Ackura’s social monitoring tool, BuzzMonitor, is great at providing an insight into what your customers are talking about or identifies potential opportunities that you can use in future marketing. However taking the first steps into monitoring social media can be daunting so I thought I would provide 5 tips on how to start listening with BuzzMonitor.
1. Outline your objectives
It is vital to understand why you want to monitor social media. Some examples are:
I want to see what people are saying about our company in order to act accordingly
I want to identify the influential people in the industry
I want to be able to react quickly to customer service queries
I want to keep on top of the latest trends surrounding my company/brand
By defining your end goal first it will help in creating a clear plan of how to manage your social media monitoring activity.
2. Choose the best channels to monitor
The term Social Media covers a large number of channels such as micro-blogging, blogs, community sites, etc. For this reason it is important to discover where the conversations you want to monitor are taking place. Although Twitter is a popular social media site the conversations you are interested in might not be taking place on it, so it would be unproductive to spend time and resources monitoring it. Instead do some initial research to find out where best to invest your time.
3. Prioritize your monitoring
It is best practise to monitor a variety of keywords or terms in order to gain a greater understanding of the conversations going on across multiple channels. It is important to prioritize or focus your monitoring so that attention isn’t distracted from the more important topics. For example, listening out for developing trends should not distract from unhappy customers.
4. Listen – Don’t jump in
Sitting back and listening to a conversation rather than jumping straight in is vital. It will allow you time to understand the culture and language of the conversation or community your listening to, meaning that once you are ready to engage the people involved are more likely to then listen to what you have to say.
5. Build Relationships
Social media will allow you to foster relationships with your customers and industry influencers. Be prepared to embrace them because the people who will listen to what you have to say might become brand ambassadors and be influential about you to their peers
It’s a cliche that store managers have been telling their staff for years, but the term “The customer knows best” has never been such an accurate and relevant point thanks to the strength of social media and the voice it provides to the customer.
Before any marketing and advertising campaign it is vital for companies to understand their target audience so that the campaign can be perfectly tailored towards them. This used to be done by performing research interviews with focus groups of the target audience and although provided an idea of what is currently popular it pales in comparison to what social media monitoring can provide.
Hear what is being said
With social media monitoring you are able to see the peaks of interest in online conversations and understand customer motivations. Then through research, we are able to understanding the drivers of brand support and use it in the creation of new marketing campaigns and even product strategy. By discovering what your customers are talking about you can confirm what you already believe to be the trending topics but also unearth subjects you might not expect, which can give you an advantage over the competition. It is easier to connect with the passion of your audience then to create new passion within them.
Change yourself, not your audience
Although it was quite a few years ago now, MINI did an amazing job of listening to what their audience and community were saying and changed their marketing and product strategy to accommodate where the interests lay in MINI buyers. When BMW were planning to re-launch the MINI it was originally positioned with the marketing message of the car being small and nimble, the same message that made the original such as success. Although the MINI was discontinued many years before the community was still one of the strongest in the automotive industry and by listening to what the community were talking about BMW were able to see that no one was actually talking about the size of the car.
The majority of conversations happening in the MINI community were that of customisations and the most popular activity was exchanging photos of cars and talking about what people had changed. So with this knowledge the new MINI was launched with the message “Mix and Match” and allowed buyers to customise their new cars to how they wanted. The launch was a massive success due the the iconic brand that was involved but the customisation factor gave the community a huge boost and helped make the MINI one of the most successful cars this decade.
Social Media has revolutionised how we use the Internet and share information with one another. With Social Media conversations now take place between people all around the world and about pretty much everything, if it exists or even if it doesn’t, more than likely there will be an online conversation going on somewhere about it.
As an organisation this can be great if people are talking about your brand but we must not forget that not everything said is positive and thanks to technology, such as BuzzMonitor, we are now able to monitor what is being said online. Social Media Monitoring can identify issues that might not be common knowledge to the public just yet, and might be restricted to a few people.
For example this could be a few people complaining about the overheating of a device you created. It could start off as a few individual cases before it starts to escalate to become a real issue. This early knowledge can allow you to create a strategy if these few case become more widespread and action has to be taken to come up with a solution.
An example of how Social Media Monitoring could have been used to avoid a PR nightmare was Nestle KitKat and the campaign started by GreenPeace about Nestle’s use of Palm Oil sourced from companies destroying the Rain forest.
Nestle were deaf to Social Media
In March 2010 Greenpeace launched a campaign against Nestle and their chocolate bar Kitkat because Palm Oil, used in the process of making the bar, was sourced from companies that got their product from none sustainable rain forests and destroyed the home of the endangered Orang-utan. The campaign had many different channels that it was going to run though including Twitter and Facebook.
When the campaign launched Nestle were only being reactive, meaning that they only reacted once the campaign had started and in this case not only were they slow to react but they also did it badly because they were not prepared. If Nestle had implemented a Social Media Monitoring strategy they would of noticed a conversation going on for a couple of months about the campaign, meaning they would of had some warning about what was happening and could of dealt with the issue a lot better.
Instead they tried to stop the campaign by deleting all comments on their Facebook page, got into arguments with the public on Facebook and attempted to get videos on YouTube removed but they could not control what the public were saying on their personal accounts and so the campaign escalated. For every video and comment they deleted 3 more would replace them.
The eventual result was that Nestle stopped using Palm Oil suppliers that were destroying the rain forest but it was too late to prevent the eventual damage that the brand suffered and all this could of been avoided if Nestle were to listen to what was going on in online conversations and address the issue early before it got out of control.
Both positive and negative stories are no longer restricted to mainstream media, increasingly they break and go viral on social networks before hitting the newsstands. As a result social media is now used as an extension of PR, marketing and even customer service.
This inclusion of Social Media into companies marketing has resulted in some success stories for big name brands. A major part of a Social Media Strategy is listening to what is being said and where these conversations are taking place. In this blog we will cover two success stories where a company has listened to what the customer want and then create a strategy around them
Cadbury’s realised that there was a lot of conversations happening online, even a campaign to bring it back, about the previously discontinued chocolate bar, Wispa.
Cadbury’s decided to re-launch the chocolate bar and decided to use Social Media Monitoring to understand where these conversations were taking place and how they could use this to their advantage. By monitoring the conversation Cadbury’s was able to find out that 7,500 people were talking about Wispa on a variety of sites ranging from student websites to YouTube videos and comments.
With this knowledge they were then able to identify where the majority of conversations were starting and who the most active and influential people were.
Thanks to Social Media Monitoring Cadbury’s now knew where there was an already interested audience and key influencers, which they could then build a campaign around. Thanks to this knowledge Cadbury’s was able to re-launch the Wispa chocolate bar with great success, selling 24 million bars in the first 6 weeks and help Cadbury’s achieve an 11% rise in UK sales.
For the Love of Whispa
Following the success of the re-launch of Wispa, Cadbury’s didn’t want to just let the buzz generated die down and followed up the launch with the “For the Love Of Wispa” campaign where they once again approached the influencers of their brand they identified for the re-launch. This time they invited fans of Wispa to get involved in creating an advert by pledging anything from balloons to full rugby teams for the filming.
The result was an amazing advert full of Cheerleaders, Kazoo playing bikers and much much more all made by people who love Cadbury’s Wispa.
Here is the final video that was created by fans of Wispa
Kellogg’s was looking to understand, in detail, what was being said about their brand and four of their main products; Coco Pops, Special K, Crunchy Nut and Rice Krispies Squares. By launching a listening and monitoring program Kellogg’s was able to gain insight, which was then used as a basis for all future social media involvement.
In a 3 month period between November 2009 and January 2010 Kellogg’s were able to analyse 89,000 comments to identify influencers and detractors who were affecting the online conversation about their brand. With this new understanding about the conversation Kellogg’s was able create an effective social media engagement strategy that would subtly harness existing conversations.
By communicating with real people, in real time, Kellogg’s was able to move from reactive monitoring – only anticipating and addressing potential stories relating directly to them – to actively engaging in the wider discussion and addressing customers at their point of need. By taking on board concerns and suggestions, this extension of customer research has allowed Kellogg’s to review, adjust and launch products accordingly.
The birth of Krave
Kellogg’s decision to get involved in Social Media Monitoring didn’t just change their engagement strategy with the public but caused them to develop a brand new product from the conversations that were happening about what people wanted in a cereal and so Krave was born.
The cereal was targeted towards the youth market and it was chosen that a Facebook and Television campaign would be how they would market this new product in what was already challenging sector. The Facebook campaign consisted of users being able to bid for prizes in an auction with a new Kellogg’s Krave Currency called “Choc Chunks”. These Choc Chunks are earned by Fans of the Krave Facebook page when they complete certain task like signing up, recruiting friends, uploading photos, tagging themselves and friends in photos and mentioning Krave in their status updates.
The Krave Facebook page quickly reached over 59,000 fans who have uploaded nearly 500 of their own photos and the community they have create is starting to create their own Krave adverts. The Choc Chunk currency has been used to bid for Gig Tickets, games and gadgets.
For a new cereal the launch was a great success with Krave gaining a 0.8% market share in less than 2 months thanks to the knowledge Kellogg’s had gain about what their target audience were talking about on social media channels.
When it comes to social media monitoring, and then engagement, no two projects are the same and proper preparation should be done before entering into social media with a corporate brand.
With the likes of Cadbury’s Whispa they were able to identify where best to target their advertising to get the best possible exposure and allow the fans that had shown interest in the product early on to get involved with launching and marketing of it.
Kellogg’s were able to identify a gap in the marketing for the cereal Krave and targeted their marketing towards where this demand was originating and build upon it.
One of the biggest mistakes when embarking on any social media activity is not understanding four key things:
1) Where our audience is.
2) What the audience is talking about (between themselves and about you or your competitors).
3) What the sentiment of those comments are
4) Who the influential people are in the audience.
BuzzMonitor is a sophisticated set of monitoring tools which allows us to find the answers to all of the above. Not only that, but we can also track the changing conversations too so we remain as up to date as our customers on the issues that matter.
So let’s look at Buzz Monitor in a little more detail:
1) WHERE the audiences is
In understanding where our online audience is talking, we can better direct our marketing efforts (and budgets) to those places. There would be little point in putting our online spend into a channel that is hosting very few, if any, conversations of relevance. What’s the point in that? Buzz Monitor tells us where our customers are talking so we can join in.
2) WHAT the audience is talking about
The marketing message we want to give out may in fact be totally different to the topics of conversations our customers are having. Buzz Monitor tells us what these main topics are, allowing us to tailor our messages appropriately. After all, we don’t want to talk OVER our customers. Where Buzz Monitor is also incredibly useful is in finding what the fastest growing topics of conversation are. This might allow us to sneak a lead on a competitor or jump on a PR problem before it becomes a BIG PR problem.
3) Comment Sentiment
One of Buzz Monitor’s most useful features is its ability to measure the sentiment of all the comments it finds too. When you have to monitor several thousand comments or articles, it is a long and arduous task of understanding whether each comment is good or bad. Buzz Monitor does this automatically, and rates the comment on a scale. We can then track this sentiment and understand how well or poorly ourt activity is being received and give us the chance to make changes to address dropping sentiment.
If we want our messages to reach a truly global audience, we need to use the influence of the people who shape the opinions of many, many others. Buzz Monitor’s Influencer analysis tells us who are the people that matter in our chosen industry or sector and what kind of site they are (forums, blog, website or wiki for example). This allows us to begin the process of getting to know these people within these locations with the right tools to ensure that when we do eventually deliver a message, we have the ears of the people who can truly affect change.
Do give us a call to find out how this kind of monitoring can have a positive impact upon your business.
Our unique technology identifies the crucial online sources that companies should monitor in order to make accurate business decisions. These sources can be found amongst consumers, suppliers, competitors and government.
We identify the key stakeholders, analyse their influence groups and then help our customers understand the positioning they should adopt for marketing, public relations, investor relations, customer service and corporate social responsibility. Market Sentinel helps marketing, communications and customer service professionals achieve measurable ROI outcomes, leading to increased authority, search engine rankings and sales.
We offer our customers a range of benchmarking services which they can use to compare their own authority and approval with that of their major competitors, including Stakeholder analysis and Net Promoters Index.
Our Live Buzz service allows you to listen to live conversations that are taking place all over the web about your company. You can receive live notifications of any consumer commentary on the key issues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, together with regular reports to highlight the key themes.