Daily Archives: December 8, 2010

How do you measure a hunch?

imageThere  are loads of social media monitoring tools out there on the market that claim to give you deep insight to your customers and how they feel about you and your market offering.  They drill deep into social media platforms and search for keywords to measure sentiment and emotion.  They range from £30 per month to £3000 per month (when associate with a brand agency).  But are thy accurate in gauging the real feeling of your audience.

I’m convinced that the only real way you can find out what they’re thinking is to actually talk to them and I’m not sure that these tools can ever replace the feeling you get when you’re face to face in front of your customers.


Darrell at Advertising age has a couple of great examples where these tools can get things wrong…

Here’s one it thought was "negative" about the ubiquitous coffee chain: "im tired of this cheap coffee crap. need starbucks!"

And one it thought was positive: "Pumpkin chai. Mmm. Very good. Not from Starbucks. From Argo Tea."

That’s where you need to have the personal relationship with your customers.  Surveys and sentiment don’t really connect t with the people that you want to.  i received a survey the other day from a large storage company asking me about my perceptions about the company.  i know them well.  They provide SAN solutions.  I have no idea what else they do, apart from SAN solutions. So asking me to comment on their other brand offerings was a waste of time.  And my answers, like many others I suspect, might skew their results about what folks think of them.  They do storage not cloud in my opinion!

so I think that the main point of this is that no matter how sophisticated your monitoring solution is, or how much it costs, or how good the dashboard is, it can never replace the human hunch

You need a team of people to monitor your social media traffic and conversations, and their hunches and insight will tell you how folks are feeling about you.

Sure, you’ll get the hard metrics your CFO needs, but you need to manually analyse the comments themselves to make sure you’re on the right lines with sentiment. 

It’s the human touch that buys your products and talks about them.  Make sure that the human touch analyses what your customers are saying too – and provides the extra insight that a computer can never do…

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