The power of social media is not only in creating conversations but also to gain insight or feedback from customers about your company, products or services.
As a customer intelligence tool, social listening feedback can be consistent with traditional research. As with traditional person-to-person research, you’ll want to filter the extreme comments and focus on the common themes. I am not advocating that organizations only use social listening to make important business decisions. However, it is a great tool because:
It’s Fast: If a topic is trending you can post a question and get feedback quickly.
It’s Easy(ier) to implement: Post a question, monitor response…post a follow up based on feedback and take the appropriate action.
You can take action more quickly: Any sort of social listening does take planning, however, the time it takes to implement this type of customer intelligence strategy is much less and can be implemented more quickly.
As an example, Wendy’s recently used social media listening strategies to gather information and make decisions it has never been able to do before. In three instances, the brand was looking for feedback for an app, new product names and a sensitive food concern. In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference, Brandon Rhoten explained how the brand used social media listening to determine what customers wanted from Wendy’s. He says the company made decisions they would never have made before based on actual data and he shares how the decisions paid off.
Both social media and person-to-person information gathering have value, with social media listening quickly becoming an important customer intelligence tool. The type of information you are seeking will determine whether you should use social media listening or person-to-person research or both customer intelligence strategies.