When all 3 of your marketing professors tell you how important listening is, you will give them your full attention and “LISTEN”. So, why is listening so important for a brand, company, and organization? Well, social media monitoring is important for several reasons.
Research & Marketing:
- Helps brands analyze customer feedback to improve on products and services
- Helps build awareness, increase new opportunities, focus on your target market
- Engage and interact with customers
Public Relations & Crisis Management:
- Protect brand’s image by clarifying
- Sharing proactive content
Monitor Competitors & Identify influencers:
- Keep up-to-date on your competitor’s online presence and LEARN
- Build a long-term relationship with important online influencers (popular bloggers)
As a consumer, social media has helped make corporations more transparent, authentic, accountable, and vibrant. Every conceivable business no matter the size is now consumer driven.
Customer Perception: WestJet & Southwest airlines
During my 3 days observation of both airlines, I’ve noticed most consumer mentions on Twitter were positive. This was especially evident for WestJet because of the growing disapproval for Canada’s airline (Air Canada). Most consumers were discontent with Air Canada’s potential labor issues, customer service, and delays. This negative sentiment towards Air Canada was highly favorable for WestJet, especially during a Thanksgiving long weekend. According to social mention, consumer sentiment was at a 3:1 ratio. User discussion was consistent throughout the weekend and “WestJet” discussion were repeated or re-tweeted. On average, for every 9 minutes there was a mention about WestJet. During the 3 days most mentions were neutral (330), to 115 positive mentions and 40 negative mentions.
Southwest airlines had similar sentiment scores at 4:1, but the difference was its online presence and audience’s reach. This is mainly because Southwest is the biggest airline in the United States based on domestic flights. They operate more than 3,400 flights a day, therefore increases the likelihood for a consumer to utilize social media and communicate about their experience after a flight. In comparison to WestJet’s 9mintues/mention, Southwest was mentioned everything 30 seconds.
This search engine detects and notifies brands of any discussions made on the web. This tool is not specific to social mentions but also aggregates news, webpages, blogs, and video. Google Alert also allows users to determine the frequency of checks for new results.
SM is by far the most resourceful application online. The Social Mention search engine allows for real-time social media search. It allows users to easily track and measure what people are saying about them. SM is also an analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content from across the universe and organized into a single stream of information. SM also provides 4 social media metrics: Strength, Sentiment, Passion, and Reach.
Strength: Likelihood that brand is being discussed (Phrase Mentions/day / Total Possible Mentions)
Sentiment: Ratio of positive comments to negative (Positive Comments / Negative Comments)
Passion: Likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly
Reach: Measure of range of influence (Unique Authors / Total # of Mentions)
This is a paid online monitoring tool. Based on my research, this tool is similar to Google Alert but since it is a paid tool, Trackur offers sophisticated tracking and monitoring features. They offer an array of analytics and insights, not limited to consumer sentiment. Trackur uses every web metric imaginable, but allows companies to customize their tracking according to what they wish to examine.
Google Alert and Social Mention were both great monitoring tools, not only because of its free price tag but for the user-friendliness of the tool. Monitoring and listening does not necessarily require a team of social media experts to be successfully integrated. In my opinion, of the 3 listening tools, Social Mention is by far the most practical free tool. Larger corporations may elect to pay Trackur for their service if they have utilized all forms of social media.
If I was competing in the airline industry, customer engagement will be my priority. Most customers are concerned with the intangible aspects of the industry. Often times, consumers are unhappy with services unrelated to the airline (airport delays, security checks, weather), but this offers airlines to step up and reassure consumers that our “brand” is here to help. Real time monitoring will allow my airline to consistently communicate with my consumers. This real-time strategy is similar to how telecommunication companies communicate with their consumers whenever a customer has an inquiry.
http://www.hootsuite.com for @westjet and @southwestair