When measuring the performance and overall strength of your business, your books are only going to reveal a portion of the story.
Social media can help to fill in gaps of information other more traditional methods of business evaluation cannot provide.
Through social listening, reading reviews and comments, and paying attention to competitive communities you can learn what you’re doing well, what needs improving, and gain a stronger understanding of what you can do to enhance the performance of your business.
The relative openness of platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress, give you numerous places around the social web to listen in on what people are saying about your business or brand. Even Facebook’s Graph Search has made the world’s most popular social network a place where social listening is possible outside the bounds of your own community.
Reviews are not only critical to driving sales for your business, but can be a great source of information and insight about the performance of your business. Glowing reviews can verify the things you are doing particularly well and give you ideas about how you can provide those experiences to more consumers. Negative reviews can reveal opportunities for improvement, areas of your business that are fundamentally flawed, give you ideas for future product development, and more.
Comments and discussion
For some time, branded social media channels have been a favourite place for consumers to express their delight with businesses, as well as tear a strip off them when they have negative experiences. While many of us are becoming pretty good at responding to these comments on social media, there is opportunity to apply what we learn in the comments on our social media channels to influence business practices. By tracking compliments and complaints, we can see trends occurring and apply what is learned to other inputs that influence our business strategy, product development, customer service, or really anything to do with our businesses.
Competitive and related communities
Discussions about your business and brand aren’t going to be contained within your communities. Competitive and consumer driven communities should be monitored on a regular basis, not only for your competitive reviews and analysis, but also to gain as broad and comprehensive an understanding as possible about the performance of your business.
Social media channels can be a great indicator for the various strengths and weaknesses of your business, but you obviously need to be paying attention for it to matter. To ensure you’re sufficiently keeping your ear to the ground, consider adding social listening KPIs to your regular analytic reports. This will help to keep you honest about paying attention to what consumers think about your business, and will ensure that what you uncover is easily shared with others in your organization.
How do you use social media to measure the success of your business or brand? Have you ever adjusted your business strategy, product or service because of what you’ve heard from your customers on social media?