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Social Media Strategy Requires Brand Conversation Monitoring

Photo courtesy of LI Refugee

The digital landscape is rife with people talking about their brand experiences every moment of every day. Whether it’s expressing excitement over a new purchase or complaining about poor customer service, people are posting about brands and the products they love and hate.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that monitoring social networks is a great way for companies to capture customer feedback on products and services. With customer data being such an important piece of the social media strategy, I was curious to find out how many companies were actually monitoring their brands.

After a few Google searches, I found several studies attempting to quantify the percentage of companies that had social media monitoring programs in place. Many of the studies I found reported that over 60 percent of companies don’t use  tools to monitor brand conversations.  Are you as surprised as I am?

In 2010, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services issued its report, The New Conversation, which cited that 75% of the companies in the survey said they weren’t sure where their most valuable customers were talking about them. And more recently, a CapGemini study last July found that of the 302 executives surveyed, only 57% of them stated their companies were monitoring online conversations for brand and product mentions.

It’s shocking how low these figures are given that most companies have already implemented social media programs but don’t track customer conversations. At a time when many organizations are jumping into social media head first, getting an analytics program underway should be one of the first items on the agenda. The insights gleaned from a brand conversation monitoring program will provide hard data to help shape digital strategies.

Proactively monitoring the health of your corporate brand online works to identify discussions that could harm your reputation. On the plus side, it leverages positive online commentary to enhance your market offerings and positioning. Without understanding customer sentiment or market impact, social media strategy is missing a vital component.

I know from my own past experiences that collecting insights from online conversations can also be valuable to other functional departments within the organization. Funneling this rich data to your R&D unit, customer care center, or other internal teams can potentially inform additional business, product and customer strategies that aren’t even on your radar screen.

 

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