A recent report from eMarketertitled “Social Listening for U.S. Brands: Deriving Actionable Insights from Conversations,” discusses the key points of gaining insight from consumers through social media.

Listening goes beyond monitoring; extending attention to social media conversations can be relevant, even if they don’t always include direct mention of the brand. (There are specifically designed webinars, like the “Learn the Earned Media Values for Social and Digital Endorsements” that help with that.)

However, a June 2015 poll shows that 39.2 percent of marketing executives agree that most data obtained through social media monitoring isn’t actionable, while 37.4 percent disagree.

social media monitoring

This brings up the point of how “social listening is looking at conversations that are happening outside of owned channels,” according to James Cooper, director of solutions development and social media intelligence for ICUC. “You can mine all of that data, all of those conversations that are happening on a plethora of social networks and blog sites online” for “actionable insights and information.”

According to a June 2015 Wayin report, the biggest reasons why companies aren’t mining deep into social data are:

  • Limited budget or resources, which makes up 47 percent of responses
  • Lack of quick staff response (43 percent)
  • Lack of search analytic tools (41 percent)
  • Lengthy content creation process (38 percent)

Sometimes it’s about finding the right question to ask, according to Erik Huddleston, CEO of public relations analytics software provider TrendKite. “Instead of saying, tell me everything every time the word X appears on any social networks … companies who employ social listening need to be micro in their ask.” Sometimes, looking at conversations that involve business cases or trends can make all the difference.

Real-time marketing can play a huge part, and the response window is pretty solid, according to the report. Of those polled, 49 percent usually respond within minutes, while only 8 percent can take a matter of days. 

Expediency can go a long way. A January 2015 poll conducted by AYTM Market Research indicates that, when it comes to customer service:

  • Nearly 20 percent of respondents feel that 30 minutes to respond via social media is a quick time.
  • 16.9 percent feel that five minutes is far better.
  • A select few, 3.9 percent, said that over seven hours is an acceptable time.

The success of a social media campaign can also come down to select targets, like engagement, audience, website traffic and customer satisfaction. It also depends on the size of the employment group, as 81 percent of small companies believe engagement is a big factor, compared to 85 percent of those with over a thousand employees.

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