The Global Source for Social Media Researchers

Member Spotlight

  • 6 Feb 2018 7:44 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By:  Jim Matorin, Business Catalyst at SMARTKETING: Tech-friendly pragmatist that specializes in innovation and revitalizing businesses.

    Smart marketers recognize the magnitude social platforms contribute to their marketing movements, thus are now exhibiting more discipline (internally or with the assistance of outside resources) monitoring and measuring their products’ or services’ online reputation.  Analyzing all the online data is a momentous task, especially in light of current research (source: Brandwatch) indicating 96% of people that discuss brands, do not directly engage with the brands online.  Once a company properly filters through all the online data, they are in better position to create a positive customer care experience that yields loyalty.  Note: A Social Sprout survey re: a good customer care experience; 75% of the respondents were most likely to share their experience with social connections and 70% were most likely to use the brand or service.   

    Last year (August), I contributed a two-part podcast on Advanced Twitter analytics, a free tool I highly recommend utilizing this tool for marketers responsible for monitoring their company’s online reputation.  Therefore, it was exciting to learn that Twitter decided to elevate their game this past Sunday and set an objective of being the top social media destination during the Super Bowl, a titanic event for brand marketing movements.   They created #BrandBowl, a place where advertisers and Twitter users congregated during the game.  Their goal was to enhance Twitter engagement.  In addition, to generate post-game buzz, they handed out awards for the best ads.  PepsiCo was the big winner.  It was awarded #MVP for the brand (Pepsi) receiving the highest percentage of brand-related tweets and #Blitz for the brand (Doritos & Mountain Dew) that drove the highest velocity of tweets-per-minute.  

    The official Super Bowl 52 Twitter statistics have not been published yet.  Nevertheless, #BrandBowl was a clever, substantial way to get marketers to better understand the power of Twitter as an excellent social platform to build a company’s social reputation.

  • 30 Jan 2018 4:25 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Insider Higher Ed published the following article from Tim Jones. 

    A good social listening program extends far beyond checking social to see what people are saying, or tallying vanity metrics to validate a particular approach to content. 

    There is little more critical to marketing success than the ability to listen. Reaching audiences, building trust and motivating action demand a keen awareness of the perceptions and conversations surrounding a brand. Because despite a brand’s carefully manicured messaging, slick materials and robust list of features, Marty Neumeier’s claim will always ring true: “Brand is not what you say it is, it is what they say it is.”

    Conversations about brands happen in the digital space all the time, with or without the knowledge or input of the brand. For the brand manager or marketing, discovering these conversations is a bit like walking in on a juicy gossip session of which you’re the subject, only without the awkward pause and subsequent attempt to conceal the topic. It just keeps going, and will, whether you listen or not. So listen carefully.

    You need to invest in social listening.

    A good social listening program extends far beyond checking social to see what people are saying, or tallying vanity metrics to validate a particular approach to content. Social listening, when positioned as an essential element of brand and marketing strategy, can offer unmatched insights and find exceptional engagement opportunities. Here’s how.

    The Brand Narrative

    Although social media can sometimes seem like a collection of random conversation hot spots, every post, image, video, mention, share, engagement and call to action contributes to the brand narrative. Social listening tools provide the ability to capture conversations over time and across channels to provide analysis and a vast array of data around the “whole” conversation, offering a comprehensive look at a brand’s digital representation.

    For example, the recently launched Campus Sonar provides data that can be enlightening, revealing patterns in content across different platforms. How often do your brand drivers show up in conversations you both own and earn? Are you mentioned frequently for the right things, or do conversations head in the wrong direction constantly putting you on the defensive? What are people affiliated with the brand talking about?

    Missing Pieces

    Understanding the complete picture gives new perspective to content, revealing areas that are over-represented, under-represented, high engagement, low engagement, on brand or off brand. It’s the kind of insight that, while humbling, offers a better view of the brand as “they” see it, not as you imagine it or hope it’s perceived and adjust accordingly. Social listening tools should allow you to extract specific types of conversations or topics for more dedicated analysis and monitoring to see how changes you make impact outcomes in the short and longer term. 


    Constant monitoring and analysis of social channels helps brands stay on top of emerging issues (think crisis or reputational challenges). With the right tools, brands can establish issue-specific feeds to manage a crisis, ongoing issues, or unique campaigns. But the true power of social listening lies in the ability to identify engagement opportunities as they emerge and capitalize. Suppose a parent shares a photo of a nearby college visit, mentioning that your institution is next on the list—it’s a perfect opportunity to extend a welcome, offer a travel or dining recommendation, or invite the family to an on-campus event that that might not be on a visit schedule.

    Social listening, when paired with a clear brand strategy and thoughtful content approach can lead to deep engagement opportunities and initiatives that change the shape of online conversations. Listen, and the conversation will respond. 

  • 26 Jan 2018 9:50 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Social Media Intelligence is defined as “The management and analysis of customer data from social sources, used to activate, measure, and recalibrate marketing and business programs.”

    Brands across the globe utilize social media to attract and engage their customers while generating a dialog surrounding their products and services. But if companies aren’t using social media intelligence to decipher those interactions, what benefit are they receiving?

    Social media intelligence takes a deeper dive into the conversations that exist online, going beyond ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ for a real glimpse into how consumers perceive a company or brand. Organizations that take this social knowledge and run with it are at a huge advantage over those that don’t. So, how can marketers utilize social intelligence to accelerate their marketing strategy and drive success?

    Social intelligence involves gathering, processing, and deriving insight from social media to improve marketing and other strategic initiatives, including product development and customer experience. The savvy marketer is out creating content for customers, building communities and fan pages, staffing Twitter accounts, and writing blogs; data from these sources must be fed back to the organization to make smart business decisions.

    At early stages, social listening and insights impact the PR and marketing teams, then move to teams like customer service and product development to establish more robust social intelligence. These cross-enterprise impacts occur in 5 main categories:


    1)    Audience Segmentation

    Part of social intelligence means that text can be scanned and interpreted by emotion, sentiment and levels of passion, whether positive or negative. This allows social users to be broken down by more than just surface value demographics like age or gender. For marketers, this can help create highly targeted marketing, advertising and social media campaigns, reaching the right people who would both enjoy and respond to the message.

    2)    Competitive Intelligence

    Marketing pros can run a simple Google news search every morning to see what competitors are up to on Twitter, etc. Or they could employ a social intelligence platform that provides real-time comparisons of things like consumer awareness, perception and overall sentiment across multiple organizations, brands and even product lines, making it easier than ever to know how they stack up against the competition.

    3)    Trend Analysis

    Any good marketer knows, keeping an eye out for developing trends in the industry is crucial to creating products that will interest consumers, and marketing those products to drive sales. Social intelligence enables users to stay up-to-date on what’s happening today, while also allowing them to develop a better understanding of changing perceptions and how/why trends come and go.

    4)    Identifying Influencers

    The beauty of social media is that it brings users into direct contact with whomever they’re trying to impact, and offers an opportunity for brands to reach out to and interact with their most influential followers. But how do businesses go about finding these individuals? Social intelligence platforms help brands determine who the loudest and most influential voices are in the online conversations surrounding their industry in order to reach out directly to those key advocates.

    5)    Brand Analysis

    Marketing teams are always doing what they can to understand their place in the industry, develop new strategies for standing out in the crowd, and discern where they stand among current and potential customers. Brand analysis through social intelligence offers marketing teams real-time information and their brand health, while monitoring the global sphere of conversation.

    Social intelligence has the ability to bring marketing to the next level. Through in-depth analytics, a true understanding of emotions conveyed online, and the ability to monitor trends, marketing professionals are able to tailor messages and understand results like never before.

  • 19 Jan 2018 4:15 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Great post from MarTech Advisor- Helping Marketers Succeed. 


    Jennifer Dandy, Analytics Manager at Anexinet, talks about how a well-crafted Social Listening project is a powerful tool for market research, public affairs, and marketing teams. Learn about its incredible benefits and how to overcome common barriers to support 

    Social Listening is becoming an increasingly popular market analytics tool. Haven’t heard of it yet? Not quite sure what it is? You’re not alone. But you may be missing out on an incredibly valuable – and economical – the source of market insight!

    Social Listening is the practice of listening to, and deriving insights from, the social conversations occurring among consumers online via various social media platforms. Listening endeavors range from basic to incredibly complex; from monitoring conversation and activity around specific events or campaigns, to complex market research studies. While the specifics of project design will vary based on the driving business needs, the benefits of leveraging Social Listening remain consistent.

    • Social media conversations are occurring publically, in real-time, and are actively shaping consumer opinions. Consequently, the consumer opinions expressed can be thought of as the latest iteration of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM); one that has the potential to reach a greater audience than traditional WOMM. This means it is essential for public affairs and marketing teams alike to stay abreast of the evolving perspectives shared on social media that are shaping their consumers’ opinions. Social Listening allows teams to get out in front of evolving opinions and identify key opinion leaders online who may be brand advocates or detractors.
    • Social data provides a unique view into the consumers' mindset by giving marketers insight into unbiased and unprompted peer-to-peer conversations. Unlike the perspectives shared in an interview room, these dialogues are not subject to reporter bias. Online is where consumers speak candidly and honestly about their experiences with their products; be it to share recommendations or scathing reviews of their network. Understanding consumers’ unfiltered reality and natural language empowers marketers to connect organically with their audience.
    • Social Listening is a timely and cost-effective means to gain these consumer insights. This methodology skips the initial steps of traditional market research: discussion guide or survey creation, navigating approvals, recruiting, and conducting.  This enables Social Listening to jump from inception to insights in a matter of weeks. Insights gleaned from this research are fresh and timely. They can also be a cost-effective alternative to traditional research, especially in niche and rare communities where recruitment can be difficult. The internet’s ability to connect disparate individuals into a mutual location affords researchers access to many difficult to recruit consumer cohorts.
    • With all these benefits, some teams face barriers to getting funding for such projects. Perhaps the most common roadblock is the misconception that social data is only for the marketing teams seeking to launch a social campaign. But in fact, there is much to be learned about the consumer group who is not directly engaging with one’s brand.  Additionally, there is tremendous value in gaining insight into the market at large, going beyond mentions of a single brand and competitors. 

    The second barrier is the belief that regulations will limit the practice.  On the contrary, Social Listening can be an effective means to circumvent many regulations given the passive nature of the data collection. 

    Finally, teams may come to the practice without a clear use case or business question. With any research, Social Listening ought to be conducted with a clear set of goals in mind. Doing so will ensure the most valuable insights are uncovered and that these are impactful to the business.

    A well-crafted Social Listening project is a powerful tool for market research, public affairs, and marketing teams alike. The data affords a unique window into the lives of consumers, their opinions and behaviors. The results offer timely and cost-effect insights into the market, informing marketing, customer service, and consumer experience efforts. 

  • 11 Jan 2018 3:42 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    I would add that technology can also be used to geofence your event geographically. This pulls all non-tagged posts and records them for later viewing. 


    Posted by AnnMichaels in Social Media Listening 

    It’s become second nature for many of us to take to social media to enhance a shared experience. Who wouldn’t want to share videos from a concert of your favorite band? Or a winning goal score by the home team? Social media helps us construct our own experience of the event. It can also be rewarding for brands and creators who get to chat with individuals and experience their genuine, instant reaction to what’s happening.

    By focusing on specific key points, processes and people, brands can ensure the live events they’re involved in are a success. If you’re planning a live event, here are steps for successful social media amplification.


    social media monitoring


    Connect to Social via WiFi

    A great way to pull data from participants is simply through the WiFi network that you provide. A few new companies now offer WiFi that allows you to quickly collect customer contact data. Through this, you can match up social media activity with individual attendees and get the information you need.

    Social Media Listening

    During any event, a certain percentage of attendees will be actively communicating on social media. If they use your event hashtag, you can easily follow these activities, but it’s important to pay close attention to everything that’s being posted about your event, across multiple social platforms.

    From this listening, you can gather the usernames of those who are most likely to be interested in buying from you and follow up with special offers or a simple thank-you note. You can also pull reports that give insight into the overall performance of your events, as well as the conversations happening around it. All of this will help inform future event decisions to increase your chances of success.


    As social media has grown in popularity with marketers, hashtag analytics have emerged as a great way to monitor user behaviors. Each event should have an assigned hashtag that is heavily promoted to attendees. Before, during and after the event, you should monitor activity on that tag and gather information on those who are posting.




    social media

    Keep the Discussion Going

    Live events are best thought of as the beginning event. Tweeting may spike when a goal is scored, but fans will continue to discuss the match after the final whistle. Successful live events keep the discussion going when the event is over. That means keeping a few community managers working after the event is over, even if it’s hours or days after.

    Photo Booths

    One fun way to get attendees to willingly share their information is through the use of a photo booth at your event. You can set this up yourself using an interesting backdrop and some fun props, then assign a team member to snap photos of participants. Of course they will want to share the image on social media so don’t forget the hashtag!

    You can also gather social usernames this way, and require participants to provide a name and email address in exchange for a copy of the photo. After the event, you can use the information you’ve collected to send a thank-you note or to follow attendees in the hopes that they’ll return the favor.

    Selfie Opportunities

    As fun as photo booths can be, you don’t have to do anything that formal to get results. Consider incorporating elements into your event that will encourage attendees to share on social media. A mascot, a makeover or a fun interaction with one of your products that is photo-friendly make for great selfie options.

    You could also tie a fun promotion to sharing at the event, promising a giveaway where the winner is drawn from those who share selfies of themselves with your product. This type of sharing helps you gather usernames while also giving your brand exposure to those users’ online followers, as well as other attendees viewing posts under the event’s assigned hashtag.

    The Bottom Line

    When live events are well-managed and moderated, they can be great experiences for brands and fans alike. Hosting a live event can be a brilliant way to engage audiences and generate buzz beyond the brand’s existing fan community.

    Piecing together and analyzing multiple data sources for a live event is a vital part of increasing sales potential and growing a customer base. Social media enables s a wealth of data collection. By applying social media data collection to your own marketing efforts, you can put information with all of the smiling faces who post on social media during your activations and experiences.

  • 4 Jan 2018 11:29 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    - What a great lesson on how to use social media, engage your customers, and show humility. This is what social media is all about!

    By Justin Bariso as published in

    Founder, Insight @JustinJBariso

    Elon Musk.  CREDIT: Getty Images

    Love him or hate him, you've got to give Tesla CEO Elon Musk credit for one thing: The man knows how to use social media.

    Consider the following tweet, which he sent out on December 26:

    Elon Musk


    Wanted again to send a note of deep gratitude to Tesla owners WW for taking a chance on a new company that all experts said would fail. 

    So much blood, sweat & tears from the Tesla team went into creating cars that you’d truly love. I hope you do.

    How can we improve further?

    12:46 PM - Dec 26, 2017

    •  16,35516,355 Replies

    In a few short sentences, Musk provides a masterful lesson in emotional intelligence--the ability to make emotions work for you instead of against you.

    Here are just a few things his tweet accomplished:

    1. He makes customers (and employees) feel good.

    At a glance, Musk's opening comment looks like a simple thank-you. He makes sure to demonstrate appreciation for the thousands of Tesla employees. 

    But also notice how he thanks Tesla customers specifically--for "taking a chance on a new company that all experts said would fail."

    In effect, he's commending Tesla owners for supporting David vs. Goliath, for helping the company succeed against all odds. With this short statement, Musk reinforces the connection with his core customer: people who want more than a car--they want to support a movement.

    2. He invites complaints.

    Rather than shying away from customer complaints, Musk invites them. He identifies these as a gift--because they offer valuable feedback and the opportunity to improve. 

    "A well-thought-out critique of whatever you're doing is as valuable as gold," said Musk in one interview. "You should take the approach that you're wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong."

    3. He responds in real time.

    Within minutes, customers responded with requests ranging from an electric pickup truck, to better navigation software, to having Bluetooth not auto-connect to the phone. (That last one came courtesy of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz--guess he hates it when his wife steals his calls when walking by the garage with her key.) Musk responded positively to each of those tweets.

    This single action is smart on many levels.

    For one, it gives Musk a chance to connect personally with customers. (Musk is even known to joke with customers through Twitter.) How many CEOs do you know who regularly engage with their customers online?

    Second, consider this: Tesla was likely already working on some of these ideas, but the responses help Musk and his team decide which products and features to prioritize.

    Finally, the tweet sends a powerful message: that great ideas can come from anywhere--especially customers.

    As you can see, there are lots of lessons here for business owners but also for managers and team leads. I believe friend and fellow writer Karthik Rajan summed it up best:

    "Gratitude + seeking feedback for improvement + follow-through is a great combination."

  • 18 Dec 2017 2:19 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)


    Great post from Regas Crawford,'s Blogging series. You must have a social media strategy before you do anything in social. 

    Having a rock solid marketing strategy in place during the holiday commotion is a must, especially for retailers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects holiday sales to near $682 billion this year, a 3.6%–4% increase in holiday sales from last year.

    With such massive revenue opportunities, retailers big and small need to be ready to man their battle stations, especially in the social media war room.

    Setting up a social media content calendar to guide communications is table stakes these days (download our free holiday content calendar). Everyone can do it, which means that retailers across the world have plenty of organic and paid content ready to launch throughout the season. (Just think of all the 25% off and “buy one, get one free” deals you’ll be seeing through December 25.)

    So, beyond a content calendar, how can retailers be prepared on social media? Here are four tips to improve social media strategy for the holiday season and beyond.


    Implement a data strategy.


    While retailers may be able to eek by with limited social media data, such as tracking conversion rates from specific posts, a larger data strategy can help inform broader marketing, sales, and service efforts. The first steps to implementing a useful data strategy are to define company goals and identify the most useful data to meet those goals.

    In tandem with considering how these goals and data points relate to social media, it’s also important to expand them to other channels across the marketing spectrum. This will help to create a more comprehensive foundation for a data strategy. One crucial part of any data strategy, at the very least, is to be ready to collect a few relevant data points that will help retailers enhance their data-driven decisions moving into 2018.

    Check out our helpful guide to learn more about how to start a data strategy.

    According to “The ROI of Social Media Management,” an Altimeter research report in collaboration with Salesforce, “Social business maturity is much higher (2x) among businesses that use Integrated Suites than users of Point Solutions for social media management.” Integrated Suites, in this context, include social media management tools, such as Social Studio, that connect with and support other marketing, sales, and service platforms.

    In the above graphic, the average Net Promoter Score and average business (margin) outcomes are higher for companies considered social business leaders. “The most mature social businesses are both more profitable and have more loyal customers compared to social business laggards,” the report says.


    2. Think of social media beyond marketing.


    In fact, the two most popular business objectives for social media might surprise some marketers: customer service and relationship building.

    To explain these rankings, the report says, “This is evidence of the industry’s overall shift to customer experience as a differentiating factor to drive loyalty and advocacy.”


    3. Be ready to support customers.


    We mentioned above that customer service and relationship building are the two most popular business objectives related to social media. Another one of our recent blogs also touches on this point (see tip #2 in this blog about getting ready for the holidays).

    It stands to reason, then, that companies need to be ready to support customers via social media. This means that companies should have a process to handle customer questions, responses, and complaints. With the right social media management tools (see #1 in this list), retailers may not have to spend too much additional money hiring more service agents if they have useful technology to handle a larger number of cases.


    4. Invest in social media management tools — and integrate them.


    One key part of becoming a mature social business — or a business with a high level of experience with social customer listening and other areas — is identifying and investing in appropriate social media management technology.
    Social media isn’t just a marketing tool. “Social platforms are used to enable selling and commerce, recruit employees, and then engage them internally, manage influencer relationships, augment live events, be a source of business intelligence, and of course support customers,” according to “The ROI of Social Media Management.”

    No matter how retailers approach social media during the holidays, it’s important to consider both organic and paid approaches — and connect them with other parts of the marketing mix — to maximize effectiveness and the customer experience.

  • 6 Dec 2017 12:57 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Great information here on the repercussions of ignoring customers in social media. This goes hand in hand with the SMRA's Comprehensive Response Time Study in Social Media. Click Here to get a copy.

    By: Irfan Ahmad


    Gone are the days when we didn’t need to worry about using social media for customer support - these days, it’s not even a question.

    According to a report by Sprout Social, up to 90% of consumers have used social media in some way to communicate directly with a brand. The bad news is that brands reply to just 11% of these messages, on average, leaving the majority of inquiries ignored. That suggests that most businesses are still using social media as a promotional marketing tool, instead of a two-way customer communication channel.

    In fact, social media has already become the preferred customer service channel for Millennials, and it's growing in popularity among older groups too. What’s more, whenever people turn to social for customer support, they want a response much faster than most organizations are either willing or able to provide. The same survey found that the average time it takes brands to respond to a social media message is 10 hours, though most people consider under 4 hours reasonable.

    To provide more perspective on the growing importance of social customer care, Provide Support have put together this infographic.

    Brands Ignoring Consumers on Social Media are in Trouble [Infographic] | Social Media Today

    A version of this post was first published on the Digital Information World blog.

    Follow Irfan Ahmad on TwitterPRINT

  • 29 Nov 2017 11:11 AM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    By: Jim Matorin of SMARTKETING 

    Influence marketing is the latest “buzz du jour.”  Conventional marketers focus on positioning their goods and services to a target market.  Au courant  marketers, promote the digital transformation of marketing, focus on select, social individuals who have influence over potential buyers (a.k.a. brand advocates).

    Did you know that the average attention span in the social media world is eight seconds!  The average time people spend on social media is 116 minutes per day (source: SocialMediaToday).  One byproduct of the social media world is organic advertising – the authentic relationship consumers have with a brand that influences purchasing behavior for a specific product or service.  Hence the birth of influence marketing.  A recent study conducted by Nielsen and TapInfluence indicated that influence marketing drives 11 times more ROI than other forms of media. Consequently, smart marketers orientate their creative strategies and marketing movements around these people (a.k.a. brand advocates).

    Detailed below are the three distinct stages of developing brand advocacy.

    1.     Listening Analytics – Employ social media monitoring tools to identify your brand advocates; socially active individuals who are potentially influencing your brand’s awareness, positive image and potential sales. 
    2.     Brand Advocacy Connectivity – Engage with key brand advocates identified in stage one on a regular basis via their preferred social media platform utilizing relevant and personalized content.
    3.     Cultivate New Brand Advocates – Convert socially active individuals into brand advocates.  One way is to create an OMG (“Oh My God”) event.  Suggestion: How about a restaurant comping a table of guests for best behaved kids complete with a picture posted on Instagram.

    Are you ready to implement influence marketing strategies to drive your ROI?

  • 22 Nov 2017 12:49 PM | Kathy Doering (Administrator)

    Listening to customers and responding in realtime in social media is such a great way to let your customers know you really do care about them. This can be done for any size business as long as you are willing to invest in resources to support it. 



    Social Media Listening

    (DALLAS) — In Dallas, a team of 40 customer service experts take turns around the clock monitoring Southwest Airlines’ various social channels with one primary goal: to listen to you. Their job becomes even more important this week as more than 24 million travelers are expected to fly for the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Southwest’s “Listening Center,” as it’s called, is often where the airline will first hear of any problems or incidents surrounding its service.

    In today’s era of heightened tension between airlines and passengers, Southwest sees it as essential to tackle these issues as quickly as possible.

    “Things that you may not think were a big issue now can become a monster issue for you if you’re not responding in a very expedient manner,” said Matt Hafner, vice president of network operations control at Southwest.

    The team is able to address virtually all customer concerns themselves without bumping the passenger to another department.

    According to Southwest, they are well versed in company policies and procedures and have the tools to assist passengers with everything ranging from reservations and baggage to a customer’s frequent flier account.

    Every year, the nation’s busiest airline receives 2,500 to 3,000 inbound posts per day on Twitter and Facebook and all posts are reviewed to determine which ones require action. About a third of the posts Southwest receives are travel-related questions and another third are issues passengers are experiencing typically before and during travel.

    Some are more positive. Some are negative. Regardless, Twitter seems to be the fastest way to get a response from the Dallas-based airline.

    The team is operating around the clock to attend to every actionable question or comment. On average, from 2015 to 2016 Southwest saw an 11 percent increase in inbound posts, and from 2016 to 2017, a 14 percent increase.

    These posts allow Southwest to identify pain points for customers and ultimately make informed business decisions.

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