You monitor social media. Now what?

by Luke Brynley-Jones in News

Luke Brynley-Jones is a co-founder of Influence People, which runs social media conferences in the UK, Europe and USA. His next event, Monitoring Social Media 2010 is on Monday 22nd November in London.

At Monitoring Social Media 09, my first social media monitoring conference, Robin talked about how We Are Social helped Skype set-up and run a real-time social media listening and responding programme.  It was one of 16 presentations during which a lot of clever marketing people made the case for social media monitoring.

In the past 12 months the question of whether brands need to monitor conversations about their brand, products, senior staff and competitors has been loudly answered. Earlier this year Synthesio used their monitoring and engagement tools to reduce the number of calls to telecom giant Orange’s call centres by 100,000 and save them “a few million Euros”. Similarly, Brandwach, one of the UK’s best known monitoring companies, ran a monitoring and engagement campaign for a client that led to over 1 million extra website views and measurable return on investment of over 400%. This is impressive stuff! In the US, market leader Radian6 is working with The Red Cross to amend their website content on a daily basis to reflect the changing the interests of their supporters.

The case for monitoring is positively deafening. Yet monitoring on its own isn’t enough. As I write this, hundreds of Marketing Managers around the world are sitting at their PC’s staring at gazillions of brand mentions, tracked and highlighted by their fancy new monitoring tools. And they are all thinking the same thing: “What now?”

Now that we’ve got all this data, how are we going to make the best use of it? How can we make sure that the right data gets to the right people within our organisation? And how can we ensure that the right person responds? Most monitoring solutions are in the hands of marketing and PR teams. Now, I’m a marketing man at heart, but am I the right person to be managing this data?

Forward-thinking brands are starting to tackle these questions head-on. People are calling it social CRM, but it’s much, much bigger than traditional CRM. We’re talking about harnessing the power of the social web as never before by plugging it directly into the structure of your organisation. Sounds scary – but finding the answers to these questions will be critical for success in the next phase in social media monitoring and engagement. Now’s the time to start thinking ahead.

Luke has kindly offered We Are Social readers a 10% discount on the MSM10 £145/£195 ticket prices, by entering the discount code “wearesocial” when buying a ticket directly from the Monitoring Social Media 2010 website.

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  • Mikko Rummukainen

    Thanks for asking these valuable questions, Luke!

    I would agree that monitoring alone is not enough. Sure, starting out and getting all sorts of information about brand mentions, discussion volumes, sentiment and such is valuable. However, the way I see it, putting it to use leads to something much more valuable.

    For example, what quite a few companies starting out with their social media endeavors should be doing, is using social media monitoring to map out their social media environment. When this is done, planning a sound SoMe-strategy with clear objectives makes a lot more sense, once the company knows whether 1,000 mentions of their brand is a lot or not much – when compared to competitors and their category.

    These measures can then be selected to be among the overall KPI's, and this should answer quite a few of the 'are doing things right?'-questions presented above.

    If not, moving on from just monitoring to social media analysis has the answer for the next question, that goes “what next?”

  • Luke Brynley-Jones

    Absolutely Mikko. I'm at Monitoring Social Media New York today – and the same messages are coming out again… Monitoring is often silo'd into marketing or PR, and even when it isn't the tools are often configured from a PR or marketing perspective – which isn't necessarily the same perspective as that company's product team, or customer services, for example. Much like social media in general adopting a cross-departmental approach is seriously needed.

  • 40deuce

    Great question and think the answer is really going to depend on the company doing the monitoring. Companies get into social media for many different reasons. Some want to market though it, some want to do customer service, some just want to hear what their public thinks.
    I think every company is going to need to figure out the answer to “what next” themselves. Decide why they got into social media and determine who will benefit most from the info they are getting out of it. The answer may not even just be one department, because really, if used properly social media can benefit almost all divisions of a company.

    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • Andreana Drencheva


    Great questions. A relatively good solution to these questions is hiring a Chief Listening Officer, someone who not only monitors social media but assigns an action to a person or team. Sometimes no action is required, other than thank you. But other times, the response should come from IT or Operations. Sometimes mentions are a great opportunity for engaging with advocates on a deeper level or even using their feedback for R&D.

    Of course, this all sounds great when we are talking about large organizations with multiple offices nationwide or even internationally. But smaller firms can adopt the same idea. PR and Marketing can monitor and if they come across something beyond their expertise, they can always walk to the desk of a coworker who can help.



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