Social trackers: Don’t lose track of your audience

Customers are nowadays active in a hyperconnected online environment, where new events – triggers, opinions, information – emerge in a continuous 24/7 loop.

At any given moment, customers can switch between being an ambassador to being a less loyal and unhappy customer.

That’s why it is important to focus on social tracking! Why? Because in this way, you’ll be capable to monitor and correct the emotional status of your customers at any moment of contact.

Listen to your social media!

Social trackers, like Hootsuite and Coosto, search social media for messages with mentions of your brand, product or any entered term related to your business. These tools are able to crawl huge amounts of content, often millions of messages, per second.

Every time a match is found the social tracker will display this information in your social dashboard. The relevant post or mention will be kept as long as it is relevant to your interests. You will be made aware of the latest comments on your products in real time and be able to intervene where it’s necessary.

Social trackers in practice

If you don’t know what’s being told about your products, you’re conducting your business blindly. The following case from a mayor flour producer clearly illustrates this.

The flour supplier was forced to raise prices for bakers. The communication about this price increase happened via an impersonal and rather formal letter in the middle of the holiday period.

Contractual everything was alright, but some of the bakers were very displeased. This led to a revolt that made it necessary for the flour supplier to call-up sales people and start visiting clients to explain and when needed crawl back on the initially announced price increase.

Depending on the severity of the reaction, the flour supplier started shifting down prices on an individual base but within a system of brackets that depended on the commercial importance of the baker and the estimated risk of the baker taking his business elsewhere.

After two weeks sales reps reported that the brackets were not sufficient to keep clients on board and that they had the impression that some bakers knew exactly what the brackets were and acted as if they also received a copy of the crawl-back document that was considered as highly confidential.

One sales rep had an uncle that was a baker and during a family dinner the uncle spoke about a public Facebook group that was operated by some smart bakers and that gave input on the level of crawl back that was allowed, the conditions that were requested to turn back price increases and the level of negotiation that was possible. Soon the Facebook group also started giving tips about how to conduct negotiations. And first mentions of competitive offerings started to appear.

This lead the flour producer to end up in a negative price spiral getting completely out of control.

The first reaction the flour supplier was that this was unfair and the first action was to find out if they could not sue the Facebook group or Facebook.

After a short call with the lawyers and a crisis meeting with our team the flour producer saw reason and understood that they would need to sit this through.

We reviewed the commercial proposition in such a way that damage could be limited and after a couple of days positive messages started to appear on Facebook.

The flour producer immediately agreed on developing a social digital strategy and on starting to use a social tracker.

Impact on your customers

Customers experience the advantages of what social tracking has to offer. We see the expectation that questions, demands and comments on social media automatically and rapidly result in personalised feedback, answers and corrective actions.

That’s why companies, like Amazon & Bol.com and Telenet, put a lot of effort into social listening and social/digital customer care by allocating the necessary resources and operating the right technology.

Send us a message to talk about social tracking for your business, read our book to find out more about CPI’s ways of reasoning or contact the author to ask him everything about disruptive selling.

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