Social media monitoring is a flawed system. When we break down the phrase notice that it begins with the word social. Being social is about reaching out to a lot of people, but it’s also about the quality of relationships with those people, which is something social media is not measuring. In order to remain social, the quality of relationships must be preserved. That’s inherently what’s wrong with social media monitoring, but let’s get into specifics just to clarify exactly what are the issues at stake.
Bob Knorpp states that “We aren’t valuing conversations. We are valuing reach and frequency” http://bit.ly/mYN2Jy. Basically, social media values reach and frequency over sentiments and customer satisfaction. Reach and frequency are barely scratching the surface when it comes to social media monitoring. Another fault with social media monitoring is that it doesn’t improve revenue per customer, overall customer value, or promote a better understanding of customer value when a single campaign management suite is used http://bit.ly/mTMdDg. Focusing solely on social media doesn’t fully capture the effectiveness of a campaign, because you’re only engaging a small sector of your audience through a single channel. However, social media monitoring is also flawed because the tools are not advanced enough to capture the metrics needed to evaluate these relationships. ANA CEO Bob Liodice maintains that “…digital media has always offered better data than others for some marketers and uses…but it hasn’t offered the precision in audience measurement that brand advertisers need to compare the effectiveness…” http://bit.ly/rbIG5r. Social media monitoring it due for an overhaul, a makeover of sorts. In other words, it’s time for a change.
We may not be mind readers, able to predict exactly what motivates action and what sparks the most positive reactions that lead to the desired actions, but we have to measure it somehow to the best of our abilities. The following changes would help get us closer to that objective. The first step in making social media monitoring more effective would be to use multiple channels. Your audience uses multiple channels so you should be reaching them wherever they are at. Use multiple social media channels and/or use a variety of channels (print, video, web, radio, direct mail, etc.) to paint a more complete picture. In their article’s closing statement eMarketer relates that “…working collaboratively across functions and channels helps connect the dots after a campaign is complete and makes the most of what a company discovered throughout the process” http://bit.ly/mTMdDg. The next step to include would be measuring overall impressions, not just clicks, page visits or ad views. This step might involve conducting surveys and focus groups regarding a brand’s social media efforts, in order to more accurately capture how they are perceived and acted upon. Perhaps the most important of all these is the one I saved for last, focus on meaningful conversations. If meaningful content is what attracts people, then meaningful conversations and interactions will have the best long-term results.
In short, measuring reach and frequency is important, but it doesn’t capture the whole picture. It’s like saying you know lots of people and then realizing they are merely acquaintances and that you haven’t put in the effort to advance the relationship. You might have lots of “likes”, “followers”, “+1′s” etc. but that says nothing about the quality of the relationship you have with them. Quality is just as important as quantity, if not more so. Improving the quality of your brand’s social media relationships can effect better results, and improving the quality of your social media monitoring can ensure that those relationships stick around and multiply.