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Social Listening You Can Actually Use

Whitney Durmick
Senior Product Manager

Key Questions to Ask a Social Vendor is a blog series written by Social Cloud Product Marketing Manager Whitney Durmick. Whitney has empowered hundreds of SRM customers to use social media effectively to drive tangible business results.

The market is saturated with social tools - tools for curating content, managing paid media, monitoring platforms, workflows, alert systems, engagement consoles, etc. etc. etc. Are you overwhelmed yet? 

So as you embark on the journey to find that perfect solution for your needs, make sure you’re asking the right questions to find a platform that will deliver the exceptional social business results you need.

Last week we discussed finding a scalable social management platform to grow with your team. Today we'll focus on finding a solution that delivers actionable insights to tie social efforts to real business goals. 

How does this solution give me social listening data that I can actually use?

The universe of social media is notoriously noisy. With hundreds of millions of social posts created every single day, discovering true insight can be a daunting task.

Many social platforms offer social monitoring, which crawls major networks like Twitter for key phrases and hashtags. But they can miss conversations taking place on other social networks like blogs, message boards, and review sites.

Brands like Vodafone and Polaris use targeted, strategic listening to define customer preferences and nurture people through the sales funnel.

Do I need to be an expert in Boolean logic to use your listening tool?  Will I need to devote a dedicated resource to hand-cleaning social data?

Platforms that offer true listening solutions typically provide keyword and Boolean search capabilities, which are often tedious and require manual configuration and constant refinement. Often, you’ll need a dedicated resource just to babysit your searches! Ask a vendor about training, support and usability before you commit. 

Which data points, analytics reports and dashboards are included in my subscription?

Some social tools offer a-la-carte style pricing or freemium models. The price tag can seem like a bargain at the outset but quickly snowball when you realize that key metrics and reporting options don't come included in your subscription. 

As you refine your brand's social analytics strategy, work with a vendor who understands your goals and offers analytics reporting and dashboards that suit your unique needs. 

Conclusion

Don’t get stuck with a garbage-in, garbage-out platform. Look for a tool that offers a multi-tiered approach to social listening for agile, actionable social insights. 

 

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