Kari Owers

Member Article

OPR’s Kari Owers explains why effective use of social media is all about having two ears and one mouth

IT giant Dell has officially launched its own Social Media Listening Command Centre that will track on average more than 22,000 daily topic posts related to Dell, as well as mentions of Dell on Twitter. The information can be sliced and diced based on topics and subjects of conversation, sentiment, share of voice, geography and trends.*

And they’re not alone; drinks company Gatorade also recently created the Gatorade Mission Control Centre inside of its Chicago headquarters, a room that sits in the middle of the marketing department and could best be thought of as a war room for monitoring the brand in real-time across social media.*

A huge commitment to eavesdropping on your customers you might say, but exactly the right move if you want to make social media work for you.

How actively do you monitor what people are saying about your brand and industry?

Social media is a little like being offered the opportunity to listen to what people are saying about you when down the pub. The insight can help you shape your brand’s reputation, engage with customers and understand how they think and behave. It’s called being a “participatory brand” apparently.

Any business can be in command of its social media without having a room the size of Nasa control centre manned 24 hours by media geeks.
The bar to entry in getting into social media is pretty low. Set up a Facebook account, pop on your logo and your away - yes? No.

The best social media pioneers have taken the time to listen in the right places. You should know who your customers, media and competition are
– just get online and look for them. Knowing how you are perceived can help you realise your strengths, faults, and opportunities.

The tools are many, but a simple Google alert could tell you a lot. Google Reader can help you aggregate information. Tweetdeck can let you track conversations on Twitter, and Social Mention is a real-time search tool across social networks that tracks the web, news, blogs and much more.
If you take time to use Tweetdeck to study how your target
audiences use Twitter for example you can ask - who are they
following? Who follows them? What are they saying, how are they saying it and what groups or discussions are they joining? You can learn how to break the ice, just by looking at the conversations they are already in.

Listening also gives you another benefit. You can find out where your customers are not – that can save you a lot of effort. Updating a Facebook page when your customers are not engaged with the platform is like talking in an empty room when the party’s next door on Twitter.

*Source: mashable.com

OPR offers a range of social media packages for business see www.opr.co.uk for details or call 0191 2325690

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Kari Owers .

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