The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring


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This guide book collects all Synthesio's best practices, experiences, and practical learning amassed from working with leading brands of all industries around the world in customer insights and engagement projects.

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The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring

  1. 1. The Quick Start Guide toSocial Media MonitoringThree Steps for Successful Web Listening,Engagement & Social CRM “Loving the driver side mirror in “OMG! Margarine’s just one molecule away from plastic! the new Nissan Juke” #NoMoreLurpak!” “Prince William really needs Regaine! LOL” The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 3
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  3. 3. About SynthesioSynthesio is a global, multi-lingual Social Media Monitoring, Research and Engagementcompany, utilizing a powerful hybrid of tech and human services to help brands and agen-cies collect and analyze consumer conversations online. The result is actionableanalytics and insights that provide an accurate snapshot of a brand, and help to answerthe ultimate questions – how are we really doing right now, and how can we make it bet-ter.Founded in 2006, the company has grown to include analysts who provide native-lan-guage monitoring and analytic services in over 30 languages worldwide.Brands such as Toyota, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Accor Hotels, Orange Telecom andmany others turn to Synthesio for the data they need to engage their markets, anticipateand prepare for emerging crises situations, and prepare for new product or new campaignlaunches. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 5
  4. 4. Table of ContentsIntroduction.............................................................................................................. 8Listen...............…..................................................................................................... 11 Measure your brand’s presence rapidly using free tools......................................... 12 Discover your brand’s personality.......................................................................... 13 Select your monitoring parameters....................................................................... 21 Choose your monitoring vendor............................................................................ 24Analyze...............…................................................................................................... 27 Get past the noise to actionable insights.............................................................. 28 Identify influencers............................................................................................... 29 Detect and manage social media crises................................................................ 31 Compare online and offline data.......................................................................... 33 Analyze sentiment, man or machine?.................................................................... 34 Pick the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)......................................... 35 Compare your results with competitors................................................................. 36 Define report formats .......................................................................................... 38Engage...............…................................................................................................... 42 Discover social CRM............................................................................................. 43 Choose the right spokesperson for your company.................................................. 45 Nurture a community of advocates........................................................................ 46 Perform online customer service........................................................................... 48Conclusion................................................................................................................. 54References................................................................................................................ 55Glossary.................................................................................................................... 55Acknowledgements................................................................................................... 59Credits....................................................................................................................... 59 The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 6
  5. 5. IntroductionWhile listening to social media conversations has been possible for several years now,many businesses still need guidance to get the most out of their social media strategies.This guide is a culmination of our experiences with various brands across the world. Itgathers best practices and top goal-oriented approaches to web listening and analysis, tohelp you turn online chatter into actionable insights that improve decision making acrossyour organisation.Getting started in social media listening and implementing these goals is easier than youmay think, and involves the three simple steps covered in this guide: Listen Engage Analyze The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 7
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  7. 7. 1 Listen Every good relationship is based on goodlistening; your brand’s relationship with the public is no different… The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 9
  8. 8. Measure your presence using free tools1 - Choose the right free toolA number of free tools exist for quickly measuring your brand’s presence online. Thesegive you a first look at who is talking about your brand and your competitors, where, andhow often. These free tools include:There are countless additional resources in the form of thought leaders in the field whoshare great insights, such as Ken Burbary1, whose personal website is a treasure-trove ofdigital marketing, social media information and best practices.2 - Evaluate your monitoring workloadWith regards to handling your monitoring workload, if your brand garners from 100 to500 comments per day, one person working a full-time job should be able to add this lis-tening to their daily routine. Any more than about 500, though, and you may need to dedi-cate more resources – internal or external – and implement more enterprise-level tools. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 10
  9. 9. Discover your brand’s personalityFinding out your true online brand personality is an important first step in determininghow you will listen, and how you will measure the results of your digital strategies andactivities. Synthesio analyzes over 5 billion online conversations in its database. Fromthis, we’ve been able to identify four distinctive brand personalities online: Boring, Func-tional, Exciting and Vital. Boring Functional Exciting VitalTake our quick quiz to determine which personality best fits your brand. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 11
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  11. 11. 1 - The “Boring Brand”Generally speaking, the boring brand does not generate much interest among buyersorganically, essentially leaving consumers indifferent. 70% of brands online fit into thisgroup, and therefore need to be very creative to generate emotional attachments andestablish a community of supporters, fans and advocates.Best practice - BlendtecBlendtec is a classic example of a boring brand – a simple line of blenders possessing asmuch excitement as, well, a blender… In order to raise public awareness of their brandand infuse emotion into the public consciousness, they launched a social media cam-paign entailing a series of simple yet highly effective humorous web videos called “Will itBlend”. These videos depicted the Blendtec founder throwing anything from golf balls toiPhones and iPads into their blender and grinding them into a pulp.As of May 2011, the videos have garnered an astounding 161,000,000+ views on YouTube,transforming their brand into a household name worldwide. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 13
  12. 12. 2 - The “Functional Brand”The personality trend of the functional brand is focused on the product or service ratherthan on the brand name. The product must deliver on certain criteria to establish its needwithin the market, and, perhaps most importantly for this brand personality, it must focuson quality customer service. Companies such as Internet Service Providers, telecommuni-cation providers, hotels, logistics firms, banks and insurance companies, etc. must respondto customer needs first and foremost to establish their competitive edge. Social Profile The Functional Brand Definition: Brands that rely heavily on customer-service to establish superior reputation, customer satisfaction and sales. Examples: PayPal, Best Western and T-Mobile. Goal: Social Media listening should provide real-time insight into public conversa- tions and direct engagement capabilities to interact with customers when necessary. Social Media Presence High Mainstream Media Presence High Brand Emotion Level Average Engagement Low The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 14
  13. 13. Case Study Global listening in Hospitality – Improving customer service & reputationOverviewAccor is one of the world’s leading hotel operators, with a broad portfolio of hotel brandsincluding Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, Motel 6 and Ibis. Over 50,000 customer re-views are published each month about Accor’s hotels on sites like and Tri-padvisor. Lately, Accor has been focused on customer satisfaction and quality of serviceand wanted to use social media listening to “identify the root of a problem at its source,in order to fix it as quickly as possible”.The goalThe company approached Synthesio to:1: Learn what customers are saying about their brand and competitors’ hotels (around12,000 hotels worldwide) and combine these results with their internal customer satis-faction data.2: Empower individual hoteliers with a monitoring tool and guidelines for taking actionon social media content in order to improve the customer experience.The solutionIn response, Synthesio created customized approaches geared towards different levels ofdecision makers within Accor:Corporate marketing – 1 global dashboard with the data on all brands, hotels and com-petitors globally.Brand marketing and operations director per country - 40 dashboards with country-spe-cific data for all hotels and competitors for the brandHoteliers – 4,000+ local dashboards with specific data used to optimize campaigns.The resultSynthesio worked with Accor to create a customized KPI called the Customer SatisfactionIndex (CSI) to provide a structured metric against which progress could be measured. Thiswas taken into account to incentivate hoteliers.Accor experienced a 55% increase in positive sentiment in 2010/11 (and negative onlinecomments have declined). This has translated into double-digit online sales growth. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 15
  14. 14. 3 - The “Vital Brand”Vital brands are those with products and services which relate directly to customers’personal sources of concern, such as baby care products, pharmaceuticals, energy, foodand environmental subjects. These areas can cause anxiety and doubt, generating largevolumes of conversations which vital brands can tap into to gain a richer understandingof their customers and how they can better meet their needs. Social Profile The Vital Brand Definition: Brand that affects customers’ primary sources of concern. Examples: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson. Goal: Understand the emotions fueling online public discourse in order to create better offerings and enhance corporate communications. Social Media Presence Very High Mainstream Media Presence Average Brand Emotion Level High Engagement Very High The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 16
  15. 15. Case Study How Social Media is changing the rules in PharmaThe #1 topic most discussed on the Web today is Health14% of all user-generated content mentions a specific drug or disease.Social media fulfills a basic need for safetyMany who choose to socialize on online forums, Facebook, or Twitter, do so with the in-tention of asking for or looking for advice, and particularly, to be reassured about theirhealth condition.Patients are now in controlPeople search for their symptoms on sites like WebMD, Patientslikeme or Doctissimo,and formulate their own diagnoses from all the feedback published by other web users.Brands, physicians, clinics and hospitals are increasingly faced with over-informed pa-tients who demand prescriptions for medicines and treatments which they have alreadychosen online, and who do not hesitate to post their own reviews of their experiencesfor all to see (as on Meamedica or Note 2BIB). Synthesio has even analyzed several newwebsites like that allow patients to evaluate their doctors.A new relationship between patients, physicians, and the WebPhysicians are using the Internet in increasing numbers to learn more about certain phar-maceutical companies and devices, and are starting to group into professional onlinecommunities like or PratisTV. Some companies have launched Blogs, suchas Roche and Chugai’s Polyarthrite 2.0, directed at patients in order to inform them aboutdiseases, treatments, events, etc.Utilizing “super focus groups” to gather opinions and viewsCancer, depression and diabetes are all diseases for which specific social networks haveemerged where thousands of patients, physicians and families around the world meetand share their experiences and opinions on a grand scale. Brands now have the unprec-edented opportunity to harness these online communities and use them as their personal“super focus groups” to extract valuable insights which may otherwise have gone unde-tected. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 17
  16. 16. 4 - The “Exciting Brand”These brands generate online interactions naturally, as they appeal to our desire to be-long. Companies like Apple, Nike and Nintendo have a large amount of people wantingto talk about them and share their experiences and opinions. Moreover, they have thepotential to produce even greater levels of buzz by creating compelling and engagingcontent. The monitoring needs of exciting brands will be more complex, but listeningcan be used to gauge the impact of campaigns on the public discourse, compare variouscampaigns over time, and conduct market research to gain an understanding of publicopinions on new products. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 18
  17. 17. Select your monitoring parametersNow that you have a good understanding of your brand’s personality, you’re ready to startlistening to what people have to say about you online. But before initiating the task, it’svital that you select your monitoring parameters, i.e. the right tools and methodologies tofollow so you meet your specific needs.The 4 steps to successful listening set-up:1 - Make a list of topics that clearly define your company or brandIf you’ve already engaged in measuring your online brand presence using free tools, youmay have come upon key terms, which you may not have previously considered. In anycase, define which expressions and/or combinations of words you would like to monitor.Keep in mind that these can always be changed at a later date, but starting out with acomplete set of keywords may help you to avoid missing vital information. Some key-words to consider may be: - Company Name - Brand Names - Product Names - Key Competitors - Industry Issues - Key Spokespersons - Executives The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 19
  18. 18. 2 - Determine which countries and languages you would like tomonitorThis may seem like a no-brainer, but consider various potential markets which may betalking about your brand. Certain social listening tools allow for geo-location, but thesevary on the granularity of the information and sources. Certain languages that have differ-ent alphabet and encoding, such as Russian and Chinese, require the right technologiesand services to aggregate and analyze online conversations.3 - Consider how you would like to visualize your social media dataYou should establish how to best display the information, i.e. by brand, topic, country, etc.This will depend on your objectives and will allow you to get a feel for the key trends inthe data easily, before you dig in 100%. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 20
  19. 19. 4 - Determine who will sift through and analyze your social mediadataOne constant that remains across all social media listening platforms is that there is al-ways an element of human work required to fully understand social data. Think of socialmedia listening as a form of ethnography. While we can collect certain quantifiable ele-ments, the deeper insights come from unstructured information that must be analyzedwith human logic. In other words, effective online listening and analysis is as much an artform as it is a science. Profile of a good social media analyst Native speaker Deep understanding of the culture and industry Strong knowledge of social media Efficient, meticulous, patient and organizedIn-house or outsourced?Your social media analyst can be a person coming from your in-house resources dedicat-ed to listening to what others are saying about your brand online. However, this is oftena full time task and requires a grasp of the language at a native level, understanding thelocal culture, and having a good knowledge of your industry. Hence, you may consideroutsourcing this job to a specialist. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 21
  20. 20. Choose your monitoring vendorChoosing the right monitoring vendor is without a doubt one of the most important partsof the listening process. There are currently more than 200 monitoring companies in themarketplace, providing a wide spectrum of monitoring and analysis tools as well as per-sonalized services.To help make sense of the vast number of options out there, we’ve broken them downinto 3 vendor types – “Free”, “DIY tool”, and “Full Service”. Take a look at the visual belowand see which looks like the best fit for your needs. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 22
  21. 21. Chapter 1 SummaryMake a first measurement of your online presence using free toolsEvaluate your monitoring workload: Up to 500 comments per day, one person workingfull-time will be able to analyze your daily social media activity. However, if it goes be-yond 500, you will need to dedicate more resources.Discover your brand’s personality:The “boring” brand: Leaves consumers indifferent. Goal: Generate innovative social me-dia communications to differentiate the brand.The “functional” brand: Relies on product communications and customer-service. Goal:Direct engagement to interact with consumers.The “exciting” brand: Generates a massive amount of organic online buzz. Goal: Listen tocommunities and influencers, and gauge the impact of campaigns.The “vital” brand: Affects customers’ primary sources of concern. Goal: Understand peo-ple’s emotions to improve offerings and corporate communications.Select your monitoring parameters:1 - Make a list of topics or key words that clearly define your company or brand.2 - Determine which countries, topics and languages you would like to monitor.3 - Consider the best approach to visualize your social media data.4 – Assign your social media analyst.Define who will sift through the data: In-house or outsourced, your analyst should bea native speaker, with a deep understanding of the country, culture and industry to bemonitored, and must possess a strong knowledge of social media.Choose your monitoring vendor: Your chosen vendor, be it “Free”, “DIY”, or “Full Service”,has to be able to match your specific monitoring needs. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 23
  22. 22. 2 AnalyzeThe true story of your brand behind the numbers The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 24
  23. 23. Get past the noise to actionable insightsOne challenge with monitoring social websites is getting past the “noise” and retrievingthe precious nuggets of information and insight that can help move your business for-ward. At Synthesio, we recommend taking the following three steps to reduce the amountof spam and cut to the “good stuff” faster.1 - Set objectives before monitoringIt is essential to set specific objectives before starting to monitor. Once you are clearabout your goals, you can focus your listening efforts on meeting them. Objective 1: Identify our goals2 - Use sampling solutions for better quality dataVery often, brands generate large volumes of conversations on a global scale, and strug-gle with analyzing it all in order to obtain as much insight as possible. Depending on yourgoals, however, it may not always be necessary to analyze everything, which is where adata sampling strategy can be very effective. Analyzing a sample of the data harvested,based on the influence of each piece of verbatim (i.e. tweet, article, blog, post to a com-ment, etc.), can save valuable time and resources, while still providing insights into thekey trends, conversation clusters and weak signals that matter most to your brand.3 - Focus on customer concernsSocial media participants are typically not paid for their opinions, and thus can be as-sumed to be more honest than if they were invited to an event for their opinions. Fur-thermore, utilizing online consumer reviews, ratings and comments enables the brand todiscover additional trends and topics of concern among consumers, which otherwise mayhave been missed asking predefined questions in a survey. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 25
  24. 24. Identify influencersThere are a variety of influence-scoring platforms that can provide information about keyindustry influencers. Some of these tools can also provide detail on the levels of influencegenerated by web sites or media type. i.e. how many of your Twitter followers are clickingyour links and retweeting your content, the level of engagement within your Facebookpage, etc. f Blogger Facebook Twitter Journalist Forum User User MemberSome influence ranking services include:PostRank: Delivers objective, real-time data and analysis on topics, trend, or interestsrelevant to business.KLOUT: Measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you createcontent or engage, you have the capacity to influence others. The Klout Score uses datafrom Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare in order to measure: • How many people you influence (True Reach) • How much you influence them (Amplification) • How influential they are (Network Score2)Traackr’s: Identifies the most relevant online influencers for a topic or campaign. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 26
  25. 25. SYNTHESIO’S “SYNTHESIORANK” influence ranking system, simple score ranking 0 to 10:Reveals for each brand or topic the influential individuals online and the various siteswhere they “live”. It provides a simple score for any given piece of verbatim (i.e. a tweet,article, blog post, forum comment or comment on a Facebook Page), based on 3 elements: • The influence of the website where the mention takes place (includes elements such as traffic, Google PageRank, frequency of updates, number of backlinks and number of on-topic mentions for the brand) • The influence of the user who is mentioning the brand (followers, listings, level of activity, impact of the verbatim and number of on-topic mentions) • The positioning of the brand within the webpage (i.e. how ‘on topic’ a piece of ver- batim is)The ability to accurately identify the influence of a brand mention, website, or individualcan provide a variety of benefits, including: • Filtering through thousands of mentions to find that needle in the haystack. • Identifying key communities of advocates (or detractors) in order to more accurately target your advertising and communications. • Streamlining customer service efforts by prioritizing your resources and responses to ultimately improve brand reputation, customer satisfaction and sales. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 27
  26. 26. Detect and manage social media crisesThe question of how to spot and manage crises as they unfold online often comes upwhen companies first start listening to social media. The first step is to realize that moni-toring 100% of the web is not only impossible, but also costly and unnecessary. Here arethree quick tips for online crises monitoring (you may want to keep our Crises DetectionFire Safety Card in your pocket at all times). The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 28
  27. 27. 1 - Data SpikesAn unusual amount of information on one topic is one possible tipoff to a coming crises.This is why organizing data can be so important. If comments coming in are grouped intoone topic or another, you can quickly and easily see that one topic (such as price, environ-mental or a product name) is receiving far more comments than usual.One technique for identifying potential crises is to define an average volume thresholdfor your brand, which, if surpassed by a data spike, will trigger an alert to your team.2 - Large Conversations with Many CommentsA growing conversation that is visible via an increasing number of comments may alsosignal a coming crises. A good rule of thumb to begin with is that any online conversationpertaining to your brand which sparks more than 5 comments should be given close at-tention by your team.3 - Real-Time Alerts on Sensitive TopicsAlerts set up based on sensitive keywords are also a must for any company that may sus-pect a possible crises. Pharmaceutical brands, for example, can easily fall prey to attacksonline. For brands launching new products, keeping an eye on those keywords is essentialfor ensuring that the launch goes smoothly. 2 new mails 16:36 Thu Aug 4 ʻ11 4 new mentions The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 29
  28. 28. Compare online & offline dataWhether people interact online or offline with your brand, they still see you as the samecompany. Combining online and offline data is essential to see the big picture, to fullyunderstand your market, and to better communicate with customers.The approach is essentially a coming together of two worlds:The world of Customer Experience teams, which have traditionally used offline customersatisfaction surveys, call center logs, and other internal listening posts as their mainsources of Voice of the Customer data.The world of Social Media Monitoring, which has been busy developing increasingly so-phisticated tools for monitoring, analyzing and measuring customers’ rants and raves onthe web. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 30
  29. 29. Analyze sentiment: man or machine?An ever-increasing number of brands and agencies look to analyze their market’s onlineconversations to quickly gauge the levels of positive versus negative feedback. However,the method utilized for sentiment analysis can have a big impact on the accuracy of theresults.So, automated or human? The table below may help you to quickly understand the prosand cons of each sentiment analysis method.A hybrid solution may be idealOne way to avoid sentiment problems is to combine human and technological analyses,allowing machines to detect which posts contain sentiment, and humans to assign senti-ment to one topic or another. Seth Grimes3, an expert in semantic analysis, has said that“you can yield high levels of accuracy with machines filtering and humans analyzing”. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 31
  30. 30. Pick the appropriate KeyPerformance Indicators (KPIs)Every department has their own KPIs. Marketing professionals do not evaluate their ef-forts on social media in the same way as PR, and the sites to which they should be lis-tening may vary greatly as well. The illustration below lists the various KPIs that pertainto each department, and helps clarify the different ways in which each department mayutilize online listening and engagement. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 32
  31. 31. Compare your results with yourcompetitorsOne of the growing needs in social media is to establish benchmarks within each industryto compare results across departments and competitors. Although an official benchmarkdoes not yet exist, at Synthesio we often create a customized industry benchmark tohelp brands better understand their current positioning and progress as compared to thecompetition.Example of the automotive industry benchmark:The study covers the major car manufacturers with a distribution network in France over the peri-ode: 01/11/2010 - 30/11/2010. Facebook and Twitter are excluded from the scope of this study. Thisstudy was performed in partnership with Performics. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 33
  32. 32. Case Study Benchmarking the video game industryOverviewThe video game industry is simply massive, and has been evolving rapidly and consis-tently since the days of Mario, Zelda, Sonic and Frogger. Each week new games with newtechnologies are released onto the market, keeping fans very happy, but also making itquite difficult for brands to keep up with the rapid changes in the industry.A leading global computer and video game publisher wanted to try their hand at track-ing the industry, to benchmark the visibility of each game and gauge their PR activities.They worked with Synthesio to rank 300-400 games weekly and provide detailed report-ing with an industry-wide scoring system. An in-depth scoring and ranking system wasdeveloped based on volume and influence of online conversations, allowing the client tocompare 2-5 subsets of games at a time and compare the changes in consumer conversa-tions over time.The goals / ResultsGlobal listening project across 15 countries in 10 languages including Swedish, Italian,German, etc.Provide the whole company with a weekly newsletter with rankings and visuals to give adetailed snapshot of the industry (300-400 games weekly) and help all departments keepup to date with the latest developments worldwide.Ranking of the games is based on volume and influence; the “score” for a game is the sumof the individual SynthesioRank of verbatim mentioning a game.The video game publisher also wanted to compare 2-5 games at a time and comparethem in terms of levels of buzz and influence over time.Challenges for SynthesioEstablishing a system to continuously update sourcing and monitoring coverage in or-der to accurately track online conversations for all games, currently sold on the market,meaning the monitoring settings had to be changed and reconfigured very regularly. Thisenables them to adjust their media spending accordingly, taking into account the gamebeing a hit or a flop on the market. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 34
  33. 33. Define report formats1 - For busy decision makers, keep it short and sweetReports can be a great way to encourage busy decision makers within your organizationto take notice of key trends identified by a listening program, without them having to visitan online dashboard.The best reports therefore tend to be short, to the point and tailored to your organiza-tion’s most pressing areas of concern.2 - Qualitative vs. quantitative reportingAutomated reports focusing on quantitative metrics and sent in email format can be auseful way to highlight key changes and trends over short reporting cycles (for example,weekly).However, qualitative analysis by a human being is essential for monthly or quarterly re-ports if they are to contain real insights into the stories behind the numbers. The inclu-sion of excerpts from key pieces of verbatim will also help to bring a report to life andensure that your decision makers are exposed to the fresh and authentic voice of yourcustomers - a voice that can often make them sit up and take notice. Weekly Monthly Quarterly The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 35
  34. 34. 3 - Answer the ‘so what?’ questionWhen everything is automated, with very little human analysis and input, it can be easyto fall into the trap of just ‘ticking a box’ when it comes to monitoring. Reports containingrecommendations for action are often the most insightful output of a listening programand help to establish the true ROI in listening. After all, social media monitoring nirvanacomes from knowing why you are monitoring and what you hope to get out of it, and thenconnecting the dots between the insights you gain, the actions you take, and the resultsthey deliver for your business. ROI The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 36
  35. 35. Chapter 2 SummaryGet past the noise1 - Set objectives before monitoring: Be clear about your goals.2 - Use sampling solutions: Prioritize what you analyze using the influence of the verba-tim.3 - Consider social media as a super focus group.Identify influencersInfluence-scoring platforms give you key information about the influencers in your in-dustry and how to find them. This helps to target your advertising and communications,improve brand reputation, and drive up customer satisfaction and sales.Detect and manage a social media crises1 - Data spikes: Determine an average threshold and get alerts.2 - Large conversations with many comments: Pay attention if more than 5 comments.3 - Set real time alerts on sensitive keywords.Combine online and offline data, for a richer understanding of your customers’ experi-ence through a ‘One Voice of the Customer’ program.Analyze Sentiment1 - Human: Accurate, reliable, contextual, topic and sub-topic break down.2 - Technology: Useful large volumes of data, can be inaccurate, flawed, and has very weakmulti-lingual capabilities.3 - Hybrid: High level of accuracy, machines to detect sentiment, humans to verify andpresent sentiment to one topic or another.Establish social media KPIs by department: Market Research, Marketing, PR, HR, Cus-tomer Service and Sales.Compare results with competitors: Benchmark each industry to compare results acrossdepartments, and among competitors.Keep reports strategic and action oriented: Avoid the ‘so what?’ monitoring trap throughqualitative reporting focused on providingto Social Media Monitoring The Quick Start Guide actionable insights tailored to your business. 37
  36. 36. 3 EngageHow to best interact with your customers The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 38
  37. 37. Discover Social CRMSocial CRM is customer relationship management nurtured through social media – suchas Facebook and twitter.Instead of just dealing with data and information, Social CRM deals with conversationsand relationships. It implies the process of communicating to customers in the form of“fans” and “followers” and converting them into customers and advocates - the next stepin the evolution of a brand’s direct communication with the public. However, with theexponential growth of social media, consumer behaviour is shifting as an ever-increasingnumber of consumers communicate online to share their opinions and experiences withbrands. Thus, Social CRM is not just communication from brand to consumers; it also im-plies conversations from consumer to consumer. Today, • 88% of consumers consider a recommendation when purchasing a product or ser- vice. • 93% of Americans want brands to have a presence on social media sites (Cone Busi- ness in Social Media Study). This creates a venue for communication, marketing and networking.As a result, brands have been adapting to this new paradigm by listening to online con-sumer feedback, taking part in individual conversations, responding in real time, gather-ing negative or positive comments and recommendations. Accordingly, brands utilizenext-generation social CRM platforms to establish a centralized command center whereemployees (marketing, PR, customer service, call centers, etc.) engage directly with con-sumers where they “live” online.The goals are, of course, being able to better understand the market, enhance communi-cations, and ultimately, to build a loyal customer base by providing a better experienceand service. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 39
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  39. 39. Choose the right spokesperson for yourcompanyFaced with widespread consumer adoption of social networks, businesses are equippingthemselves with web and customer relationship specialists to put social response strate-gies into place for Facebook, Twitter, blogs and forums. They are either called communitymanagers or online customer service operators and are the primary spokespeople of thebrand online. VS Community managers vs. customer service operators The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 41
  40. 40. Nurture a community of advocates1 - The community manager’s goal: grow and nurture a community ofadvocates“ “Marketing is the ongoing process of engagement whereby strangers are nurtured into advocates.” Trey Pennington4For small and large companies alike, a community manager’s main mission is to underpinthe brand in its marketing strategy by creating a community of advocates. A communitymanager accompanies a brand throughout the entire process of: • Identification of potential buyers and influencers for a brand • Advocacy and evangelism towards people who are not familiar with the company and/or its products • Content creation for “community” members • Interaction in the “community” while taking notice of new expectations and changesA truly vital connection between the brand and web users, a community manager is pres-ent across the entirety of social networks and presents him or herself as an intermediarybetween brands and their customers. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 42
  41. 41. 2 - Online community management – 10 best practices1. Select a community manager to ensure the company mission and user mission are well defined, and the direction of the community remains up-to-date and pertinent.2. Put the needs of the community members first. Open conversation, honesty, trust and freedom - even if the participants recommend a competitor’s products or complain about your services.3. Be active. Communities require ongoing active administration, management, and moderation. Otherwise, they can easily generate abuse, spam and poor behavior.4. Measure success. Not only is it important to track the number of page views or mem- bers, but also, and perhaps most importantly, the contributions being brought to the table by participants.5. Use it as an innovative channel. Customer communities tend to project customer influence and create more sustained contact with the brand. This creates a coopera- tive exchange for mutual brainstorming, and co-development of ideas and outcomes.6. Integrate your business. Deep involvement and communication by both organization members and customers will favour great participation.7. Let the community find its identity. Many communities struggle for a while until they reach the right participants, or until they identify the optimal means of engagement such as focusing on a social network instead of discussion forums (or vice versa).8. Remember that control is in the hands of the members. Do not impose artificial rules, this will invoke dissonance and prevent natural communities from developing.9. Go where the community is. Users are more likely to be comfortable using their exist- ing social sites for customer interaction.10. Get involved with your community. Organizations which successfully involve their community in a variety of activities, online and offline, reap the benefits of enhanced efficiency, innovation and productivity. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 43
  42. 42. Perform online customer service1 - Understand the value of online customer service70% of web users are influenced by others’ comments, and the visible complaints of otherconsumers online can play a pivotal role in their purchasing decisions. According to find-ings from the IAB and Lightspeed Research5, the most popular channel for complaints isonline (44%), followed by phone (36%) and letter (22%).The 90-9-1 law remains true online: 90% of visitors are spectators, 9% commenters, and1% are creators of content. This means that although the number of comments onlinemay be less than the number of calls to a call center, an answer will be viewed 9 timeson average for each contribution. Each response also provides a ‘trace’ for future clients. 1% Super Contributors 9% Contributors 90% Viewers2 - Pick your operators from the offline customer service teamTrained within the framework of the customer service department, customer service op-erators respond directly to customer requests and problems online. Many sectors turn tocustomer service operators for not only resolving customers’ problems but also providinganswers for future consumers and the “viewers”. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 44
  43. 43. Specialized in customer service, the activities of these customer service operators reducecosts thanks to the higher visibility of answers online, and therefore generating fewercalls from people with the same question.3 - Find the right channels to engage with your customersFacebook and Twitter are the western world’s social media superstars, but they may notnecessarily be the best sites to pay the most attention to in your social media monitoringand engagement. Instead, the sites where your customers “live” online should be giventop priority. When monitoring for a top automotive brand, for example, we focused on topautomotive forums and blogs, keeping an eye on Facebook and Twitter but not givingthem top bill.4 - Don’t respond in real time, most conversations will be autoregulatedTruth: Some online customers expect real-time responses, and some don’t. If you jumpinto a forum conversation too quickly, you could miss the opportunity to let one of your(unpaid) online advocates chime in for you.On the other hand, if someone is asking a question with your Twitter name attached to it,you can be certain they are expecting a near instant response directly from you. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 45
  44. 44. Case Study Engaging in Social CRM with OrangeOrange goes fishing where the fish areOrange is a leading telecommunications company in Europe that has partnered withSynthesio to actively listen to and engage with consumers online.Orange knew that if answers to common customer questions were more visible on theweb, then it could reduce the number of calls into its contact centers, thereby makingsignificant cost savings. After building out its ‘owned’ customer service properties on theweb (including its own customer forum and an extensive FAQ site) Orange wanted to ‘fishwhere the fish are’ and start engaging with customers on key third party sites.Listen before engaging your audienceOrange began by listening to determine the key sites where conversations were takingplace. This revealed a group of influential forums, and within these forums a group of‘super contributors’ - community participants who regularly post good answers to visitors’questions. Prior to commencing engagement in these forums, Orange devised guidelinesfor intervening which included asking initial permission from the forum administratorsand letting the ‘super contributors’ answer questions first.The resultsOrange now has a team of 30 online customer support managers who use Synthesio’sUnity engagement platform to actively engage online. Orange estimates it has achievedsavings “in the millions of euros” through a reduction of call volumes due to the increasedlevel of answers and support customers can now find on the web. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 46
  45. 45. 5 - Social Media connects with CRM platforms and call centers tobuild social customer supportThe last step will be connecting Social Media Monitoring and CRM platforms with callcenters to allow for fluid, connected customer support. When all touch points are con-nected, customers will be responded to equally no matter which channel they use, andcustomer service agents will be able to connect the dots between the various touchpoints. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 47
  46. 46. Chapter 3 SummaryDiscover Social CRM: Robust monitoring systems with centralized command centerswhere employees (marketing, PR, customer service, call centers, etc.) engage directly withconsumers where they “live” online.Choose the right online spokesperson for your company: Community managers, web con-sultants, or online customer service operators, present across all social networks as anintermediary between brands and their customers.Nurture a community of advocates“Marketing is the ongoing process of engagement whereby strangers are nurtured intoadvocates.” Community management is the best way to achieve that goal.Perform online customer service• Understand the value of online customer service: Answers provided online will beviewed an average of 9 times by consumers, and provide a trace for future clients.• Pick your operators from the offline customer service team: Reduce calls into the callcenter from people with the same question, thanks to the higher visibility of answersonline.• Find the right channels to engage with your customers: Focus on the venues wherecustomers share their questions, complaints, and suggestions.• Don’t respond in real time, most conversations will be self-regulated: When you dorespond, coordinate internal community managers or team members so that one personresponds and sends feedback to the team.Connect Social media monitoring with CRM platforms and call centers to build socialcustomer support. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 48
  47. 47. ConclusionThe primary question pertaining to Social Media Monitoring and engagement haschanged. It is no longer a question of if we should be listening to online conversations,but rather: how do we set up the right approach to best suit our specific business needs.Online listening and engagement can be effective if integrated with existing businesspractices, corporate cultures, and conducted with strategic objectives in mind. Attempt-ing to add Social Media as if it were a different department slows down information flowinstead of increasing it to keep up with the speed of social networks.Online monitoring and analysis are essential for transforming “handshakes” online intopositive, long-term relationships between brands and consumers. It requires an invest-ment of time and money, but if planned appropriately in advance and coupled with theright tools and/or services, the investment will prove to be not only helpful, but essentialfor your company’s long-term success. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 49
  48. 48. References1 and Detractors: People posting positive or negative comments about you, yourcompany or your products.Audit: A thorough initial analysis of your online presence at a moment in time. Audits areimmensely valuable for establishing a baseline benchmark against which future resultscan be assessed. They’re also useful as a standard part of new product launches to deter-mine the expectations of the marketplace.Buzz: Online chatter about your brand. Establishing a benchmark level of online chatterabout your brand before a launch will help you assess the impact of the campaign duringand after the campaign.Crawler: An automated computer program that browses all types of websites in order touncover comments and mentions across the web.Crises Monitoring: Proactive attention to real-time comments made while a crises un-folds.Dashboard: A convenient, easy-to-use online tool presenting a snapshot of your onlinereputation.Data Validation: A human intelligence process. After the crawler archives data relevant to The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 50
  49. 49. your search criteria, analysts scan comments to clean raw data and separate truly relevantdata from irrelevant data, define sentiment, and sort information by topic.Hotspots (and emerging hotspots): A concentration of negative sentiment emerging incomments on the web. By monitoring hotspots, companies can take advantage of anearly-warning system to reach out to influencers online before the hotspot grows into acrises.Human Analysts: Real people who understand the nuances of written language. Comput-ers can accomplish much for mankind; some tasks, though, still require humans. When itcomes to sentiment analysis, computerized natural language processing can be helpful,but it takes real humans to detect and categorize the subtlety of sentiment.Influencer: Someone who is actively publishing content on the web and has a network ofsignificant size. For some industries, an influencer with a fan base of only a few dozen canstill move the marketplace with his or her opinions.Media Equivalent: A method for estimating the “purchased media” value of mentions on-line. It takes into account the advertising rates for the publication in question or similarones and calculates what it would have cost to purchase an ad of equivalent size.Metrics: Variables used to assess performance. Each widget in a dashboard is based upona specific metric.Online Reputation: The combined image of your brand on the web. It takes into accountcontent you publish about yourself and content published about you by others.Search Term Thesaurus: A collection of keywords linked by Boolean operators (AND, OR,NOT, etc.). The quality of your thesaurus will have a direct and profound influence on thequality of your ultimate search results. Spending ample time with your account managerto define your thesaurus will help ensure your monitoring program provides informationyou need to make decisions and engage effectively.Score of Satisfaction: An indicator of the relevance of Internet users’ verbatim regarding aparticular topic we analyzed. It takes into account: sentiment of verbatim about specified The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 51
  50. 50. topics, volume of information and influence of the verbatim.Sentiment Analysis: An automated and/or human analytical process to determine if com-ments are positive, neutral or negative. While it may be helpful to know the total numberof mentions your brand or product engenders online, knowing the direction (positive/negative) of the mentions will give you a better sense of the pulse of the marketplace.SynthesioRank: An indicator of the influence of people, sites and articles. It takes intoaccount several metrics specific to each type of media (site audience size, frequency andvolume of publication,Google’s PageRank, number of fans, views, inbound links or com-ments, etc.)Verbatim: A comment on the web. A verbatim can be an article, blog post, video, photo,comment in a forum, tweet, or a comment left on a blog or article. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 52
  51. 51. AcknowledgementsWe’d like to thank our investors, whose trust and support have made Synthesio’s vision areality; helping to transform a small start-up into a global leader with offices in the UK,the U.S. and France.We acknowledge all the leading brands and agencies with which we have been workingsince 2006. We owe a great deal of our experience to our clients and partners, withoutwhich this guidebook would not have been possible.Thanks to all Synthesio team members who’ve contributed with their knowledge, experi-ences, insights and skills to make this guide happen.Appreciations to great resources such as Web Business by Ken Burbary, Instituto Cer-vantes, Marshall Sponder, Trey Pennington, Forrester Research Inc. and Influenceon, all ofwhom have helped to contribute to our work with key facts and figures on social mediaresearch and analysis.CreditsBook written by Ben Farkas and Sara Portell.Design and Illustrations by Matteo Batazzi. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 53
  52. 52. This guide book collects all Synthesio’s best practices, experiences, and practicallearning amassed from working with leading brands of all industries around thebasic steps to get started in Social Media Listening and Engagement; it isintended for Marketing, Communications, Media, Human Resources, Sales, PublicRelations and Customer Service departments, which have either already begun,or would like to begin monitoring online social (and mainstream) media toachieve optimal measurable business returns. The Quick Start Guide to Social Media Monitoring 54