Catriona shared real-life examples of how brands are using insights gained from global social media monitoring to innovate in different ways – whether it’s using social conversations as the fuel for marketing creativity, concept testing new ideas, being a Fast Follower or coming up with completely new product lines or service offerings.
Here are the main takeaways from the event:
On Synthesio and Social Listening:
- Synthesio is a global, multi-lingual software company that specialises in Social Media Monitoring. Utilising powerful monitoring services to help brands collect, analyse and participate in consumer conversations online, Synthesio provides actionable insights that provide an accurate snapshot of a brand’s market, and the tools to engage directly with their customers. Synthesio is the #1 Social Listening vendor, with 190 countries monitored, 50 supported languages, 200 clients worldwide, and a 100% year-to-year growth since 2006.
- Some call it Social Media Monitoring, while others call it Social Media Listening. There are numerous other ways of calling it – Buzz Analysis, Social Intelligence etc. These are all expressions to describe one thing – trawling through the web to find the ‘signal from the noise’, using a tool to monitor what is being said online about a topic.
- The value of Social Media Monitoring lies in the actual results: finding meaningful results, putting them in context, identifying trends and causes, foreseeing possible consequences… All of this creates ‘Social Intelligence’ – finding the meaning behind a large amount of data. If Social Media Monitoring doesn’t result in Social Intelligence, it becomes useless. Look at these results as the oil and fuel that drives your business and keeps it going on. However, it will only be useful to you if you know how to use it.
- One of the many things that Social Intelligence enables you to do is re-calibrate and optimise your business, targets and goals, based on the feedback of your customers, clients, brand ambassadors, influencers, and potential new customers. We’re now in an age where marketers don’t control the conversation anymore – it is now in the hands of the people who talk about you and your brand/business. We could even say that this is the age of C2C business – customer to customer, as customers now rely and believe more in the reviews and opinions of other customers, rather than the seemingly biased opinions of marketers.
- So, how does Social Media Monitoring work? Let’s take Synthesio for example: it indexes websites and crawls them for data. You then give the tool commands to search those indexed websites. These commands come in form of search queries using Boolean Language. As such, you can use operators such as AND, OR, and NOT to tell Synthesio what to look for and what to exclude in the search results.
- For example, to search for any mentions of Social Media London on the web the search query would be: smlondon OR “social media london”. By doing so, we’re telling Synthesio, “find any online mentions of ‘social media London’ as well as ‘smlondon’ (the official hashtag).
- If we wanted to look at mentions of Social Media London that reference Synthesio, we’d use the following search query instead: (smlondon OR “social media london”) AND synthesio. By doing so, we’re telling Synthesio, “find any online mentions of ‘social media London’ or smlondon as long as they also include the word ‘Synthesio'”.
- The NOT operator tells the social listening to ignore the terms that follow. This is useful if we want to weed out any online mentions that are not related to what we’re looking for.
- Ultimately everyone benefits from Social Media Listening. For instance:
- The Marketing Team can benefit by getting data to build a community of brand advocates, identifying key influencers and online communities to improve targeting and gauge the impact of digital campaigns.
- The Customer Service team can get data to establish real-time communication between the brand and its consumers to improve service, customer satisfaction, and sales.
- PR can use Social Media Listening to identify the beginning of a potential crisis before it escalates, to minimise brand damage. It can also help PR to establish a direct dialogue with key journalists, bloggers and consumers.
- The Sales Team can use Social Media Listening to identify new potential leads and understand consumer needs.
- HR can use Social Media Listening to monitor and control brand image/reputation, identify key candidates and communicate directly to facilitate the hiring process.
Results and Best Practice
- Data-driven innovation pays off in the end, as that is what drives change for a business/brands. It doesn’t only apply to products, but it can also apply to how you deliver your service.
- How fast do you react to new trends and new mentions of your brand? Velocity is important – it’s about how fast you pick up on new topics of conversation around you. Most times this involves making sense of thousands of tweets, Facebook posts, forum comments and other media that mention you, turning this into a seemingly daunting and manual task. However, that is a skill that can make your brand if done well, or (potentially) break your brand if ignored.
- Don’t monitor mentions (or ‘verbatim’, as they’re called within Synthesio) to make expensive decision; make sure that your aim for your Social Media Monitoring is optimising your strategy and services. It doesn’t have to involve radical changes or expensive decisions. Often, what your customers want are small tweaks, but the question is – do you listen to their requests? If you, it can drive loyalty and enhance the perception of you as a brand who cares and listens, acting proactively.
Catriona went over a few case studies, highlighting the need for Social Media Measuring and its benefits.
Brand: major automotive manufacturer
What Synthesio offered: a comprehensive report on the Indian car market, in preparation for a new car launch.
Insight: new car purchases are a big deal and a huge source of pride for Indians, and thus they love to personalise their cars with options and accessories.
Action: ensuring that new cars launched into the Indian marketplace come with an array of options for customisation, personalisation and accessories.
What Synthesio offered: ongoing monitoring and analysis of conversation in Japan’s about recreational running, including monthly reports on runners’ desires and frustrations.
Insight: it’s not easy to pursue outdoor exercise given how time-poor most people are.
Action: support customers’ desire to exercise and increase sales by providing a space in the middle of Tokyo equipped with lockers and showers, for inner-city runners.
Brand: a leading skincare manufacturer
What Synthesio offered: ongoing monitoring of online mentions relation to their new facial foundation product.
Insight: consumers loved the product and wished there were more colour shades available.
Action: bringing forward the launch of products in the pipeline where there is a notable demand for them. In this case, the brand had a further range of colours planned for future release.
Brand: leading Swedish brand of creamed caviar
What Synthesio offered: a report into perceptions towards eggs and egg consumption habits.
Insight: two issues were prevention people from eating more eggs – making a perfect boiled isn’t easy, and anxieties around the origins and ecological credentials of the eggs.
Action: created a branded iPhone egg timer app that enables people to find out more about their egg (via a code on the eggshell) and helps them to make perfectly boiled eggs to eat with their caviar.
What Synthesio offered: online monitoring and analysis to better understand discussions relating to painting and DIY.
Insight: people are always looking for specific colours they see around them and matching colours to go with them.
Action: creating a mobile application which enable consumers to match real life colours with the brand’s own paint references.
Brand: the largest provider of telephony in the US
What Synthesio offered: ongoing monitoring and analysis of consumer conversations about mobile phones.
Insight: short smartphone battery life was putting people off upgrading to more expensive handsets, because if you don’t have a charger and a source of electricity handy it an be a major inconvenience.
Action: creating special lockers in major areas, w here consumers ca leave their phones t charge in a secure place. This helps to overcome on elf th ekey barriers to purchase, whilst positioning the brand as innovative and switched on to its customers’ needs.
At the end of the meetup, we had some time to go through a few questions from the Social Media London audience.
Q. Why doesn’t Synthesio allow access to personal profiles on Facebook?
A. This is not down to Synthesio, but Facebook’s privacy settings instead. The same applies to any other network that allows people to have private profiles, e.g. Twitter (locked vs. not locked account). Synthesio respects the privacy of users who post content privately on their profiles and it complies to privacy settings for every social network is supports. This is why it only retrieves content that is publicly available, e.g. a Facebook user posting a post on a public page, or a Facebook user publicly posting with a hashtag.
Q. What about Forums – does Synthesio support them?
A. Synthesio can retrieve data from forums, whether it’s new data or historical. Forums can often hide gems that haven’t been discovered in years, yet they can still be relevant.
Q. “Can you access data from LinkedIn?” A. Definitely! #smlondon
— Ben Donkor (@FR314) July 23, 2013
Q. How does Synthesio search through media files, e.g. pictures and videos? A. Synthesio searches through media files in the same way that Google goes through them – with the help of tags. The use of tags as part of media files is increasingly common mainly with the rise of people being consciously aware of its SEO benefits – prominence in searches etc. Hence, Synthesio can find those files as long as they’re tagged, the same way that Google and other search engines do it. It’s important for Synthesio to be on top of new trends, and one of these trends is the rise of non-text content, from Instagram to Vine, from Flickr to Pinterest.
— Ben Donkor (@FR314) July 23, 2013
Q. Is it appropriate for a brand to answer mentions found through monitoring tools?
A. Definitely, but approach with caution and based on the social strategy you have in place. The urgency of the matter may dictate whether you need to respond or not, and how.
Q. How does Synthesio calculate influence?
A. Synthesio uses its own metric, Synthesio Rank, to measure influence for the online mentions it finds. SynthesioRank is an algorithm based on relevance and impact (number of engagement activites). Synthesio also ranks the various sources by influence, taking into consideration the reach, popularity and quality of the source, activity and authority.
— Ben Donkor (@FR314) July 23, 2013