The digital world changes and moves at the speed of light, and though the merits of pre and post analysis of business activity using social listening are plentiful, the advantages of working in real-time should not be overlooked. These quick stats give a good indication of how dependent, broad and rapid internet usage now is.
- 25% of smartphone owners between 18-44 can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them
- Around 46% of web users turn to social media for making a purchase
- 60% says that the integration of social networks makes them more likely to share product / service reviews
- 48% of online consumers fully expect companies to listen
- 32% of consumers have no idea brands are listening
Companies should all know by now that when a negative comment is left unanswered for too long, it can soon inflate and snowball into something much larger.
In fact, online reputation managers now have less than an hour to prevent a complaint from turning into a crisis. As Melissa Agnes says:
“Today’s reality is this: you have a whole 15 to 60 minutes to respond to a public crisis. And guess what! That timer begins with the start of the crisis — not from the time that your organization becomes aware of its existence.”
But do not wait for a crisis to happen. Instant media monitoring is also increasingly important for companies who want to optimise campaigns and reports, find more leads, keep tabs on the competition and gather feedback on their products and services.
1/ How Can You Avoid Reputation Damage From Happening?
Select a social media monitoring platform that puts you in control, preferably one that combines all social responses in one location that can be viewed in real time.
This will save your company the time and effort of tracking conversation on multiple social channels individually.
Example: When the Icelandic volcano disrupted air travel around Europe in 2010, stranded travellers took to Facebook and Twitter to find alternative means of travel.
2/ Monitor, Analyse and Take Action Everywhere
Social media monitoring tools are all about analysing what people say about your brand, products, competitors or any related topics across the globe.
Our own crawlers inspect every corner of the web and constantly revisit to check for new data as it is generated.
By constantly, we mean: Twitter in real time, news sites up to every 30 seconds and any other social networks, forums and blogs on an almost-instant basis. Breaking news coverage is available within minutes of publication.
Example: In October 2012, Taco Bell’s team watched a massive spike in their branded buzz, from roughly 1,000 to over 800,000 mentions in less than two hours.
Monitoring social media in real time, they noticed that their fans were worried that Hurricane Sandy would prevent them from taking part in Taco’s deal to get free tacos.
3/ Create a Dashboard and Monitor Metrics
By creating a simple dashboard using your preferred social analytics platform, you should have a quick overview of key aspects of your dataset:
- total conversation volume
- spikes in volume and sentiment
- trending hashtags
- top conversation topics
- and more, all in real time!
These dashboards are also ideal for those reporting or performing ad hoc monitoring.
Example: Every year, the Super Bowl presents one of the most prestigious advertising opportunities to global brands. Using our buzz tracking tool, we gave brands minute-by-minute feedback on their Twitter performance.
In 2012, we built dashboards and a Super Bowl data visualization which showcased some of the need for brands to monitor in real-time.
4/ Use the Best Real-Time Assistant Available: Alerts
Taking it a step further, you can keep a close eye on new prospects. This is just an example of how we do this at Brandwatch.
Or perhaps you want to be the the first one to know if your competitor launches a new feature, if your campaign is doing particularly well, of if one of your key brand advocates has been blogging away about one of your products.
Alerts can notify you and your colleagues by sending an email straight to your inbox “as it happens”. You can also customise them or specify alerts for unusual or unexpected peaks in data volume.
Example: General Motors keep tabs on how new product roll-outs are playing out nationwide with the help of alerts.
They tried to keep on top of the media in terms of educating reporters about the latest technology, how their new electric cars work, and whether they are worth the cost.
Many marketers are often stunned at the results when they see social analytics in action for the first time. Suddenly, they have quick and easy access to customers’ opinions, behaviours and emotions.
But all too often, marketers struggle to act upon these insights promptly enough.
While no one can prevent feedback and criticism from appearing on the web, a real-time media monitoring tool can stop an issue from transforming into a crisis.
For the keen ones among you who want to know more about real-time listening, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We love talking geek!