Back in the day social media monitoring was an interesting stand-alone value-add. Initially we sold monitoring both as a product and a service to clients who were happy and satisfied with volumetrics about their brand, company, clients and competitors.
A satisfying past – leading to clients wanting more
Later, they were equally satisfied to gain insights into sentiment, to build simple lists of advocates and detractors, and to identify “issues” and to email those to their customer support or brand reputation teams.
More recently, they’ve welcomed tailored dashboards of social media engagement, more accurate conversation analysis, more sophisticated alert monitoring, and workflow capabilities to better manage collaboration.
For all that, social media monitoring has remained, well, social media monitoring. It often remains within the domain of the “social media expert” in the firm except for those fleeting missives “to whom it may concern” elsewhere.
We’ve seen more adventurous clients export their listening data into the likes of Splunk, where it is munged with marketing and other inputs. The results can be impressive. The weakness is the dependency on a customised solution often understood by one motivated individual, and dependent on goodwill for data acquisition.
Integration with marketing data
What those more adventurous clients were wanting to achieve gives you a clue as to why you should no longer buy social media monitoring. Social media monitoring today should only be bought as one component of an integrated marketing customer experience suite of software.
Today, if your social listening does not integrate with all your other brand, content, campaign and reputation management, and your social care and community management then you are at a disadvantage. If it does not provide the basis for your marketing attribution model then you are at significant disadvantage!
Without these 10 must-have don’t buy
If you are contemplating buying social media listening which does not have ALL of the following ten capabilities, then stop and think what your competitors will gain by you falling behind. Listening as a marketing module must be able to:
- Triage high volumes of inbound conversations and route them to appropriate handlers both queues, user groups and individuals; Consistently evaluate keywords and search terms to ensure all product, services, brand, and other key issues are captured from social channels and across the web;
- Create and tag profiles with information based on each customer’s history of social interaction, stated interests, owned products, and other social account profile properties. Implement a complete advocate influencer program; Identify and recruit specific groups of highly engaged fans;
- Merge social accounts into a single customer profile to allow for a unified view of conversations; Group, cluster, and uniquely label social profiles together into specific segments (influencers, competitors, analysts, press, etc.);
- Automatically add users to audience segments based on any available distinguishing criteria (e.g., geography, gender, language, key- words, hashtags);
- Provide automation at its core including a flexible inbound and oubound rules engine, natural language processing, and macros;
- Leverage audience segments to build branded communities; identify non-brand-owned communities, understand why they exist, nurture the most vocal among them, learn how to engage, and create content specifically for them;
- Integrate with systems of record e.g. CRM, key web data sources e.g. Google Analytics, owned communities e.g. Lithium, and customer support systems e.g. call centre systems;
- Automatically add new profiles to audience clusters based on any criteria, such as the number of fans or sentiment towards the brand;
- Auto-activate audience segments using paid media to target their friends or look-alike audiences; and,
- Provide a centralised reporting infrastructure that captures and processes data across all channels, branded social media accounts, earned engagements, and paid-owned-earned marketing and EDM results.
This needs to all be part of a single, centralised system that enables deep data mining from thousands of captured user, content, and campaign level metrics. This latter is what our “export-SPLUNK-report” customers were seeking to emulate.
Today this is all available in enterprise-class customer experience platforms e.g. Sprinklr, which can be widely deployed and have no technology or personnel points of failure. Social listening is but a single integrated component of today’s systems of engagement.