In the era in which everyone speaks, companies must listen

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For organizations in crisis situations, just listening is not enough. It is necessary to “hyper listening”.

Social networks and digital media in general gave voice to society, organizations, the citizen, the individual. With that voice, they opened to the world the possibility of expressing themselves almost without limitations. In that environment where everyone speaks and everyone has an opinion, listening – especially by organizations – is often relegated or completely ignored.

And it is true that there are so many people talking as listening on social networks, but that is precisely what allows, for example, isolated customer service problems to become viral hits overnight. For organizations, however, and especially if they go through crisis situations, just listening is not enough. It is necessary to “hyper listening”.

Information on social networks is not only composed of data, there are expressions, emotions and perceptions in them. In Mexico, for example, data from the latest study on the Habits of Internet Users mention that the main activity of Internet users during 2017 was to access social networks, since Facebook has the highest incidence with 98%, followed by WhatsApp with 91%, and that, on average, each user has five social networks (Twitter continues to decline with fourth place with 49%).

In that sense, brands must be on constant alert and have a data driven radar; That is the new requirement of crisis management. The monitoring tasks must apply this radar, which must be finely perfected to “hyper listening”; that is, to detect relevant information in the obvious and the imperceptible. In addition, it must be accompanied by analytical skills to convert social data into insights.

The above, because consumers use social networks and digital media to express themselves not only on a personal level in relation to brands, but together they may have the ability to massify feelings for brands and in this scenario.

Organizations should monitor social networks using technological tools to process all the information obtained and to classify the mentions made of the brand. Traditional monitoring should now “hyper listening” and this should be a permanent work in organizations.

Facing a crisis

In the pre-crisis, the monitoring spectrum must be extended to social networks to complement existing traditional media monitoring reports. The reports must include analysis of the discussions, images or graphics, and a record of the most relevant hits of the different social media (social networks, blogs, forums, micromedia, multimedia, etc.).

In the event that a crisis strikes, the frequency of monitoring and, therefore, of the reports must be increased, in order not to lose sight of information of interest, amid the vertiginous nature in which the networks move. At this point, the response recommendations, based on the analysis of the information collected, are of great value and utility.

The “hyper listening” should not stop once the crisis is over. Post-crisis exercise is important, rather than the possibility of detecting late attacks, because it allows evaluating the results of crisis management.

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