Social Listening with Synthesio

“It’s the Wild West out there!” Catriona’s description was evocative.

Welcome to a windblown landscape. Where people ride horses, rustle cattle and raise corn, they fight for survival against displaced natives…mm no. Actually it’s the Social Media listening landscape, where they ride conversations, rustle insights and raise ideas, and it’s just as tough to make it work.

Catriona Oldershaw from #Synthesio gave us a run down on how they keep their business alive in this dynamic and turbulent industry. Living off the earth was not far from her mind telling us that although you hear that “Data is the New Oil”, she prefers, “Data is the New Soil”.

We’re out there, listening diligently, to help you innovate and grow, she spoke quietly.

They must be losing some scalps though as when she started the evening session she mentioned they were recruiting for a number of roles and were always on the lookout for good people. Good people who can speak another language, to talk to those natives.

Their point of difference, how they had been thriving amongst the big boys like #Radian6 for the last seven years, is due to two main of factors.

  • Targeting BRIC nations to listen to, thereby attracting clients who want to expand in emerging markets
  • Offering “Whiter than White”

Whiter than White is their MO. They use mostly Boolean searches and adhere to the conspicuous values of Big Data; Volume, Veracity, Velocity, and Variety, all within strict parameters. They search for comments about your brand, your category and your competitors, only in public domains like forums and blogs. They do not listen to any personal pages like your own FB page (although they do monitor public FB pages and those private FB pages of their clients).

Catriona’s reasoning for this is a simple yet strong stance, your online reputation and your industry is living within Google and the public domain. Your online reputation is public.

It’s clean searching, and completely disengages from the rants we give when we miss our train due to an extra minute in the cashiers’ line, or lost a day’s holiday due to sudden weather changes.

Their pragmatic approach is to identify who is actively talking about you, and to give them an influence rating to find out the impact of what they’re saying (influence comes from the length of the thread for example). A practical person, Catriona gave plenty of examples (leave a comment or tweet me if you’d like to see them @samanthasile).

With clarity and solid points, this is one wagon travelling well;

  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money to innovate if you can listen effectively
  • Consider how you listen, listen to opinions, not rants, and have a plan, “What are you trying to understand better”.

You have set up a Google alert for yourself, haven’t you?

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