Listening, Engaging and Measuring in Social-Media Spaces
Every brand has a story to tell, and organizations used to have captive audiences to tell their stories to. But that's no longer the case with the rise of the Internet, namely social-media sites.
How do you tell your story in an environment where people don't have to listen to you, and can interrupt and even spread misinformation about you?
In the webinar "A Narrative Approach to Story Listening and Measurement in Social Media,", Simon Kelly, chief operating officer, Keith Blanchard, North American executive creative director, and Michael Perry, senior vice president, all of global content marketing agency Story Worldwide, went through steps for getting the most from listening and engaging on social-media sites.
Communication has gone from serving rulers to serving everyone, from being one-way only to "every which way,” and from being in the hands of professionals to being controlled by amateurs. The explosion of the Internet has resulted in the mass amateurization of publishing, where individuals now have as much publishing power as big corporations and organizations, making your organization now just one voice among millions. In this environment, you can be sure that there are conversations about your brand going on. The question is, are you a part of them? And if so, how?
The audience is changing from a crowd that listened politely and patiently to one that is informed, opinionated and communicating — and has influence. Your brand perception is now in the hands of an army of strangers. The only way to reach audiences today "is to create media that is entertaining, informing and engaging," Kelly said. The creative you use must matter to the end users, and the stories you tell have to engage the audience and speak to experiences that touch them.
Today’s audiences require is honesty, unguardedness, apologies and freebies. That opens you up to unpredictable risks, but it also can be beneficial in many ways, offering organizations opportunities to:
- Find out how people really feel about their brands and organizations; see whose opinions matter most to their customers; and find out what motivates them, inspires them and frustrates them.
- Directly engage any person or group, rather than just a "polling sample" of constituents. Reach them at home or work, in their car, etc., and join in as much — or as little — as you want.
- Influence the conversation. Accentuate the positive and handle the negative; correct misinformation before it spreads; and tell your story to "make it the definitive version," Kelly said.
The key is to engage your community, not be a cop. Blanchard shared the following four steps for reaping the benefits of social media: