Use social media to analyze trends and customer issues

One of the great benefits to social media is getting your name and product out there, but if you use it correctly you can also capture data that could help your business.  Unlike strict feedback measures like surveys or comment cards, social media will be a much less focused way to capture client feedback so you’ll need to throw a little more effort behind it.

One important thing to do is to make sure you regularly monitor what people are saying.  Are they making suggestions for you on Facebook, admonishing you on Yelp and praising you on Angie’s List?  Tools are only as good as the people using them, so you should have an action plan in place.

Have a designated person or people whose job it is to follow your presence on social media.  Have them capture this information regularly in spreadsheets or lists for suggestions, compliments and complaints.  As much as possible have somebody available to research and respond to complaints because on the internet, other people are watching.  Time is of the essence here.

Analyze the data.  Are there any trends?  Do a lot of people have a similar issue or suggestion?  If so, there could be something actionable for you there that will boost credibility as business.  Also, if a lot of praise is forthcoming for a product or service think about how you can leverage that into new products and services.  The same is true of employees.  Does somebody on your team deserve some recognition?

Another thing to keep in mind when reviewing this feedback is to qualify the source.  Is the commenter reputable, does the issue sound like a real one or one born out of frustration, and is the vehicle one that is widely used and credible?  These things can factor into any action you may or may not want to take.

The important thing to remember is that the information is available to act upon quickly and ignoring what’s out there may be a missed opportunity for your business.

By- Donald MacMelville

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