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A Christmas card before Thanksgiving? 3 Social Listening Questions to think through #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz


OK, I love my holidays!   All of them and we celebrate and decorate for all of them at my house.   My kids love the energy and excitement and learning about each.

But this weekend, I received my first Christmas card.   While I LOVE getting Christmas cards, this one came before Thanksgiving.   A bit out of order for my tastes!  By the way,  my friend isn’t the only one out of order!   Every store I have been in is already playing Christmas music!

Social Listening before Social Action!

Well, in social, many companies do the same  as my friend did —  Go out of order — they develop a strategy to “place” information into the blogosphere before they listen      In any relationship, listening should proceed talking!    So that are the best listen first.  

Leading organizations are using social business technology to positively disrupt their industries and create competitive advantage and they begin by understanding the thoughts that their clients, employees, and influencers say about them. Organizations are now moving from “liking” – simply using social technology for basic communication, to leading – where they are applying social listening tools and culture to fundamentally change their core business processes, leading to positive disruption within their organizations and their industries.   These organizations know that listening is a key first step!

Why Social Listening is so important

We all see that there is an unprecedented amount of data being gathered at every meaningful touchpoint about each customer. The best brands among us are very strategic about which touchpoints get instrumented, and what kind of data emerges as the result—not just from the touchpoints under the marketing function’s control, but all touchpoints the company has.

Question to ask: what is our instrumentation strategy on social listening?

 The most skilled companies are combining social data, other Web-based data and transaction data—and running precise analytics over them to gain new kinds of insights. In this world, the path to success is largely dependent on having comprehensive access to the data you need to formulate these insights, and strategies to discern the veracity of that data.

Question to ask: what is our strategy for attracting data? 

Armed with that strategy, we will be able to see a time when our understanding becomes predictive. What is the customer’s next likely move—so we can appropriately pair our response with the next best offer, next best action, next need.

Question to ask: how predictive must our insights about customers be to succeed in our competitive market?

I believe that these 3 questions are crucial to execute a successful Social strategy!  They begin with understanding through listening.  Doing things in the right order!


  1. Lori Nauth-Misir

    November 20, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Talk about a timely article! I was just wondering about one of Canada’s main Airlines: WestJet and what BigData analytic and intelligence tools they use for their ‘Social Listening’ because they are a very responsive company. I should ask them… and I may just reference this article if you don’t mind?

  2. I’ve been having a few discussions around this topic lately. Of note, was one where a company has been doing push style marketing through Facebook and using “likes” as a measurement of success. They were struggling to see a return for their efforts.

    When I looked at the profiles of the people who had “liked” their page, I found a goldmine of insights and also quickly identified people who could be influential. Engagement is far more than getting people to comment on your posts, it’s about interacting with them and joining their conversations in a helpful way.

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