Unleashing Consumer Insights with Social Media

Monitoring and Listening are quickly becoming commodity type words, and that’s wrong.  In my travels and discussions with all types of Fortune 100 marketers, many are using the terms to explain what they are doing in social media, yet most cannot give me any meaningful value from the actions.   The same goes with the resulting data.  These same marketers will show me the pretty reports from their very sophisticated systems, yet hardly any are doing anything with the data to evolve actionable insights.  It’s not the systems fault, or the marketers, really.  We are at a point where an evolution is needed in how we think about this stage of the social media process.

When you listen generically, you will hear a lot of noise.  If you know where to point your microphone though, you could here prospects who are asking for your product recommendations, customers who are seeking answers about their latest purchase or better understand the latest product buzz from your competitors.  One might also be able to identify people who are passionate about your product/company, people with ideas that you could incorporate, employees and their opinion on their work environments.

To better account for this, I prefer to move away from talking about the tactical actions of listening/monitoring and focus more on the outcomes: Learning.  Let’s set up a learning post or focus your reports on what you have learned today.  Putting on that lens, clients start to think very different in how they act and how they report on those actions that ultimately leads to a new found value in running these listening / learning posts.

Now that you are learning new things every day, how do you unleash the data being collected into actionable insights.  The first step was discussed above.  Listening for noise will get you just that.  Hearing what’s being said is a discipline that cannot be overlooked.  Next, knowing what to do with the information is critical.  Do you send ideas to the product team, issues to service and branding to marketing?  Or are you relying on one person to manage every conversation just because it’s digital?  This would be the equivalent to having customer service, returns, cashiers and product specialists all be the check out person in your retail store.

Learning about your customers is critical to being able to engage with them.  Who better to discuss this than the President & CEO of Communispace, Diane Hessan.  Communispace has been helping their clients understand the intricacies of doing business in a digital and social world for many years now.  The have helped dozens of large companies innovate in new and exciting ways and they understand how to create value throughout their digital and traditional landscapes.  With this experience, Diane will lead this week’s #socialmedia discussion.  The topic and questions are listed below:

Unleashing Consumer Insights with Social Media

  1. There is so much information on the web today.  What’s the difference between info & insight?
  2. What are the best strategies for engaging consumers & getting them to open up their lives online?
  3. Other than the standard Dell/Starbucks stories, what companies do you think are great at listening online?

Please join us in this online chat on Tuesday, February 8 at noon ET.  Follow #sm97 from your favorite Twitter client or simply go to our LIVE page at www.hashtagsocialmedia.com/live.  The format will stay the same with the first question starting at noon and a new question coming every 20 minutes at 12:20 and 12:40.

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