It's one of several crossroads now facing PR professionals: the intersection between social listening and brands. How to apply social listening data back to your business was the focus of the opening session Wednesday at PR News' Digital PR Conference.
"Listening is fundamental to building your brand," said Enric Llopart, senior VP, head of digital for Latin America Edelman. "We need to understand more than ever what is going on around our brand and our consumer, and we have never had this amount of [online] tools to grasp that."
He added, "The bad news is that it's not about getting the latest tool. It's much deeper than that. It's changing the marketing model."
In order for communicators to capitalize on social listening, they need to involve multiple disciplines within their organizations, such as sales, HR and product development (see list below).
By getting more disciplines involved in your social listening, you have a better chance to monetize your social channels.
"Is social helping us sell?" Llopart asked. "You have to understand the relationship between brands and people. What are people's motivations and interests? What are the trends? What are the societal tensions?"
Llopart recommended a few tips for social listening to help you answer those questions and gain more insight about your brand reputation:
- Living brands need to adopt responsive models to keep connected and relevant.
- Listening is not just about marketing/communications, but about almost any area in the organization. And it shouldn't be focused on your brand. It needs to be user-centric.
- Use listening not only to evaluate the performance of your digital marketing but also to predict the next moves.
- Create dashboards that respond to your business goals and invest only in those tools that let you answer the key strategic questions.
Follow Enric Llopart on Twitter: @enricllopart
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1