Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind

Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind

We’ve all heard horror stories about dad or mom trying to assemble something like a ten speed bike on Christmas Eve for the child and the frustration, mayhem and even unintentional comedy which resulted. The words “some assembly required”, are feared by most parents with good reason.

The “buyer’s high” feeling can quickly be replaced by frustration when things don’t go as planned initially. Take for example installing something such as a Windows operating system. You’ve got a lot of expectations and high hopes for what it can do, but first you have to install it and that can make assembling a kid’s bike on Christmas Eve seem like a walk in the park by comparison.

In fact, the installation experience was such a problem that years ago, Microsoft set out to improve the experience by (of all things) hiring an anthropologist to observe and monitor humans installing Windows. They wanted to know what worked and what didn’t and what the main pain points of the process were.

So, the anthropologist (Anne Kirah) and her team set up their duck blinds in homes where people were attempting to install the OS and watched what happened. This resulted in (arguably) a much better process for installing Microsoft operating systems and other products.

Microsoft realized that the important thing was to focus not on what their product could do (or was supposed to do), but what people were doing with it. As well, they didn’t make the smug assumption that people were stupid and just not doing it they way they were supposed to. They recognized something wasn’t working, formulated a plan to analyze it, observed and recorded data and then used that data to improve the product experience.

Of course, this work happened before social media and social networks such as Twitter came along. Now, you have a virtual duck blind right on your desktop with a panoramic world view of current and potential customers. Social media is an extremely powerful tool for improving the customer experience by monitoring the brand conversations taking place.

Social media is NOT just about distributing your marketing message. I frankly don’t think any digital media channel is solely about that. From email to Facebook, it’s as much about listening as it is about talking.

You may be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, but you can’t talk and listen effectively all at once. I believe a primary focus should be on using social to monitor the brand conversations going on and then using that information to optimize the customer experience at every level.

I certainly do encourage marketers to join the conversation and engage customers and critics alike. However, if you are just getting into social media and find the scene intimidating or even overwhelming, focus first on using social media to get an idea of what people are saying about you. Even if you happen to be fearless, the first thing you should do is find where people are talking about you and listen.

While you’re getting all that good feedback, you are learning how to use the software (such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or even Google alerts), figuring out the dos and don’ts and learning the lingo. So, even in the initial learning/introduction stage you are being productive.

Of course, to really leverage this information you have to have an internal corporate structure that encourages information dissemination. If you don’t, then you’ll have to tear down the silos and open the bottle necks if you hope to get something out of social media.

So, get out there and set up that virtual duck blind and start listening to the conversation! If you’re able to gather helpful information from social media and distribute it within your organization, that’s going to go a long way in demonstrating its value and gaining supporters.

Read J-P De Clerk’s excellent post about social media monitoring and where to start!

Join us on June 10th in Antwerp, Belgium, for the Content Marketing Conference Europe. With confirmed speakers such as Jay Baer, Lee Odden, Mike Corak, Doug Kessler, Kelly Hungerford, Dado Van Peteghem, Tristan Lavender, Guido Everaert, Tom De Baere and Xaviera Ringeling (more to be announced), we'll take you across a learning experience leading to tangible insights and actionable inspiration, moderated by media expert Jo Caudron!


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  • http://twitter.com/b2bmarketingz/status/67890758107140096 Tony Karrer

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://bit.ly/iuMCfe

  • http://twitter.com/socialmediainf/status/67892818269577216 Tony Karrer

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://bit.ly/j2pLdB http://bit.ly/aDy0Yz

  • http://twitter.com/alexelatech/status/67903146894168064 Alexela Technologies

    Must read… Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind – Social Marketing … http://bit.ly/jEzkkD #socialmedia #smm

  • http://twitter.com/lhudgens/status/67918071175716865 Lisa Hudgens
  • http://twitter.com/hugeheadca/status/67921386320035841 Jim Ducharme

    @thebrandbuilder Here's that post I mentioned yesterday Olivier: http://bit.ly/kIEoiS Love to hear your thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/frank_tenorio/status/67951447907631104 Frank Tenorio

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind – Social Marketing …: Social media is NOT just about distribut… http://bit.ly/lMin40

  • http://twitter.com/thebrandbuilder/status/67955009299550209 Olivier Blanchard

    Clever post from @hugeheadca: Social media as a virtual duck blind? http://bit.ly/kIEoiS

  • http://twitter.com/hugeheadca/status/67955666383409152 Jim Ducharme

    Praise from Cesar! TY RT @thebrandbuilder: Clever post from @hugeheadca: Social media as a virtual duck blind? http://bit.ly/kIEoiS

  • http://twitter.com/rachellevi/status/67956232136294400 Rachel Levi

    nice read RT @thebrandbuilder Clever post from @hugeheadca: Social media as a virtual duck blind? http://bit.ly/kIEoiS

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree Jim. It’s all about listening first and understanding what others have to say. A lot of times, people just want to share what their doing or links from the company but never think about what others maybe interested in.

    • Jim Ducharme

      Hi Ismael,

      And to know what others are doing or thinking you have to shut up and listen. Funny how that is something which we have to keep being reminded of eh?:)

      Regards,

      jim

  • http://twitter.com/sennamedia/status/67974312384139264 Senna Media

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind – http://t.co/579twWW

  • http://twitter.com/uwehook/status/67981592596971520 Uwe Hook

    Social Media Monitoring: The virtual duck blind http://is.gd/wLA7ok Good read

  • http://twitter.com/smdaybe/status/68012459763576832 smdaybe

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://ow.ly/4RoNv

  • http://twitter.com/hugeheadca/status/68036528164716544 Jim Ducharme

    Just in case you missed my latest earlier: Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://bit.ly/kIEoiS

  • http://twitter.com/conversionation/status/68042096417841153 J-P De Clerck

    RT @smdaybe: Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://ow.ly/4RoNv

  • http://twitter.com/brandchatsfr/status/68045666936561665 Brandchats

    RT @conversionation RT @smdaybe: Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://ow.ly/4RoNv

  • http://twitter.com/gijsmoonen/status/68047772435226624 gijsmoonen

    RT @smdaybe: Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://ow.ly/4RoNv

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  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/69142451176210432 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://goo.gl/uNMcB #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/81784533380382720 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/ebVECmV #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/86332021135261696 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/ebVECmV #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/107181653293678592 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/iXdMrUF

  • http://twitter.com/q974/status/107198947080142848 Qatar 974

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/iXdMrUF

  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/130267978662019072 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/O1CxC6aN

  • http://twitter.com/netizency/status/178216017997209600 Netizency

    Social Media Monitoring: The Virtual Duck Blind http://t.co/O1CxC6aN