Let us think about this: your business has an outstanding social networks presence. You do social listening weekly. You have an 80% Share of Voice. You have lots of retweets that showcase your “reach.” Sound familiar?We understand from experience that when you peel back the covers, take a good in-depth look at how you’re getting these numbers, and, more notably, how you’re translating them, that it’s very easy to determine issues and errors. A lot of businesses we have actually worked with seem to approach social listening as an attempt to showcase how fantastic they are. Very few are utilising it for what it should be used for– to get market intelligence and too much better comprehend your consumers.With all the information and platforms readily available today, it’s simple to forget a basic rule: crap in, crap out. Meaning, the input into your social listening platform is an essential piece. If you put a lot of junk into it, you’re going to get a bunch of scraps out. It may look nice in a pie chart or executive discussion, however, for those with a qualified eye, it means absolutely nothing.When developing your keyword inputs for your social listening platform, don’t just utilise branded terms. Meaning, do not simply create a list of keywords that are variations of your very own top quality terminology. For instance, if you’re an athletic clothing brand, would you rather pay attention to a “genuine” discussion in a fitness centre or a discussion in your very own business structure?

A much smarter approach would be to focus your social media listening around keywords and classifications that are unbranded. You really need to get the feedback of exactly what’s occurring related to the subjects you care about. This will give you a better sense of how the marketplace is going over these subjects, not how you might be expecting them to discuss topics, using your branded language. You should not want to only pay attention to yourself!It is actually fairly simple to change your share of voice out there. We would not be surprised if you are just searching for your own branded terms that you might have a share of voice that is currently over 50%, but do you really believe that you are in control of half of the discussions in the market for your product type? However, if you were listening to the non-branded discussions, you would probably expect to see around 10-15% which may not be a huge number but a realistic one  (this, of course, is completely dependent upon your industry and a combination of other elements).Be sure to scrutinise your social media listening efforts. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The share of Voice– As highlighted above, make an effort to use unbranded keywords for your listening on social media. Collaborate with research teams to obtain a list of terms that would work for you. This will offer you a more realistic view.
  • Impressions– tread lightly with this one. Often times we see a report claiming that a Tweet “reached” 12000 accounts and generated 27000 impressions. Doesn’t that sound absolutely wonderful? but it’s probably far from the truth. Never assume that your fans “Actually Saw” that “Tweet”. A retweet from fans and influencers are a far better metric to consider.
  • Your owned social media channels– Make sure that content you own is not altering the expected outcome. It’s probably in your best interest to create a separate report for this. Information posted by your colleagues or employees along with your stories are going to skew the information, so be sure to remove it.

Apply some thought to your listening efforts and strategy, that way you will get a far clearer impression of what is really happening.

Thank for taking the time to Listen 🙂