Nearly every social strategist or professional will tell you that social success starts with listening.
Monitoring online buzz can generate a wealth of information.
However, does online buzz represent broader non-digital real world sentiment?
- Are social content creators and participants an indicative representation of the world at large?
- Do digital sentiments reflect real world actions, like purchase, pass along, coffee shop and water cooler talk?
When hundreds of moms jump on the anti-motrin pile-on on twitter, do these actions represent anything larger than twitter and the resulting echo is blogs?
While it is true that digital monitoring provides amazing insights, how far do these insights go? Are we measuring a sample, an entire ecosystem, or a market as a whole?
And when we counsel brands as to how they use social media and social media intelligence, how much do we rely on the intel at hand - digital conversations? Is there a conversion metric for the pile-on effect of mini-movements versus major issues in the market at large?
Outside of Keller Fay diaries and surveys, can we draw a corrolation between digital and analog buzz?
How do/should we taper our digital social insights when it comes to multi-platform, multi-channel REAL marketing? And in the absence of this insight, are we scaring away brands by providing information without context?
Without this insight and understanding, I can't help but wonder how social consultants bring real 360 value to the table. Sure, one can advise one social engagement, but without a broader perspective, how do we know the best course of action, or engagement?
Without this insight, can we validate social monitoring and participation as part of a broader communcations plan? Can we free social marketing from her silo without understanding her role in the greater practice that is marketing?
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