We all know this Warren Buffet quote about reputation. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
The precise timing aside, this quote certainly feels true. After all, it’s created an entire software industry. If indirectly. Social media and reputation management platforms emerged to help companies avoid Buffet’s dreaded five-minute meltdown.
But the industry has moved well beyond simple reputation monitoring. Now, social media chatter is a key source of customer insight.
What people are saying about your business, or about your competitors, or even your industry, can be incredibly valuable. The issue is it takes a lot of sophisticated technology to sort out the signal from the noise to create actionable insights. This is particularly complex for multi-location businesses, which need to take into account the conversations taking place at each location.
While it’s a complicated process, the end results are worthwhile. The insights this data stream provides can surface selling opportunities, help companies improve the quality of their customer experience, generate competitive insights, and more.
Recent data from Yahoo Small Business shows how unaware companies may be about what is being said about their businesses. For example, 96% of people talking about a particular brand do not follow that brand. This suggests something akin to a black hole into which critical insights disappear.
Are You Listening?
Which leads us to listening tools. These are platforms that help organizations sift through all the user-generated content created on social platforms. And then they spit out data that can move the needle on key business metrics. Sales, NPS, and so on.
“The events of the last year have proven that it’s no longer enough to react to the conversation. It’s essential for marketers to have the tools to get ahead of brewing crises, surface knowledge about competitors and trends, and identify emerging trends, all at the local level,” Cynthia Castro, VP of Product at SOCi, told Localogy Insider. “SOCi Listening arms multi-location marketers with the insights and data needed to truly connect with their customers.”
Here is how SOCi describes the new tool.
“SOCi Listening goes beyond traditional listening capabilities by discovering conversations from all over the digital landscape, including at the local level, and allowing brand and local managers to drive real-time local customer engagement across all business locations. With SOCi Listening, brands can also discover and leverage user-generated content at scale, allowing the brand to deliver local customer experiences and drive deeper engagement with its local audiences. SOCi Listening is also a powerful tool for analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a brand’s competitors at each of its locations, better informing local customer acquisition strategies.”
We imagine having a platform like this will become table stakes for any agency doing localized marketing for brands. If it isn’t already.