Avoid Horse Manure Results

       “You have to read this!”
        “Check this out.”
        “Great article!”
        How often do we read tweets like this, which are concluded with a link to content?
        A lot.
        And this is a problem.

     It’s a problem because to do social media marketing effectively you need to be aware of — and make sense of — the social conversations spanning multiple social platforms and the articles and content referenced in these conversations. Let’s face it, how much information can be conveyed in 140 characters?

     There are numerous social monitoring software options available to marketers. Many allow you to listen to the tweets that mention your topic. However, what if your topic isn’t mentioned in the tweet, but is in the content that the tweet links to?

     Marketing and PR pros should approach social media marketing like a scientist, says HR consultant, DriveThruHR Show co-host and marketing thought leader William Tincup. To be effective, you need to have all relevant data and exclude all irrelevant data (noise). Fortunately, just as scientists benefit from the latest tools and technologies, so can marketers and PR pros with their social media marketing.

     Social “listening” is great, but social “conversation” analysis is better. These technologies not only monitor tweets, but also the content that tweets link to, so you get more relevant data. It’s the equivalent of “signature analysis” on conversations, looking at the context as well as the keywords, links and influence status of the information to determine whether or not a conversation is important to your brand or target audience. Also, it eliminates the noise coming from outside your marketplace.

     Let’s suppose your topic of interest is employee benefits. When you search this term using social “conversation” analysis software, like SocialEars HR Edition, you get a list of results, showing the journalists, analysts and social influencers actively taking part in the current conversation about the topic, and the related articles, blog posts, news stories, tweets, LinkedIn shares and Facebook updates directly related to the conversation.

     Looking closely at the results reveals a stunning finding: Of the 118 pieces of content sourced to the first 33 conversation participants returned in the search, none of the tweets, Facebook updates, articles or blog titles included “employee benefits.” Only the software’s ability to listen inside the content enables access to the full conversation.

     Now, 12 pieces of content did include the word “benefits.” One could do a search on “benefits” in social monitoring software – go ahead and try it and look at the results, some of which are for mature audiences only. Obviously, this would return huge amounts of irrelevant content. For example, there could be information on the benefits of nuclear power, of vitamins, of recycling, of quitting smoking, of horse manure.

And we don’t want horse manure results, do we?

     Social conversation analysis that analyzes the full context of conversations gives you the ability to join the conversations you want to take part in. For more on how to participate in these discussions, see Social Conversations: Don’t be a Blowhard, so you can maximize the results of your social efforts and accomplish your marketing and PR objectives.
     A new white paper by HRmarketer titled “Want People To Hear You? Then Listen” goes into more detail about Social Listening, Engagement and Conversation Analysis Software and how these technologies can help marketing and PR pros. Get it here.

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