January 13, 2012

Raising the bar for online monitoring

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Picture yourself at the pub after work with that cool pint in one hand and your mates all around you discussing the day’s events: That incredible piece of fielding by Kiwi 12th man Bevan Small, the dreaded copying machine that’s down again, the new memo from IT and how idiotic it is to have made Greedo shoot first in the Blu-Ray edition in spite of fan protest.

Tables all around are the same and the whole room is alive with the hum of multiple conversations and points of view on various topics, everyone joining in regardless of background or expertise.

The hum of simultaneous conversations

But you’ve hooked onto a specific exchange going on a few meters away about a specific case you’re working on. After struggling several minutes to piece together the few words you have been able to isolate from the background drone, you realize your eavesdropping led you on to a different subject that you initially thought and you jump back in to your pal’s discussion with a hasty”… of course Han shot first! There’s no way Greedo could have missed at that range otherwise. Lucas is a self-righteous twerp!”.

From digital data to engagement information

Monitoring online and social media can be a very similar experience to this. The bar analogy isn’t just for fun, because social media engagement recommendations start exactly like this : “imagine yourself in a bar full of conversations. Listen to the conversations, add meaningful comments whenever possible. Provide information and entertainment and make a name for yourself in the community”.

Augure's anline and social monitoring dashboard

And, as I will describe in part 3 of this series, monitoring is not only for reporting, but a tremendous help to guide your engagement:

  • Who is discussing your brand and who is having the greatest influence in the conversation ?
  • How is your engagement campaign doing ? Which are the most responsive media and which terms are getting the most amplification ?
  • What is the global impact of engagement on the company’s top line and reputation ?

So, where do you start ?

The augure webzine displaying monitoring results for the iPhone 4s

Augure's webzine displaying monitoring results for "Apple"


Going from the millions of digital voices found in blogs, comments, Facebook, online media, Twitter and forums to a clean and useable output that resembles the picture above implies a series of challenges that are described in the next post:

  • Define who you want to listen to. In the bar, you cannot choose to eliminate a table or add others. In social monitoring project, you can.
  • Define what you want to listen for. Sir Isaac Newton’s view of an apple isn’t the same as Steve Jobs’ was. Trust me, we know. We have clients with fruit names and we are called Augure (which means omen, in French). So we know a lot about disambiguation.
  • Define what you want to measure. Are you launching a product and interested in share of discussion or is sentiment relative to a recent crisis more prominent in your mind ?

I will go deeper into these aspects in the next two posts. Stay tuned !

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