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 Doing Social Media Listening the Right Way?

Doing Social Media Listening the Right Way?

Screen Shot from a The Dark Knight Movie

Investing on Social Media listening tools and executing it successfully requires more than just a knowledge about social media. It requires strong agenda, focus, resources, timeline and a full-time dedication. When Apple was about to launch their iPhone 5, Samsung did just that – focus, plan, timeline and dedication.
It started with an email thread between top executives at Samsung, who were worried about the upcoming iPhone 5 launch. With Apple gearing up to stage their latest iPhone, Samsung knew they had to act smart and aggressively to upstage their competitor. What the email thread led to was one of the most innovative campaign from Samsung – how did they do it?
With current leakage of official emails due to the legal war between Apple and Samsung, tech industry analyst and reporters are on cloud nine. These leaked emails have exposed many inside strategies from both the parties, but it has also revealed some of the marketing strategies which Samsung executed to upstage Apple during the iPhone 5 launch. The iPhone 5 was not a perfect launch and did disappoint many industry analysts. Moreover, the embarrassing issue with Apple Maps even led to firing of Apple’s key executive Scott Forstall, which still stands as a sign of downtime of Apple.
Samsung made a very clear agenda to create a tsunami effect after the launch of iPhone 5 to beat Apple in every front. Hence, as the event kick started Samsung’s dedicated marketing team plugged into social media to listen in-detail conversation regarding the event. They made a clear note of pros and cons of the event and designed a marketing communication around the chatter. This strategy of  focusing on creating real-time content really increases the success rate of your marketing campaign because its always designed considering the existing buzz and sentiment of people. As a result of this dedication on listening to social media for gathering insights from people’s online chatter, Samsung was able hit really hard on Apple where it mattered the most. By launching its clinically created TV ads and banner ads, they were able to sway away the buzz from Apple’s communication and generated massive buzz.
Social Media Monitoring report for Samsung
Screen shots from one of the report which Samsung created to measure their marketing campaign.

Social Media Monitoring report for Samsung
Screen shots from one of the report which Samsung created to measure their marketing campaign.

The other instance of such real-time marketing and content creation was carried out by Nokia during the launch of iPhone 5c. This tweet was an instant success and went viral on Twitter during the Apple event.
Tweet from Nokia during the launch of iPhone 5c

Apple does have their own way of marketing their products and in one of their recent leaked email, the Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller was seen writing

“I think paying money for social media tracking tools is nuts,” he wrote. “It is easy to track social media, I do it every day, there are lots of summary feeds, groups and notification tools built right in to the social networking sites, all free.”

Its not correct to take Phil’s word on social media listening tools because Apple is uniquely known for not responding to customers on social media, but rather from one of their loyal fan base. But when we talk about other companies and their online presence, ignoring a customer complaints is almost close to crime, that can result in massive loss in capital and brand value. There are more than one cases to prove this. Ironically, a simple case of the massive outcry of customers on social media regarding the Apple Maps created a wave of embarrassment in Apple board that they had to fire their key executive.
So how should you do your Social Media listening? There was a post which I wrote some time back on 10 steps for Successful Social media listening, which you can use for reference. But there is one fundamental myth in the industries – social media listening is only BRAND MONITORING and weekly reporting. The delayed reporting framework is a thing of past and doesn’t add any value beside providing feedback on old campaigns. What brands need to focus is on real-time monitoring of events and trends so that the social media team can create relevant content and publish them.
Most brands complain that they don’t receive any engagement in their posts. This is because they are not listening to what people are talking about. Monitoring your brand conversation alone is not enough to create engaging marketing campaigns, they can only help you for your customer service but not marketing.
Beginning of 2013, at Simplify360 we set out an agenda to target Indian Election 2014 as our main event where we decided to push our marketing to maximum limits. We worked many months prior to the event to partner with the right media houses and invest in social media listening set-up ( obviously we were lucky as we had our own social media listening platform which we could customise for our need). We set out agenda and put a dedicated resource to crunch out real-time reporting of the buzz around election which provided Simplify360 with major coverages in media channels like Washington Post, Techcrunch, Bloomberg and all major news channels in India. Through the campaign we have increased our brand presence and traffic in our website.
So if you want to do your social media listening in the right way, set an agenda for your company and allocate dedicated resources to carry out the social media activities. If you listen to right events and trends, and publish your tailored content around it, you are on your way to leveraging social media buzz to its fullest. Do not get your self stuck to weekly and monthly reporting format, because these can only provide you feedback when you don’t need it. Rather invest in real-time monitoring with immediate action plans.

Note: The image from included at the top is from the movie still “The Dark Knight” and doesn’t belong to Simplify360.

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