Why Should You Track Social Mentions?

In our previous post, Measure Social Media Results, we began to explore the topic of social media metrics. In this post, we examine the reasons why you might want to track what people are saying about you on social media.

Speedometer by kevinrosseel

Tracking Social Mentions

Tracking what people are saying about you online is the first step in creating Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you will use to determine the success of your social media efforts. Setting KPI objectives help you realize when your approach needs modification, or merits increased effort and resources because of their success.

Marketing analyst firm Aberdeen Research[1] used the following four key performance criteria to distinguish the use of social media by what they term Best-in-Class companies:

  • 93 percent improved ability to generate consumer insights
  • 82 percent improved ability to identify and reduce risk
  • 75 percent improved customer advocacy
  • 63 percent decreased customer service costs

Aberdeen’s survey found that those enjoying the best social media results had a variety of characteristics in common, including:

  • 63 percent have dedicated resources devoted to social media monitoring
  • 47 percent have a process in place for sharing customer insights gleaned from social media with key decision-makers

Aberdeen found that organizations received the following benefits from social media monitoring:

  • Risk reduction — Social media monitoring helps identify and respond to external threats in a defensive (and even pre-emptive) manner, limiting the spread of negative opinion, including false rumors, information leaks, and even illegal online distribution of proprietary materials. This practice can help with reputation management as well.
  • Customer advocacy — Using social media monitoring to identify and engage with top influencers can lead to increased positive word-of-mouth referrals. For most organizations, little is more efficient and effective than customer advocacy. There are a variety of metrics to track influence, including likelihood-to-recommend scores such as the Net Promoter Score® (NPS). There’s more on NPS to come in future posts.
  • Community insights generation — Organizations can get insights by observing as their communities discuss their experiences as well as their future wants and needs. The ongoing analysis of community-­generated content can produce insights into what products and services you should develop, what your marketing messages should be, and what partners you should pursue.
  • Customer service cost reduction — Online communities serve as public knowledge repositories comprised of thousands of question-and-answer pairs often monitored by very enthusiastic volunteers. This can lessen the burden on your staff to answer frequently asked questions about your business and your services. In fact, for many organizations, effective Return On Investment (ROI) for social media monitoring may lie not in marketing, but in customer support. To demonstrate ROI, measure your costs for content development for customer care without social media and determine the content savings for user-generated contributions. Other metrics involved determining what the online solve rate is, based on user-generated versus in-house-authored content.

As you can see, it is possible to measure success for social media.

Why Should You Track Social Mentions? is the 38th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Changing What We Measure in Social Media

[1] Aberdeen Research’s The ROI on Social Media Monitoring — Why it Pays to Listen to Online Conversation: bit.ly/dlPAJg