As Marvin Gaye once sang, “I heard it through the grapevine” but it takes a lot more analysis and effort to go beyond the rumour, gossip and scuttlebutt.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this. After all (and we said recently in another blog post) it’s the “social” part of social media that counts. Many (most) of the channels, the platforms, were created to allow individuals to comment freely about whatever took their fancy. They still do.
It’s us corporate ring-ins that appropriated the channels for grown-up corporate stuff. Then we realised two things: there are nuggets of corporate gold waiting to be found amongst all the gossip, and it’s hard work to find and make sense of.
That’s where the analysis and the big data come in. The big data pulls together the raw material and starts to contextualize it. The analysis makes sense of it all.
By capturing, mapping and analysing the thousands of conversations taking place on the social web, to criteria you define for your own good reasons, you can discover the identities of those talking sense about topics you care about.
And you can discover (and you should be seeking out) more than just what’s being said: you can now discern the reasons behind the comments.
Map these to your existing database and you can essentially split the raw data into three camps: people you know, people you should know but don’t, and people you don’t know and want to.
Finally, create criteria that define a potential sales lead, and you can create trigger-based leads that you can act on.
As you can see, a lot more than mention, a lot more than listening.