social intelligence to the right people in your organization? Contact us and we can help.

Game of Thrones Makes A Social Splash, But Not As Big As The Walking Dead

By Sheldon Levine - April 14th, 2015

Game Of ThronesOn Sunday night TV viewers were thrilled as Game Of Thrones made its triumphant return with its season 5 debut. HBO’s Game Of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on television in recent years, and its popularity was trumpeted through social media by fans and brands.

We got curious about just how much of an impact Game Of Thrones had on the social media world, so we decided to investigate for ourselves using MAP, our social media intelligence research and analytics software.

Looking for mentions of Game Of Thrones and associated hashtags (such as #GameOfThrones#GoT#GoTseason5 and a few others) across social media channels and found that the show garnered over 898,000 mentions on Sunday alone. Mentions of the show appeared in 1,646 blogs, 4,283 online news articles, 7,312 forum postings and 885,733 tweets on Sunday alone.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones Activity Summary

With Twitter being the most active channel that people were using to talk about Game Of Thrones, we dug a little deeper to find that the show was being mentioned in 36,906 tweet per hour over the course of the day. The bulk of those, of course, came right before the show as people were getting excited about it and during the actual broadcast.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones Twitter Activity Summary

We also noticed that people around the world were tweeting their excitement for the shows return. As you can see in the Twitter activity above, the majority of the Game Of Thrones talk was coming from the United States, but countries from around the globe seemed to be talking about it, like Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Mexico and France. Below is a heat map that shows just how wide spread talk of the show’s return spread across the world.

Sysomos MAP - Geo Location Heat Map of Game Of Thrones Mentions on Twitter

 

But it wasn’t just the fans who were showing their excitement for the show’s return publicly. Brands were trying to get in on the action as well. Using our search for the most retweeted tweets mentioning Game Of Thrones we came across a few brands trying to capitalize on the show’s popularity. Such as the NFL, who had the most retweeted Game Of Thrones tweet from a brand, with this one about the actor who plays Gregor Clegane, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who apparently almost signed to play with the Indianapolis Colts:

But other brands were also trying to generate impressions using Game Of Thrones, like Stolichnaya Vodka:

Chili’s Bar and Grill:

Arby’s:

And even the World Of Warcraft videogame:

 

To be fair, not all the talk was necessarily waiting for the show’s actual debut. Over the weekend the first 4 episodes of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season somehow got leaked online. Apparently some fans just couldn’t wait until Sunday night to see the show as talk of the leaked episodes started late on Saturday night and carried over into Sunday as more and more people became aware. This likely isn’t a big surprise as Game Of Thrones was noted as being the most pirated TV show of 2014. However, when we looked for mentions of the leak along side Game Of Thrones over the course of the entire weekend, we found that it didn’t make as much of an impact on the overall talk as one may have thought, only garnering 74,615 mentions across social channels.

Sysomos MAP - Activity Summary of Game Of Thrones Leak Mentions

But was this actually a good performance in terms of season debut? This is something else we wondered, so we decided to compare Game Of Thrones mentions on its season debut day to a few other recent popular television debuts. We pitted it against the season premieres of The Walking Dead, The Americans and Mad Men. What we found was that Game Of Thrones had a fairly good showing for social media activity on its season debut day beating out The Americans and Mad Men on theirs, but it fell about half of a million mentions short of The Walking Dead on its season debut.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison Activity Summary

Interestingly though, when we broke down the social channels to see where conversations around each of these shows was coming from we found that Game Of Thrones was talked about more across blogs, online news sites and forums, but the fans of The Walking Dead blew Game Of Thrones out of the water in terms of tweets.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison by Source

And while we comparing things, we also thought it would be interesting to see how Game Of Thrones season 5 premiers did compared to season 4, which debuted on April 6, 2014. In 2014, the show’s premiere saw 699,489 mentions across social channels. That means that this year they upped their numbers by 200,000, which is quite impressive and just shows how the popularity for the show is still growing.

Sysomos MAP - Game Of Thrones 2014 Premier Activity Summary

Did you watch Game Of Thrones on Sunday? More importantly, did you tweet about it?

How I turned March Madness into Sysomos #MAPMadness

By Tyler Watson - April 8th, 2015

As a Social Media Specialist on the Agency team here at Sysomos, I have spent A LOT of time utilizing our software for many different verticals and unique use cases. As an avid sports fan, I have spent A LOT of time following many different professional and amateur sports leagues and events.

As any avid sports fan knows, the NCAA basketball tournament known as March Madness is a huge event. It is also a very popular topic within social media. The overall mentions of “March Madness” dating from the beginning of the year until March 18th (the day before the madness begins) is shown below.

Sysomos MAP - March Madness Social Media Activity Summary Pre-Tournament

This is a ton of conversations!

So when it came time to enter our Sysomos March Madness pool and build my bracket, it only felt natural to combine this incredible pool of data with my direct problem of selecting the winning bracket.

So that’s exactly what I did…

Using the Compare tool in our Sysomos MAP platform I selected my entire bracket based on share of voice.

By running simple queries such as “Wisconsin Badgers” AND basketball vs. “Duke Blue Devils” AND basketball, I made my picks from each of the 64 matchups by selecting whichever team received more Share of Voice with regards to mentions in the social sphere.

Sysomos MAP - Share of Voice Comparison

I had some concerns around the software selecting only the favourites in each matchup but after some review I noticed that the results pulled from MAP had selected the underdog in 11 different matchups; most notably predicting that the Michigan State Spartans would make it to the final eight.

Looking at the “Popular Picks Bracket” on Yahoo (my fantasy sports host site of choice) the Michigan State Spartans were not, on average, selected past the Round of 32.

My finalized bracket can be seen below.

Pre-Tournament Bracket Picks Based on Sysomos MAP Data

Upon tournament completion my bracket (shown below), selected entirely by our MAP platform, finished with 45 correct picks out of a possible 63 to output a 71% Winning Pick Percentage (WPP).

To be fair, this was slightly under Yahoo’s average of 47 correct picks delivering a 76% WPP and further still from Yahoo’s top finisher, who selected 54 correct picks with a WPP of 86%.

This was however, enough correct picks to win the Sysomos pool and have a year’s worth of bragging rights over my colleagues.

Post Tournament Bracket Results

For a round by round breakdown feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TylerWatson9293).

Now this is a very “outside of the box” use case for our platform but an excellent example of the many creative ways our software can be used to achieve success. Through creative Boolean strings and a broad knowledge of the different features within MAP and Heartbeat the sky is essentially the limit to the different insights we can extract from Sysomos’s extensive database of social content.

For any and all Fantasy Sports inquiries please feel free to e-mail me directly (twatson@sysomos.com). I have a Heartbeat built specifically for capturing mentions of Fantasy Football, Hockey, and Baseball and avidly use it for advice on starting line-ups, waiver pick-ups, and potential sleepers.

For information on other use cases and creative methods of using our software please feel free to contact us or reach out to your dedicated Social Media Specialist.

Change Your Listening Strategy To Listen For Real Insights

By Sheldon Levine - April 7th, 2015

Listen in social media to answers for your questionsBy now, social media monitoring is table stakes for just about any company. Many companies know that people are out there talking about their brand across any multiple of social networks. They’re saying what they like about your brand, what they don’t like, what they’re doing with your products, asking questions and much more.

Monitoring for your company or brand is great and allows you to be reactive around what the social world is talking about in terms of your brand. But what can you do if you want to answer questions about your business beyond “what are people saying about us?”

Last week, Amber wrote a great post outlining what true social intelligence is. Social intelligence goes beyond just monitoring for your brand (but you should keep doing this as well) to help you really understand your audience and make accurate predictions to what they need in the future, both in terms of content you provide and what they want from your products or services or how to make them better.

So, the big question then becomes, how do you monitor differently to get true social intelligence out of the social data that you’re collecting?

The trick to doing this is to not go in to social monitoring thinking that if we listen to everything the answers will just show themselves. Instead, what you need to be doing is going in to your monitoring strategy with specific questions in mind already and then base how you’re listening on finding the answers to those questions.

For example, let’s say that you’re a large coffee chain and you want to know how you can make your customer’s experience with your employees even better. Listening for just your chain’s name will likely give you some conversations around your customers’ experience, but it will be mixed in with every other conversation about your brand. Instead, try setting up your social media monitoring to look for specific cues from your customers about their experience with your staff. Using a monitoring software like Sysomos that allows your to narrow your search down using complex searches and organizing tags will make this much easier.

If you’re setting up your monitoring to know how your customers’ experience is, you’ll want to monitor for mentions of your brand name and customer experience related words. Searches like Starbucks AND (barista OR employee OR “behind the counter”) will help you to narrow down on the conversations just about your staff and your customers. From there, you can look through these posts or use text analytic tools to surface the key things that people are talking about. You can see what people like and don’t like, or what they wish you would do in the future. You can even get more specific to find things to fix by just focusing in on the conversations from this bucket that are negative in sentiment. What are the negative things people are saying about your staff? Now, what can you do to fix those things?

Sysomos MAP - Negative Word Cloud Around Starbucks Employees

But social intelligence can go way beyond just monitoring for your brand. Also think about your products and services in a more general sense. Think about what kind of questions to ask to make your specific products or service better than your competitors.

For this example, let’s say that you’re a smartphone manufacturer and you need your next phone to be a big hit. How do you know what consumers want from their phones? In order to get your answer, think about how your audience in social media would answer that question. You can try monitoring social media with a query like “I wish” AND (phone OR smartphone) to find conversations about what people wish any phone would do. Look for the trends in what people are saying they wish for. You can then take their answers over to your R&D department and say “This is what people want, how can we make this happen?”

Sysomos MAP - Buzzgraph of Smartphone Wishes

These are just two examples for how you can approach social intelligence through monitoring.

The important thing to remember here is to not just jump into social media monitoring so you can only react. Think about what questions you’re interested in answering and then approach your monitoring with queries that will help you find those specific answers.

And if you ever need some help, remember that Sysomos can help you with your monitoring to find the answers to your most important questions. Request a demo today to find out how.

The Elite Eight Brands of March Madness [Infographic]

By Sheldon Levine - April 3rd, 2015

NCAA March MadnessThis weekend every college basketball fan will be watching the semi-finals of March Madness as the final four teams square off to determine who will play in the championship game on Monday. And while we’re down to only four schools now, last weekend’s Elite Eight face-off gave us some inspiration for an infographic.

Anyone watching the tournament knows how each of the teams is doing already. We wanted to know how each of the official March Madness sponsors was actually doing. Especially in the world of social media as people tweet and create content along side the real-time action of the games.

To do so, we ran each official sponsor’s name and any official campaign hashtag through our Sysomos social intelligence engine to see how many times they have been mentioned throughout the tournament. However, to keep things fair, the brand’s name or hashtag also had to be used in conjunction with talk of March Madness (such as the #MarchMadness hashtag or other March Madness talk). That means that if a campaign hashtag was used on it’s own, it didn’t make it into our official count. This was done to offset any mentions of the brands that are officially sponsoring March Madness from any other talk outside of the tournament conversation.

We put our results into the infographic below listing out our Elite Eight Brands of March Madness based on their number of mentions and favorable sentiment rating. Check it out and see if your favourite brand made it to the Elite Eight:

The Elite Eight Brands of March Madness

Listen To The Top Content Marketers On The Content Pros Podcast

By Jason Harris - April 1st, 2015

Content Pros

When you work in any field, it’s hard to stay connected to the thought leaders and advanced topics that you typically have to go to a conference to be exposed to.

A new podcast for content marketers has been launched by our own Amber Naslund, SVP of Marketing for Sysomos and Chris Moody from Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Rather than focusing only on theory and high level thinking, Content Pros is twice-monthly podcast that features interviews with heavyweights in the content marketing answering the questions you want answers to.

Content Pros is 8 episodes in and has featured amazing shows with the likes of Jason Falls, Ann Handley, Jason Miller and many other luminaries. The shows are about 30-40 minutes long and a fantastic mix of fun conversation and hard hitting tips and topics that will enlighten you with every episode.

Also, for each Content Pros episode, the website features a visual note taker for every episode! They’ve partnered with Chrysallis Studios to create videos capturing the key points of Content Pros episodes.

Here’s an example:

Personally, I love podcasts because I can listen to them while on a bike ride, driving or walking to work.

Content Pros is available in iTunes, on Stitcher and via your favorite podcasting app. Sysomos is a proud sponsor of the podcast series we hope you subscribe today!