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Social media monitoring: why, why not, when, what for

September 15, 2008

I remember in the early days :-), people teaching social media etiquette using the following example:

” you would not come to a party and start shouting I’m the best or Buy my product ! that’s no difference in social media ”

Perfectly true.  Still the same people advocate brand monitoring as THE utlimate social media program people should start with.

Humm… would you come to any party and ask “what do you think about me, is this positive ?, negative”

The truth is unless you’re Obama or Michael Phelps,  or unless you target the community of your very closed friends, nobody would have any opinion. 

Actually, for the people who don’t have an established brand, monitoring is really what they should do  AFTER they have spend a great deal in listening, learning, building connections and trust. I would argue that even major brand should behave the same.

So how should companies leverage social media ?

  1. listen
  2. reflect & build a real engagement strategy ( Specific- Measurable -Actionable -Relevant and Time-based): one that your entire team can execute upon including: who to target, where to engage, resources/knowledge that we bring on the table, how to move the discussion one on one , what to measure, when to stop…
  3. target: time is short and attention is scarce and companies should really focus on the communities they want to reach
  4. listen (actively), share and learn. the good thing is that employees are already reading blogs, spending time in Facebook and LinkedIn and participating in conversations, so what this really means is to help them do it better, learn from their peers, align (softly) and leverage
  5. build trust and influence, as real people and as a company
  6. share the learnings with the organisation at large, from what customers, prospects and non customers desire, fear, request. How they talk, what works and what doesn’t, how diverse they are…
  7. monitor results and this may be way different from counting the number of time your product or brand name is mentioned in the blogosphere. There may be countries where ecairn , jumbo or ronaldo is a cute name for a dog !

So does that mean monitoring should come last ? 🙂

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