The Forward Observer > Marketing For The Front Line of Sales

How B2B Marketers Can Profit From Social Media Monitoring

Written by Douglas Burdett | Jun 16, 2012 4:07:00 PM

By monitoring social media, B2B companies can generate leads, keep tabs on their competition, get product feedback and better engage with advocates (and detractors).

By monitoring social media, B2B companies can generate leads, keep tabs on their competition, get product feedback and better engage with advocates (and detractors).

Have you ever heard the bromide that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason?

That’s the principle behind social media monitoring, the process of filtering out the millions of post, tweets and status updates for the ones that matter to your business. .

Surprisingly, nearly half of all B2B businesses are blind to the threats and opportunities that monitoring can provide, according to a report by Satmetrix:

  • Fifty one percent of B2B companies have no social media tracking in place at all.
  • Almost 70% percent of B2B companies ignore customers who provide feedback via social media – by having no process in place to respond

So why have B2B companies been slow to monitor social media given the valuable information that it can provide? Since the science and technology of social media monitoring is still relatively new, many companies may not be aware of how it can be marshalled to help.

Here's how B2B companies can put social media monitoring to best use as outlined in a primer from Radian6:

Gauge the Health of Your Brand - On social media, people's opinions can be brutally honest. Can you handle the truth? If your product or service is being praised, believe it. If not, fix it.

Flag Customer-Service Opportunities - When someone complains on social media, everyone can know about it. By responding quickly and resolving the issue, your customers can become even more loyal. And then they will tell everyone.

Handle Your Next Crisis - When a crisis occurs, monitoring social media allows your company to respond immediately. This can actually improve your reputation in the midst of a crisis.

Generate Leads - By monitoring what your customers are saying or explicitly asking in social media, you can discover opportunities to help by offering information or expertise, just when they need it.

Keep Tabs on the Competition - There's a surprising amount of chatter going on about your competition on B2B social media. People are talking about what your competitors are doing. And not doing. Plus, even your competition is sending signals via social media about what they are planning.

Collect Product Feedback - Social media supplies voluntary feedback and product reviews without the toil and cost of focus groups. Understanding what people love and hate about your product can help you figure out how to better satisfy customers and prospects.

Track Industry Trends - With social media monitoring, you can learn valuable information about emerging trends, crises, or issues of interest to your community and prospects.

Identify Influential Advocates (and Detractors) - Possibly the biggest benefit of monitoring social media is fostering strong connections with those who are your most ardent supporters. Similarly, you can find your company's critics, hear what they are saying, and respond appropriately.

Click here to download "The Guide to Social Media Monitoring" or view the presentation below.

 photo credit: A. Strakey via photo pin cc