Archive for January, 2010

How to listen to crowds

January 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Listening is the first and most important step that various experts on social media recommend to incorporate as part of monitoring and engaging consumers. As Jason Falls shares an article of Chuck Hemann (Dix & Eaton) in his blog: Social Media Explorer he writes about how listening is a critical part of a company’s social media efforts and he proposes five ways to accomplish this. At Dix & Eaton, they have developed “five W’s” of social media listening: who, what, when, where and why.

Who: refers to the audience. Moreover, I believe that a company should differentiate the characteristics of consumers. According to the Groundswell consumers can be creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, or inactives. It is crucial that companies identify influencers and critics to develop their engagement strategy.
What: refers to what the shareholders are saying about a brand, product/service and/or company. It also refers to the tone of the messages, are they positive, negative or neutral?
Where: refers to the place in which the dialogue is taking place. For example: blogs, forums, facebook, etc. Even tough a company should evaluate its objectives, products, audience, strategy to decide which social media it should use it is also true that to create a new account on any platform is time-consuming and nowadays companies usually do not have much time to deal with crisis.
When: refers to when during the year the conversations are taking place. Plus, companies should evaluate if these dialogues are related to specific events.
Why: refers to the reason your customers are engaging in a conversation.

To sum up, it is important to listen to your audience but what is more important is how companies use this listening to develop a cohesive social media strategy.