Archive for the 'social media monitoring' Category

Two Hurdles and One Gap in Enterprise Social Media Engagement

Recently, my work required that I evaluate some of the top global brands in a certain industry in regards to internal b2b social media usage. I’ve used upwards of 7-10  free and paid social media monitoring and measurement tools to do it. I’ve looked at social data for a month and I have discovered two hurdles and one gap. I’m going to boil it down for you and spare you the pain of elaboration and if you happen to see me on the street I will give you the lodown on my findings.

So here it is:

It doesn’t matter if you’re a c-level executive, a director, a manager or the owner of a small business. One of your primary and most valuable comodities is your time.   Alotting time or taking time for engagement is not really high on the to-do list right now. Though recent data says that the more social your executives are the better performing your company  might be.

That’s hurdle #1. Executives need to take the time to be better at being social.

Having resources to do all the things that these companies and individuals have read, heard and want to do in social and should be doing in social needs to be a priority but is easier said than done.

Hurdle #2. Organizations are resourced challenged.

And the biggest gap?  The money is not there yet but social media budgets are continuing to loosen up quickly.  They used to be non-existant. In some very large organizations that I have seen, social is not a priority at any level be it in internal or external, yet.  The good news for all of these? You will see them all evolve in a positive  manor over the next 3-5 years.

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On Social Media Tools, Noise, and Experience

I was driving through the Florida Everglades last week when I thought, “How in the hell does someone survive and get around out here in this vast expanse of nothingness?”  Which made me immediately draw a relation to the water that surrounds the glades being the internet so to speak, and the wispy reeds of sea grass or whatever the hell it is, being your customers or users of the internet.  I then thought, “There’s a lot of noise out there now, was it, or is it now because of social media?  Did social media create the noise?”  Is social responsible for this?

The short answer is yes.

Remember Dr. Seuss’s, “Horton Hears a Who?”  There’s a scene in the movie and in the book, where everyone in Whoville starts to shout in unison, “We are here, we are here”. They are trying to get Horton to hear them.  Social media is like that.  The plethora of platforms and devices has allowed everyone to have that voice, but the challenge for those with voices wanting to be heard, is the choices and platforms are multiplying like rabbits.  For those businesses who want to bridge the gap and find those people with voices-it’s getting harder and harder to sift through the weeds and grass.

In the Everglades, you get around by airboat, which amazes me honestly.  Why?  Everything looks the same.  If you look to your left or to your right, or forwards or backwards, it all looks exactly the same.  So how does one get around?  You have to have an experienced navigator.  Someone who knows the lay of the land.

Here’s the correlation.  I can use the best listening tools and platforms there are, but if I don’t know how to use them or I use them the wrong way, they are totally worthless to me.  I’m going to airboat around the glades and find lots of nothing.  If someone thinks they know how or knows what I want and they still get it wrong-Shame on me.  Does that mean there’s too much noise and one cannot navigate through it?  Does that mean there are no pockets of goodness in that vast landscape?  Not at all.  You just have to know someone who knows how to look and where to look.

A friend of mine, Mack Collier, earlier this month wrote a blog post on whether marketers should use social media personally before they use it professionally? I think we know the short answer again to that is yes. But I will end on this.

Just because you can get the boat in the water, start the engine and take off, doesn’t mean you know where you’re going or how to get there.

Three Plateaus in Social Media

For those of you who are new to the social space, this post does not entirely apply to you, though it perhaps eventually will.  So you can keep reading to see what will might happen to you.

Plateau #1

  • You’ve created half assed personas in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin
  • You’ve added and perhaps bought followers, fans, likes, subscribers and contacts
  • You’ve created a blog and have added a few posts
  • You have pushed out some weak, self serving content on all of them
  • You had no strategy
  • You quit because, you see nothing gained and you claim that social media does not work

Plateau #2

  • You have done everything in Plateau #1 and…
  • You have added/bought thousands of people to your networks
  • You push out content on all of your networks but it’s over the top and self serving
  • You monitor all of your networks…sort of
  • You have engaged with people somewhat
  • Your activities have tailed off because it takes too much work and you’re not seeing the results and you’re not convinced that social media works. Pretty soon, it dies a slow death.

Plateau #3

  • You have identified and created personas in the right networks that fit your needs
  • You understand that it’s a marathon and not a sprint
  • You manage and grow all of your networks thoughtfully and effectively
  • You measure all of your efforts effectively
  • You create and meet all of your existing KPI’s
  • You adapt and you create new KPI’s
  • You create, adjust, and redefine your strategy accordingly
  • You thrive

As you can see, the 3 plateaus are fairly well defined and quite different. Most of you have done all or parts of each. Those that can get to the third plateau can certainly speak to the other two. Those that have quit after one or two, certainly know why they did. What’s your smell test?

Sure I love the conversation but…

I used to be a social media purist but I’ve evolved. Why? Well we have evolved.  We being the one’s that were there early on who experienced the magic of connecting with someone as smart as  say Gavin Heaton or Tom Martin and having them host our social media tweetchat. Or having that cool, deep discussion with a person like David Alston from Radian 6 when his company was just starting to gain traction, or becoming really good friends with someone i respect as much as Beth Harte. But what made all of those discussions and conversations cool was that we were connecting. Great for us but what about B2B?

There was always the missing component. An outcome. A means to an end. The Why and the What for.

At least that’s what companies wanted to know. And still want to know. They wanted a better value proposition. Some get it but others are still struggling with this. Yea social media is cool but what’s it all mean? What’s the point? To have conversations or make money?  Give us a business use case.

Well yesterdays news of the Salesforce aquisition of Radian6 is a game changer. It’s a watershed moment.  I still like being a purist at heart when it comes to social media but we have to justify its usage. Quite honestly, We have been fighting the good fight for quite some time. Justifying it’s relevance. Educating the masses. But adding strong measuremaent and analytics to social media engagement as it pertains to customer service and sales and lead generation, does just that.  The folks at Sales Force believe that.

With this Salesforce/Radian6 deal, and Lithium grabbing ScoutLabs and MarketWire folding Sysomos into the mix, you are now seeing an alignment of B2B with social beyond just the conversation. Social will always live inside of marketing and PR, but tying it to business functions has now come to the forefront. And the way that become legitimate is by adding measuring and monitoring functions that are directly applied to making money, saving money, and building equity.

Like I said, Watershed moment…

 

What Does Fully Engaged Mean?

Earlier this week, Ants Eye View posted The Cisco Social Media Listening Journey.

It was interesting to see Cisco’s evolution

But I was struck more with the final stage of the listening journey.

Food for thought. How fully engaged is your company? How fully engaged are your teams?

The Intersection of Customer Service and Social Media

The conversational divide…

I have a couple of quick questions: Does social media allow customers to get their issues resolved quicker than if they were to use traditional means? Does whining via social media move you to the head of the line? In a recent article in Adage the answer may be yes but below the surface there is an easier explanation.

If I’m a disgruntled customer, or just someone that is trying to get something resolved with a company I’m doing business with, chances are I’m going to go the traditional route; Phone, email, live chat, trouble ticket, phone again..It’s what I know-it’s how I am conditioned. Right?

What if I’m getting nowhere? And I know this social media thing might give me any time access to a company to get my problem resolved? Or at least to be heard? I should do it, right? Absolutely!

On the flip side, If the company is listening and monitoring, that company now has a chance because of social media, to get it right or to fix things before they spiral out of control. Right? And let’s face it, all the customer wants is to get their problem solved-that’s all.

But if said company screws  it up, or if I’m getting nowhere-what were my options in the past? Does this look familiar? Phone, email, live chat, trouble ticket, phone again..It’s what I know-it’s how I am conditioned.

According to Pete Blackshaw of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services, he thinks that social media is disrupting the harmony between departments when it comes to dealing with irate customers.

I say screw that. That’s their problem, not mine. I’m the customer and now finally, the tables have been turned. Social media is my ally. Treat me right and I’ll tell everyone how great your company is-if you don’t, then watch out.

Monitoring “G”

I was pulling some info about tomorrow’s #hashtag social media host Shel Holtz when I came across a video on his Posterous page about Gatorade’s  brand monitoring war room.

The video is well done and I love how they are investing time and effort in polishing and managing the brand via a social media war room. But it was the comment below the video that bothered me.

ooohhhhhh amazing !!
You check the stats of your websites ??? You gather tweets – with like, twitter search ?
Sooooo impressed !
LOL

I would volunteer that a bit more is required than that; but see what we, as marketers and managers of brands have to put up with? And you wonder why we  keep having to “sell” social media?

“Like” social media is “like”, soooo easy!

NOT!

Monitor your social space with 7 tools and 16 minutes of setup.

If you’re the average person, you don’t have time for paid monitoring tools; and furthermore, you really don’t want to mess with complicated social media monitoring tools or setup either. So what do you do if you want to monitor your space, your company, your name and your competition?

You check out these 7 easy tools with even easier setups.

With the advent of blogs and micro-blogs, there’s a constant online conversation about breaking news, people and places — some famous and some local. Tweets and other short-form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened and how people have reacted.

1) Meet. Google Replay. To check out this feature, do the following:

Go to the Google homepage, click on the show options link, and then click on updates. Make sure you have already typed in a search term and then see what happens. A waterfall of real time data coming from Twitter. Time elapsed: 30 seconds

2) Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Time to set up: 5 minutes

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on an event
  • keeping tabs on your local news or teams

3) Monitter is so simple its scary, just plug in words or terms in each of the three columns and go watch the firehose of data coming from Twitter. Time to set up: 1 minute

4) I’ll add Social Mention, though sometimes the results are a bit odd, but the  setup might take one minute, which is what we’re talking about here. Time to set up: 2 minutes

5) and 6) The next 2 are great for seeing where someone might have a social profile setup. Knowem and Usernamecheck are both solid. Set up time: 7 minutes

7) Backtype takes about 30 seconds and allows you to monitor stuff. Time to set up: 30 seconds

Honorable mention: Watchthatpage Notify.me

Social Media Conundrum #13…The tools

tools

Practical, useful, functional, sensible…

Those are all synonyms of a word that best fits social media. I’ll let you in on that word at the end of this.

I think sometimes we like to have things that look pretty, but don’t really perform that well, and yet we have tendency to accept it. We shrug our shoulders and we incorporate the time suck and the inconvenience into our daily routine.  I’m sure we can all think of products or services in social media that we bought or downloaded that had a lot of slick features, but at the end of the day, just didn’t work. But we stayed with it. Why? Because we were told it was the thing to do or have.

At the end of the day, we just needed it to do X instead of A through X. Even though K throught X doesn’t even work anyway without an upgrade.

Initially, we suffer for beauty, until we learn that practicality can go a long way in  online marketing and social media success.

Social media tools and sites are, at their core, about creating and enhancing the way we communicate with friends and strangers. The essence isn’t so much about how I say it and where I say it, as it is about what I say and to whom. It’s usefulness is only useful if you’re using it. We use the tools of social media to enhance and simplify and extend our communication and marketing efforts to customers, clients and friends and relatives. It’s a utility, and we use it as such. Whether we know it or not.

What’s my point?

Practical, useful, functional, and sensible can go a long way in social media. They also can a long way in enhancing the relationships with your customers and your clients. They don’t and you don’t for that matter, need the snake oil, the spam and the bullshit pitch. They need a social media solution or tool that is practical, useful, functional and makes sense for their employees, their company and their customers. So give it to them. and give it to yourself. Use what works.

The word?

Its Utilitarian.

Social media is utilitarian.

Do you agree?

Crowdsourcing-Social Media Listening Grids

Over the last 8 weeks @jasonbreed and I have had some tremendous #socialmedia Unpanels at Hashtagsocialmedia.com. Last Tuesday, David Alston of Radian 6, hosted a session titled Developing Corporate Listening Grids. the comments and the discussion was at such a high level, that developing a deck from it was a no-brainer. But obviously it doesn’t happen without the participation of the attendees and their voices.

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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