Iowa’s Unknown Voters

Eyes On Iowa   You can measure social media, but can you take it anywhere? Presidential campaigns have their first contact with actual voters Monday night in Iowa, and we might get our first real clues what’s going to work in the 2016 election, the first campaign expected to top a billion dollars in digital media spending. Print media used to alternate two election day headlines, “It’s Up To The Voters” rotating with “Turnout Is Key.” Covering social media in the buildup to Iowa is more all over the place. Many metrics are known, but how they win results if at all really is still up to voter turnout, and for whom. The leading candidates in both parties are pursuing very different social media campaigns. Incredibly Loud & Not Even Close? CNET labeled Donald Trump an “anti social media god” after his recent Iowa debate withdrawal. He dominated social media during and after the debate, and the night brought him 31,000 new Twitter and 17,000 new Facebook followers. But a study going from last March into January shows Trump may have not gained a lot from his numbers: “we were able to not only measure a campaign website’s number of shares through social media, but also see the top retweeted tweets that were authored by the campaign. On these metrics, Donald Trump was abysmal. Although his website was shared more than 61,000 times, Cruz’s website was shared more than 580,000 times.”                                         – Lara M. Brown,  Associate Professor, George Washington University Democrats...

Social Media Monitoring as a Call to Action

~First of a two part series on social media monitoring.~ Remember the Verizon commercials where the test employee roamed around asking, “Can you hear me now?” And the more times he asked the question, the more we hoped someone, anyone, was listening. Businesses are listening. According to a study conducted by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, on the adoption and use of social media in the 500 fastest growing U.S. companies, 68% of companies are monitoring brand mentions and levels of social media engagement. When companies listen to the conversations about their brand via social media monitoring tools they can discover invaluable information including: feedback and comments on your product, comments on competitor’s products, new uses for existing products, opportunities for product offerings, new industry opportunities, potential new product features product pain points, how customers are using your product, points of difference about your product With more and more free and paid social media monitoring and engagement tools coming onto the scene every day, we may wonder what businesses are doing with all the data they get from listening and whether they’re hearing their customers loud and clear. As Forrester’s Zach Hofer-Shall asks, “Why do companies ‘listen’ to social media?” He says they listen to learn and improve various aspects of their business: “Marketers use social listening to improve their campaigns and build customer relationships; customer support teams listen so they can fix problems; PR teams listen to put out fires before they spread; researchers listen to drive innovation.” Zach Hofer-Shall says that when it gets right down to it, listening isn’t really a social...