Social Media: Listening Over Communication

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on February 27, 2012

All of readers would at least be having a facebook or twitter profile, moreover it would have been reviewed by you atleast once in a day. This is reach & voltage of media called Social Media. Social Media as the name suggests is media with social interaction.

This medium’s reach is growing by leaps & bound.

Social media

There are many facets which is intriguing the marketer about this platform. Two prominent aspects are –

  1. A place to communicate about brand, and offering features
  2. Another being place to listen to consumers

Later aspect is been overlooked by many brands currently. Marketers are known for talking, not listening.

Many are forgetting that it provides great opportunity to learn at a grassroots level what people really think about a brand, products or services. Indeed, listening to the groundswell of consumer-generated content is the new marketing. This does not imply that tools like focus groups, user surveys or other research instruments would be passé but the new medium would provide better understanding of consumer behavior as this space provides unbiased and free opinions.

Some of key characteristics of listening -

  • Why listen -

People are using various means like Facebook post, Twitter’s tweet or various blog posts’ blogging about their experience positive or negative with a product or service.

The conversations are influencing in multifold. There is avalanche effect due to peer influences.

If negative reviews or comments are not handled with care in nascent stage it might lead to complete dilution of brand.

  • What to listen for -

- Share of voice - This is a measurement of how much and to what degree people are talking about you. This will help in understanding the buzz about brand and among its competitors.

- Tone of voice - This is a gauge of whether the conversation is largely positive or negative and is often referred to as "sentiment analysis." If the sentiment is positive, reward those who speak well of you. That will presumably encourage them to do even more. If the tone is largely negative, it is incumbent upon you to get to the root of the problem, if, in fact, a problem exists. Fix the problem and the tone will likely change. If it's misinformation that's being spread, you must engage the critics and correct their misunderstanding.

- Trends over time - It is important to monitor both the above metrics over the course of time in order to see the effects of advertising, marketing and PR efforts.

  • How to listen -

This listening can be done via using free tools like ‘Social Mention’ or ‘RSS feeds’ etc or paid tools like ‘Radian 6’ or ‘SM2’. There can be manual finding which can strenuous but very fruitful as this can help in overcoming the flaws of technical tools.

 This sums up that, One Can’t Afford to Ignore the Conversation Any Longer, there is a conversation happening in any brands’ honor.


This article has been authored by Hetal Gutka from SIMSR.

Image: jscreationzs /

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