The ability to connect with the marketplace is social media’s gift to business. You might be saying that’s nothing new; surveys and focus groups have been around for ages. True. And I’m not advocating for their disappearance. But the information I’m talking about doesn’t require mailing lists, invitations, or rely on carefully crafted questions to increase response rates. It also doesn’t require pesky phone calls at dinnertime from telemarketers.
According to Constant Contact, a typical response rate for surveys is 10% to 20%. Survey Gizmo cites 10% to 15% as average, but reminds us that actual response rates will vary widely. Of course, adding the chance to win an exciting prize will increase participation but now you have additional costs to figure in when calculating the feedback program’s return on investment.
Some of the information you’re looking for — and some that you need but don’t know about yet — is waiting for you online.
Headliner – A Case In Point
Last week I wrote about a company that offers to increase readership by promoting blog posts. There was some troubling language in the the Terms of Service that required the blogger to assign the copyright to Headliner. A few of us blogged about it and shared our concerns on Twitter. To Headliner’s great credit they were listening. Really listening. They took that information and actually made changes to the ToS.
Here’s what’s really important. The information Headliner gleaned from social networking sites would likely never have shown up in a survey. And Headliner would never have known about our concerns if they had not been employing social listening. If you want to know what your market is interested in, or perhaps learn what they’re saying about your brand, take a read through Social Listening Is Hard To Do. Here’s an excerpt:
For many companies, the sum total of their social media engagement is an endless stream of cute quotes, job listings, or article links — but no listening. At best, there’s someone on alert for direct messages, but no one’s watching the stream for conversation invitations. For these companies, adding social listening will be an entirely new behaviour.
What Makes It An Invisible Gift
It’s invisible because conversations about a brand can take place without the company ever knowing they’re being talked about. Social listening is a gift that businesses are just beginning to appreciate and understand — and some, like Headliner, are using what they hear to make business decisions.
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