Change Your Listening Strategy To Listen For Real Insights

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.

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