What Should You Measure?

by Jay Deragon on 07/28/2008

Your business receives and sends messages daily, hourly and likely every minute of the day. The messages come from a host of intended and unintended communications. Whether it is an advertisement, marketing piece or conversations with salespeople, customer service, technicians or suppliers all are conversing with entire markets, the message is getting out. Ever wonder what those receiving the message hear?

The game of sending crafted messages to target markets has flipped and now businesses need to learn how to receive the messages from the markets. Sure, sending messages to a market is important but the means, methods and message has stirred the market to send their own message back. Are you getting the markets message?

How Would You Know?

Since much of this “social stuff” is still new to businesses many don’t even know what it’s all about. Once a business jumps in they quickly, or at least should, learn that in order to adapt to this changing dynamic one needs to establish measures to insure your doing the right thing and doing them right. Below is a short listing of “things” your business should do first before telling the world you’ve gone social.

  • Find and establish relations with your market’s most powerful media outlets and key influencers
  • Assess existing consumer sentiment to your brand through blog monitoring and analysis
  • Identify and analyze the competition activities
  • Measure the effectiveness of spokespersons
  • Test messages that appropriately position your brand into existing conversations
  • Evaluate the conversations to determine the markets need
  • Set objectives based on the common conversational threads
  • Establish a dashboard of conversations concerning your brand
  • Identify and engage internal and external resources familiar with all this “social stuff”
  • Once you decide to engage your market listen more than you speak
  • Never sell, serve, ask for honest feedback and learn every step of the way

What Should You Measure?

Blogs and message boards connect your customers, partners, prospects and critical influencers like never before. What your business will need is a measurement and analysis process that enables you to keep track of what’s being said throughout all the “social conversations” about your company, its products and competitors, and the trends that impact your business.

What you’ll need to plan for includes:

  • Receive early warning about threats to your reputation and brand
  • Learn firsthand how the market perceives your company, products and competitors
  • Find out what’s really important to your customers
  • Find out how your own people feel about your company
  • Measure the effectiveness of conversations you initiate or respond to
  • Gain an integrated view of the conversational eco-system which represents the market you desire to serve

If You Get the Message, Respond

Not responding sends the market a message that your brand doesn’t care. However, responding means several things including: 1) fix the problem 2) recognize and value honest and open feedback 3) always remember that conversations are an exchange between people. The quality of the conversations determines the quality of the relationship going forward. Good relations beget transaction and after all in the end that is what your business wants.

What say you?

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