Do you use social listening tools? Don't forget the human touch.
A community manager would probably make for a great spouse in real life. A few examples:
Attentive beyond what's humanly necessary.
("A question about which web browser to use at 7 a.m.? Coming, dear!")
Hyper-aware of significant other's feelings, complete with mood-swing tracking.
("Did not respond well to suggestion of new product line for menopausals.")
Offers material goods in exchange for general complacency.
("FREE SAMPLES…if you just tell me you love me.")
And like in any healthy real-life relationship, being a great listener is key. But while a multitude of conversation-mining tools exist to help unearth keywords, trends, and influencers, social listening at its best is less mechanical and a little more human - a daily takeaway of emotional readings and insights that can help you grow and relate with your community.
Even in your briefest daily maintenance, you can absorb plenty of insight. Look for these five types of feedback when you scan your brand's social environment:
When feedback is sparse, it doesn't hurt to provoke conversation. Incorporate polls, surveys, and open-ended questions into your content calendar if you're not doing so already. Engage with your influencers and use them as your constant barometer for the five areas above. Participate in threads as much as possible, trying to draw more details out of concerns, questions, or personal anecdotes.
It's crucial to remember that social listening is an ongoing practice in idea-mining. Beyond this mental checklist of areas to watch for, always apply the filter of what holds the most potential for further carving a unique territory for your brand in an overcrowded space. Be inspired by what your consumer is telling you today.
This column was originally published June 2, 2011.
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Caroline Chen serves in a hybrid role at Publicis Groupe futures practice Denuo, tackling copywriting, design, strategy, and community management for its host of clients, which include AstraZeneca, General Mills, P&G, and Taco Bell.
Her responsibility as the agency's resident community manager is to help create content and manage customer relationships for clients' social communities. Working closely with SVP Dan Buczaczer, Caroline co-leads Denuo's newest practice, Continuous Content. This unit offers a more comprehensive service for clients needing a social strategy and surfaces creative ideas that helps them engage audiences for the long term.
Prior to launching Continuous Content, Caroline honed her social and community expertise while working on some of Denuo's largest social media efforts, including running the social strategy and Facebook and Twitter communication efforts during the redbox Thanks a Billion campaign – a promotion which celebrated the company's billionth rental and provided redbox customers with prizes and a chance to win free rentals. She also helped with the creation and launch of Tablespoon.com's Facebook recipe-sharing app Foodlife and helped design the identity for Taco Bell Truck - a popular user-generated Denuo program that launched in 2008 and continues to make stops across the country to hand out free Taco Bell food, based on social media recommendations from fans.
Before joining Denuo, Caroline had been art director at Chicago-based advertising and branding agency Point B Communications. Prior, she served as an interactive designer at film and TV boutique Mad Monkey and as a copywriter and designer for full service advertising, marketing, and interactive agency Robin Shepherd Group. She has received a number of American Advertising Federation ADDY awards – recognizing creative excellence in the art of advertising – for her work on radio spots, billboards, interactive design, and more.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Florida in 2004.
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