Social Media guru Pam Dyer’s online article 50 Top Tools for Social Media Monitoring, Analytics, and Management (May, 2013) states “Listening to what your customers, competitors, critics, and supporters are saying about you is key to getting great results from your social media campaigns.” In other words, building a company, brand and products is associated in great measure with Social Media monitoring.
Social Media listening has been likened to a “social phone” because customers use social media to connect, much the way phones are used. Companies are compelled to answer. Margaret Rouse offers this definition in her January 2013 post. “Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet.” She continues “Both social media and person-to-person information-gathering have value, but social media listening is quickly becoming an important customer intelligence tool.” Listening, in this context, is a tool, not an experience.
Nothing takes the place of human experience. In a world of analytics, nouns describing people-to-people interaction are quick to populate everyday vernacular. It’s a way of making sense of a phenomenom. Social Media has taken on a life of its own. So has monitoring. In business, opinions matter. Many people don’t voice opinions online. That is why focus groups offer important feedback through participant’s comments and body language. Can all businesses afford focus groups? No. The smart ones don’t have to because they actually listen to customers.