July 22, 2017

Is Your Audience Listening?

This is a topic I’ve struggled with over the past few years. There are so many people that measure success based on the number of followers/fans they have, but I question how valuable these numbers are. Those companies that do email blasts to a billion people see success as a 2% click through rate…. they’re playing the numbers.

I’m currently in the camp that believes quality is better than quantity. I actually read the profiles and posts of people I follow on Twitter and I don’t automatically follow people that follow me. If I get a friend request on Facebook, I check to see if I know the person and, if not, I check to see what friends we have in common. The justification I have for both myself and the organizations I work with is, having an engaged audience is more valuable than the raw numbers. I equate people that blindly follow others on social media to someone grabbing one of those business card fishbowls you see in restaurants – you can add all of these people to your contact list, but will most likely never do business with any of them. What’s the point?

The counter argument is that the more people you can reach, the more likely it is that your message will fall on friendly ears. If 2% of those fishbowl contacts is actually interested in what you are doing, then that is one successful connection for every 50 cards you filch.

I like analytics quite a bit, but I think that the real measurements that have value are in absolute numbers, not ratios. How many people are actually interacting with you through retweets, mentions, direct messages, comments, likes and wall posts? If you can push these numbers up that show engagement (without annoying people) by following every single person, then your ratio is shot, but so what? If you can do it by exerting more energy to vet your audience – fantastic.

Here are what I believe are the secrets:

  1. Add value to the conversation instead of just acting as a shill for your interests. So many organizations create accounts and turn on the traditional broadcast tower … “buy my product, visit my business, enroll in my self help program, etc.” What information are you providing that help people pursue their interests versus just another advertisement?
  2. Go deep on the conversations your audience wants to have. Social Media is a two way street and your opportunity to have an ongoing conversation, build relationships, and turn bystanders into passionate patrons.
  3. Focus on the real metrics that measure if people are interested in what you have to say versus how many people are within earshot.

I’d love to know what strategies others are using. Let me know what you think.

Crowdeye Overview

More and more solutions are emerging that try to mine useful information from social media outlets like Twitter. Crowdeye bills itself as a search engine for Twitter and they differentiate themselves by assigning reputations to posters as well as automatically generating a keyword cloud that can be used to filter tweets. Watch the demo video:

Overall, I think that Crowdeye has some interesting features, but still needs some work to be worthwhile. They are worth checking out just to get an idea of what is possible and I’m sure there are new features on the way.

Social Mention Overview

In my previous post on Tweetdeck, I showed how your brand can be monitored based on tweets, but there are a lot of other social media outlets that might be referencing you – blogs, photo uploads, videos, etc. Monitoring this information is referred to as Social Listening or Reputation Management. Social Mention is a free tool that scans a lot of these outlets and returns a list about where you are mentioned. It then goes one step further by trying to associate sentiment to these posts – are people saying nice things, bad things, or neutral things? While the solution has some consistency issues, it does provide some insight and it’s free. Watch the video to get some more info.

The things I like about Social Mention are:

  • It’s free
  • It provides some metrics like passion and reach in an attempt to provide some analytics about your social media reputation
  • You can drill down into result sets
  • You can set up email alerts
  • For data fiends, you can export information into a spreadsheet for further analytics
  • There is also an API that allows you to develop applications around the Social Mention Engine

There are other tools out there that might be better, but they cost money. At the very least, you should check out Social Mention and see if it helps you manage your brand.