Social Newtorks

A guide to process, tools and examples for social media listening

What I’ve leant from social media listening

Two recent reports highlight the fact the business are not taking social media listening seriously and it’s still in its infancy. A study by the Altimeter group showed that only 42% of businesses are using social media listening to learn from their customers, this was a study whose respondents’ main discipline was social media, personally I would have expected it to be higher.

The second report from Amiando (a study of event marketers) showed that only 20% of marketers are listening in social for the benefit of the business.

I know I’m a big social media advocate, but I’m shocked that businesses are not using listening not only to benefit social media activity but the overall business, I guess it’s not been ‘sold’ in to the powers that be yet.

In this article, I hope to explain how to implement social media. Where possible I will mention brands in the examples, in other places I will need to be a little more respectful of the brand’s privacy. It’s also worth noting that some of this was done purely as an experiment without the brand’s permission as part of exercise, which just goes to show how much information you can garner on other brands without the need for permission.

Drivers for examining social data.

‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’ Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon. With social they know you’re in the room and they still tend to say it.

I would argue that in focus groups or using surveys people tend to answer the questions in a way that they wish to be portrayed by their peers. While this may also be said for social (personal branding), the very nature of focus groups and surveys gives users the chance to reflect before saying anything. Social media has a cultural immediacy where users express their opinions en mass and are not prompted by questions that steer answers.

New Insights – drivers for examining social data

There are many drivers for examining social data, which can all be broadly put under ‘New insights’. Insights should be driving:

  • Targeted marketing activity: Informing messaging, demographics, personas, influencers, firmographics, segmentation and comms strategy.
  • Better planning and decision making within the business: Informing product and service development, market positioning to drive competitive advantage, growth hacking and business processes.

The customer decision process has fundamentally changed. A study by McKinsey showed that rather than systematically narrowing their choices, consumers add and subtract brands from a group under consideration during an extended evaluation phase.

By examining data we can derive maximum value from our customers by truly understanding their needs throughout the buying process and delivering to these needs, allowing our customer to get the maximum value from us. After purchase, they often enter into an open-ended relationship with the brand, sharing their experience with it online.

This article is a truncated version of the article I wrote for Smart Insights the rest can be read here

What I’ve Learnt from Social Media Listening

Presented at TFM&A 2014 – I uncover some of the techniques used to understand audiences through social media listening and measuring, how it can inform social, business and marketing strategy, hone social media activity and work to improve brand perception. As part of the presentation he’ll also look at various brands and case studies to identify real world examples.

Interest in Pinterest

Pinterest seems to be the latest booming social platform out there so I find myself asking the same question is there space for it in a B2B Marketers social media strategy. For those of you who have missed this one Pinterest is essentially a book marking tool where user can categorise things that interest them, this is a highly visual experience, users can also take photos on their mobile device, but essentially it’s a curation tool over anything else. Yet another book marking tool I hear, and you’re probably right but it seems to of exploded into the market place and is reported to be driving more traffic than google+, YouTube and Linkedin combined. Even with their invite only policy their numbers are growing rapidly (approx 4 million as it stands) and they have just received an additional 27 million investment, so there are definitely people out there who think this will work. Interestingly the numbers they are heavily skewed toward females which currently have around 80% of the usage.

I think there are some obvious advantages to using pinterest within your marketing strategy, the obvious place to start would be the more you can get you online content pinned the stronger your SEO will become (add the pin button to your site). Other uses may include content distribution particularly for anything visual, infographics is probably an obvious one here but what about product images, event photos from your attendees networks. There are also opportunities to collaborate with other users, this could be used in-house as a news board to highlight industry news or as an curation exercise displaying your knowledge of the industry through what you decide to pin. Open boards themselves do provide you with a method of creating a niche and mixing 3rd party content with your own is a great way to boost SEO and get your content into the correct niche space.

While all these are solid ideas for methods to use it i do wonder if the platform has legs right now, for me, it’s falling down in places that for me would turn it from essentially a book marking tool into more of a fully fledged network, primarily it’s really hard to find and follow people, they have focused more on the content than the people creating/curating it, but perhaps we don’t need that for this platform, perhaps the reason this has been successful so far is for it’s intelligent simplicity.

The platform itself at the moment seems to be a gold mine for the consumer retail industries at first glance of the network you notice just how much product is sitting on the site, much of it focused around fashion, this probably has quite a bit to do with the current demographic.

I’ve given pinterest a go, the app is sitting on my iPhone, but for me it sits on my last screen where it will probably stay,if I don’t decide to delete it, I’m more interested in creating content that people want to share, and already have my book marking tool which I have been using for years I’m going to be hard pushed to move from it to pinterest. While I believe there is use for it’s application in the b2b space, it’s not really been designed for that so retro fitting these networks can often mean your neglecting the ones that really matter to your business. More info at .

Image Credit

New Facebook Page Timeline

This was written by one of my colleagues which went round internally, she kindly said I could post it here to give you all an update. Anyway you can follow her here @tinyterrapin.

Facebook Pages changed yesterday and this will may affect some of your client’s pages. Pages are now able to use the ‘Timeline’ format that a lot of you are probably using for your personal profile now.

The main changes are highlighted below. There are also a few companies who have said they are uploading training videos.

If your clients are using Facebook Tabs, please recommend that they don’t change over just yet as Facebook are working on some bugs. There are known bugs with the Tabs not refreshing once users become a new Fan of the Page.


Look and Feel
You can now have a cover photo that fills the width of the Page. The profile avatar image is now square too (this is the image that shows when you post). The Timeline is split into two columns and the further down the Page, the older the posts are. The Timeline is divided by month and year, a viewer can skip to a particular date. You can highlight Milestones on the page to help create the brand story. There is no longer a left hand side navigation (therefore Tabs are not as easy to find – see below)

Reduced Tab visibility
Tabs will now appear in the boxes underneath the cover photo.
Only THREE tabs are viewable at a time.

No default landing Page
This is likely to be a issue with some of our clients as I know that a fair number of these have been created. Messaging will become even more important as the top posts will be the first thing a visiting user will see. You can NOT set a Tab as a default landing page – Advertising will be the only way to do this!

One post can be Featured content
You can select ONE post to Feature at the top of the Page. (You can ‘pin’ content in the same way that you can make a blog post ‘sticky’ so that it stays at the top of the page). You can only ‘pin’ an item for 7 days or until you pin another post. Example: Brands could use the ‘pinned’ post as a call-to-action to highlight the new position of the tabs, increase Page Likes etc.

Current Tabs and applications are now out of date!
The width has increased. Applications will need new icons that appear as one of the three Tab spaces

Private messages between the brand and users
Brands will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This is a big deal !! It will really help brands to be able to interact with customers and also take customer service queries off of the main timeline.

All of the above is very exciting but will also mean a lot of brands who don’t update their Page regularly with new content or who don’t reply to users will have terrible looking Pages. The emphasis is now even more on creating a story, creating new content and engaging the users.

Ascots First Tweet Up (I think)

I am organising ascots first tweet up and I wanted to put a bit of a spin on it with a crowd-sourced youtube viewing part of the evening, it’s explained a little more below.

Why have a decided to run a TweetUp in Ascot? Well a number of reasons:

  • It’s close to where I live
  • I know the owner of the venue (which is lovely by the way)
  • I’m not aware of any tweetups going on in the ‘burbs’
  • I thought twitter is probably mature enough now that theres a good chance of getting a gathering together in Ascot
  • I know some fellow twitter people in the area that I know are interested in such a gathering @beckysocial @jaime_keenan @teampalmhills
  • I wanted to see if I can make it work, and if it’s a success run another
  • But most of all, I wanted to connect the digital with the real world and chat with some like minded individuals
  1. Date for your Diary 28th Feb the rest of the details are here
  2. You can follow the hashtag here #ascottwtup
  3. Follow me for all the updates @brandjoe

A Tweet Up with a difference
At this tweet up we’ll have a YouTube screening for an hour of the event, anything you want to see, simply provide up to 3 links to YouTube videos that you think will be interesting to everyone else, these can literally be anything you like (as long as they are from YouTube). The videos you find might be:

  • Comedy
  • Short movies
  • Educational
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Business
  • How to’s
  • Animated infograhics
  • Mishaps
  • but the list is endless

There’s only one rule – they cannot be self promotional

On the day of the event we will then show a selection of the best submissions.

Anyway come one, come all, I just hope some of you can make it!!

My Twiffic Little Christmas Present for You

Some of you may of already guessed by this post it has something to do with twitter, and you’d be right, it’s all about how to streamline the social media status process and give your audience some value.

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 16.52.13

If you follow me on twitter @brandjoe you may notice that I fairly regularly post a “What I’m reading:” tweet (above), I thought I’d share with you how I do this, I took about 5 mins to set up and it means it’s nice and automated. Plus you won’t have to think about tweeting too often, it also means that my followers are getting some form a value from me, rather than just tweeting inane BS, that noboby has any interest in.

So here’s how to do it, firstly you’ll need a Google Reader account and a Twitterfeed account. Once you have these go to your Google Reader and the settings and click on the “Folders and Tags” tab, now set “your starred items” to public as shown below.

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 16.19.18

Now “view public page” and you will be able to access and copy the RSS link from that page.  Access your twitterfeed account and set it up so that your starred RSS feed pushes to your twitter account.

It’s best to select the “Advanced Settings” (see below) when creating your feed and I personally choose to only push 3 tweets every hour (anymore I think people just get annoyed). Also you may add a prefix and suffix to each tweet my prefix’s are “What I’m reading:” (from Google Reader) and “Worth a Read:” (from My Blog)

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 17.17.37

I use suffix hash tags:

#fb – this pushes my blog only tweets to my facebook status using the “selective twitter status” app in facebook

#in – pushes the tweets to linkedin (reader starred items) which you can set up in the linkedin profile settings

So that’s it your all set up to go, now google reader does provide it’s own method to share posts, but this is not nearly as simple and streamlined as my method (well at least I don’t think so).

So all that’s left to do is test it, simply star an item that you have read or you think will be of interest to your audience and then watch it automatically appear in your status streams. An Example Below:

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 16.32.10

Screen shot 2009-12-18 at 16.52.13

Hope you All have a Great Christmas and NewYear!

Wrapping up 2009, 2010 to come

Sites mentioned: – marketing communications agency and my new employers – boutique hotel in Ascot – personal trainer to the stars, author and presenter – recruitment the smart way – me – my new streaming show full of interestingness goes live in 2010

Other props must go out to: – my old design company – cool guys always worth tapping up whatever design project you may have. – my wifes new employers and damn nice cakes – trust me

I will start producing more content in the NEW YEAR so watch this space – it’ll starting filling up quickly ;-)

BrandJoe (soon to be HurricaneJoe)

1 2  Scroll to top