July 7, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
The majority of conference and event organizers are not monitoring social media. Are you?
According to a 2011 Social Media & Events Report released by amaindo, more than 60% of event organizers do not use social media to listen, connect and collect data about their customers and potential customers.
Event organizers are overlooking a lot of unused, ripe, low-hanging fruit by not monitoring social media.
Few conference organizers spend the time to analyze the information that is already at their disposal. Many don’t realize that the scrutinizing the stats can help them find patterns and identify areas for improvement.
Existing data to explore include:
In addition to the data collected from demographics, registration and evaluations, social media provides one of the richest data sets available.
Why should event organizers monitor social media?
Is there a difference between monitoring and listening in social media?
Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights believes so. He says, “Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.”
He uses the following analogy for monitoring and listening.
Imagine a mysterious illness has struck your city. You are to find as many sick people as possible and treat them. (That’s monitoring.) You could go door to door checking each person for symptoms of the illness and treating them. (Again monitoring.)
Unfortunately, without knowing the root cause, you do not know how to prevent the sickness. A listening approach would study what caused the illness, how it spreads, what treatments work and how to prevent it.
In short, monitoring finds symptoms. Listening finds causes.
In social media, monitoring finds individual posts with keywords. It’s a scrape and dump process.
Effective social media listening analyzes the data and looks for patterns. It finds themes without keywords, so there’s no bias.
Good online monitoring tools automate the recording, analyzing, categorizing and visualizing of data. The tool creates an informative report tying all the data together and identifying the overarching patterns.
So what tools should conference organizers use? Beth Kanter provides a comprehensive list of tools for listening, monitoring, engagement and management.
Ultimately, whether you are monitoring or listening to social media, please remember: social media is also about building and maintaining relationships. Connecting and engaging are just as important.
Why do so few conference and event organizers monitor or listen to social media? What are some other reasons they should monitor and listen to social media?
Filed Under: Social Media
Thank for another great post, Jeff.
Beth Kanter’s list is great, but at the same time a little overwhelming. Just curious, what listening tools do you use on a regular basis?
We use a variety of listening tools regularly including Google Analytics, Google Alerts, WP-Stats, Facebook Insights, HootSuite, Ow.Ly Click Summary, PostRank, SocialMention, Yahoo Pipes and more. Many of these are actually integrated into our WordPress site with various Plugins so that we have one dashboard to view. Some of the social tools we use alert us via email or text when our names our used.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
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