Social media has become a valuable data source for businesses because it offers the unique perspective of customers’ unprompted and unmediated opinions, that are rarely found in market researchers’ more traditional sources.
The problem, of course, is that there is a huge amount of noise surrounding the good bits of information. Traditional platforms Facebook, Twitter, and so on are all built with the primary function of having as much as activity as possible, not as much sensible or useful activity as possible.
However, some people, such as this contributor to the Harvard Business Review, are pushing for social media sites that focus on engaging and informing readers and provoking thoughtful discussion.
Thoughtful Social Media
High quality social media platforms achieve this by working towards goals based on thoughtfulness and the value of ideas; things such as engagement time, repeat readers, and average finish, over more short-term metrics like page views. These high quality sites also differ in business model to promote a community that fosters quality inputs. Two examples are:
- Catchpool limits users to one post per day, which forces users to put a degree of thoughtfulness into posts and reduces clutter.
- Quibb requires users to apply to become part of the network. This exclusivity fosters a community that has made an effort to be part of the conversation which demonstrates its value.
An effective social media listening strategy starts by identifying the best content to monitor. Taking a blanket in a bid to be “comprehensive” captures too much noise that complicates later analysis.
Forward thinking market insights teams always take a more targeted approach to finding the channels that will help them achieve business goals. The market insights team at one large airline in CEB’s networks identifies the “meaningful few” sites by assessing quantitative traffic metrics and qualitative activity metrics to determine the high-traffic sites that will be most useful.