Why Your Event Needs To Increase Its Social Media Monitoring

We've picked something up on radar!

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.

Missing The Boat…And Opportunities

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:

  • Repeat attendance (every year and every other year)
  • Regions with the most attendees
  • Number of attendees from each company
  • Audience segmentation
  • What type of attendee is missing?
  • And much more

Why Monitor Social Media

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?

  1. To find new prospects that want to experience your conference.
  2. To understand if the language you are using in your event marketing materials is the same language being used by those you want to attract.
  3. To harness the creativity, influence, input and insights of those online.
  4. To find potential entertainment and speakers that are active in social media and understand today’s social tools.
  5. To observe your competition, their offerings and their online presence.
  6. To identify trends through the lens of the online masses and determine if you are behind, ahead or riding the wave.
  7. To provide customer service to those venting frustration, concerns and questions in social media.

Monitor And Listen

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.

Social Media More Than Listening Or Monitoring

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?

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  1. 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?

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      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!

  2. […] an “in” into the cross-section between the meeting industry and its continued integration with social media and technology.  They have a no-nonsense knack for tapping into the industries zeitgeist—if […]

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