The biggest benefit to monitoring online reputation and sentiment

Standard Bank did a detailed presentation around their listening strategies online. The presentation was very interesting and went into detail about crunching the stats in such a way to get valuable, workable results. Now for a few of the key points:

[box type=”info” border=”full”]Since this article I have been able to inteview Standard Bank about their approach to social media. Click here to see the interview[/box]

Tailoring your offering on different social media platforms

This was spoken about in the previous article but it deserves being repeated. Different networks have different environments. Standard Bank has spent time listening to their audience and have found that their Facebook Fans love competitions, fun and social activity whereas their Twitter community is demanding responses and conversation around customer service.

Have a focus and purpose

The next point made in the presentation was to have a purpose when engaging your audience. The point is simple, when you don’t have a focus the temptation is to answer everyone. This leads to picking the wrong fights and losing out in the long run. In addition, a clear focus will help you to effectively achieve the right results in your customer engagements.

Corporate legalism hinders transparency

This is a tough challenge with any big business. Due to consumer protection acts and laws that govern how company’s interact with the public. In the same way that social media has not changed consumers it has not changed the company either. This means that mud-slinging fights between consumers and companies are usually lost by the company. So do everything possible to avoid a mud-slinging fight in social media circles.

6 thoughts on “The biggest benefit to monitoring online reputation and sentiment

  1. Kevin Power

    I would be interested to know what tools Standard Bank are using to listen (Nielsen Buzz, Radian 6 etc) – although based on your article it does not sound very sophisticated and is merely a community manager on facebook who is asking a few questions on the wall or using polls or the new question tool to get some info. True lisitening is just that (an ear to the ground, eaves dropping on millions of conversations) as opposed to asking fans what they think.

    I think one needs to distinguish between monitoring sentiment through rigorous listening v engaging in 1-2-1 problem solving between brand and consumer. The former requires Brands to tap into what is being said about them, aggregated and scored across millions of conversations and platforms. Brands need to track share of buzz and importantly share of influence and sentiment – although there are no effective tools to really automate sentiment yet. Armed with these insights from conversation data a brand can start to be far more effective in their overall comms strategy. I am not sure any brands in South Africa are doing this effectively yet.

    The latter (engaging on Twitter and facebook) with consumers to overt an issue or solve a consumer query is quite different and should be governed by rules of engagement and community management policy.



    1. Mike Saunders Post author

      Hi Kevin

      As far as I know (and I am piecing a bunch of fragmented information – IE Rumors) Standard Bank outsourcing the listening to an agency who uses Radient 6.

      In the presentation, she went into detail about how they analyse the data and measure sentiment across multiple platforms. It seems they may be doing what you are suggesting.

      Let me touch base with the presenter and see if she can comment about this. Nothing like getting the answer straight from the source rather than speculating.

      Hopefully we get an answer.

      Thanks for your comment. It has added some great additional info to the conversation started. Cheers.

    2. Leilah van der Schyff

      I couldn’t agree more with you. I use Radian6 on a daily basis for my clients, and it is a whole different ball game than just using 1-2-1 platforms. True listening is going behind the scenes and jumping in the conversation that is taking place about you, not only with you.

  2. Bellinda Carreira


    Thanks for your comments. Mike is spot on… We use Radian 6 as our listening tool. It helps us understand sentiment and who is influencing conversations. We find this useful for tracking and reporting to understand how social media impacts our overall brand reputation as well as how we are tracking on service delivery issues.

    My talk at #SMWF showed how and what we track as well as how we then analyse this data so it makes sense to our business and can provide meaningful insights. I believe this is key, as data without analysis is trivia.

    I agree with you in that how the various tools track of sentiment is not standard and they can give different readings depending on which you use. My point is that we need to work with what we have and pick a version of the truth that you measure yourself against and try and ‘teach’ the tool to be more accurate about your brand sentiment over time.

    You are right, being involved in social media is many faceted and has many benefits and risks for a company’s reputation management and marketing and communications activities. In my talk, I also spoke about engagement and what we’ve learned on our 2-year journey and shared two case studies that helped us learn a lot.

    How effective we are remains subjective as the expectations of our communities (and of ourselves) change daily.

    But, we know that it remains a learning process and that we still have a lot of learning ahead of us.

    Thanks for engaging on this topic!


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