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Tools for listening

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

According to a study by a public relations firm, more than half of the Fortune 100 companies are paying full attention to what their audiences are saying on social sites. Among those companies are Comcast, Dell, Microsoft, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Wells Fargo, UPS, Whole Foods and Starbucks.

There are several tools that companies can utilize to monitor and listen to consumers. As Nick Nicholls posted on his blog Your Web Best Practices, there are several tools for listening and monitoring the online chatter about a company’s brand. Plus, he divides the ones that are free from the paid ones. Among the free applications are: Google Alerts, Technorati, Jodange, Trendrr, etc. On the other hand, some of the paid applications are:  TruCast, Radian6, BuzzDing, etc.

As an example of a company that utilizes one of these tools Cirque du Soleil is using Radian6 to listen and monitor its audiences to create brand ambassadors. Radian6 helps companies listen to what people are saying about their brands online and engage in those conversations across social media. With this tool, Cirque du Soleil is using the information collected about their audiences through listening to create excitement for future shows. Cirque is also using Radian6 to track the buzz around promotions. Moreover, Cirque is using this tool to learn the role their brand ambassadors play in spreading the word and identify new fans.

We can conclude that there are several tools for listening to consumers and companies have to evaluate which one they should use depending on their goals and resources to create strategies and build communities.


source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucioman/981401237/

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.