Monitoring Social Media Versus Engaging People

2 Aug

 

 
When asked “what are you doing in social media?” here are the four worst responses:

 

1. Nothing yet, but we know we should be

2. Developing a social media policy

3. Not doing anything until we finish developing the social media policy

4. Monitoring using ___________ (insert free or paid monitoring tool here)

 
 
 
 
 I submit that even those answering by #4 above are not really doing anything in social media.
  
 
 
Only monitoring social media is like having a telephone stuck on “mute”: you can listen all day, but you will never be part of the conversation.

Let’s also use the common cocktail party analogy for social media. Those who monitor are the folks at the party who lurk around the outsides of conversations, never introducing themselves and never asking you a question. You would never know they exist!

Don’t misunderstand – monitoring is a necessary part of brand management and corporate communications. It’s the same as monitoring and collecting clips from newspapers and TV.

And just like traditional clipping, when only monitoring, what are you really doing? You find some mentions, put them in a report or clipbook, and pass it along to your internal or external client. Perhaps the clips get analyzed for tone. Perhaps the analysis is considered for overall business decisions.
 
Companies who are engaging are not waiting for clips, reports, or analysis to solve business problems. They are actively executing tactics that serve business goals in real time, one-to-one with consumers.
 
Those who currently engage are responding to customer service issues (ComcastCares and Best Buy’s Twelpforce). They are cross-pollenating consumer-created content across other SM platforms (Buick’s MomentofTruth). They are sharing their customers’ experiences to build communities of interest (Ford, Computer Explorers).

So, what do you want to do? Monitor or Engage?
 
 

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