Why companies should not invest in online monitoring

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“If the news is that important, it will find me.” source This one of the most famous quotes in the last few years. We do not only expect that news will find us, but also if we have a complaint about a product or service, we expect the manufacturer or the provider to find us […]

“If the news is that important, it will find me.”

source

This one of the most famous quotes in the last few years. We do not only expect that news will find us, but also if we have a complaint about a product or service, we expect the manufacturer or the provider to find us and to solve our issues. And since the web is indexable and searchable most companies want respond to complaints before they spread and end up in the top results of Google.

To make sure such companies can tap into the complaint / conversation that is going on about their products and services, they choose monitoring tools as a solution. Such software monitors the Web on certain topics and keywords providing some reporting and alerting so the company at least can pretend that they really listen to the conversation.

Since that is the only thing web monitoring tools do: they help companies to pretend they are listening. If companies really cared about what was going on, they would have invested in such a social infrastructure that complaints / news about their products and services would come to them in no time. So therefore monitoring tools are a poor man’s solution to engage with your audience.

Finding your audience online and engaging with them will take time and will probably require some budget. However, when you are in touch with your audience and y0ur audience can find you and you have created a group of loyal people (brand ambassadors / evangelists) around your online presence, you won’t need monitoring tools to discover complaints. You will either notice the complaint since it popups in your network, or the brand ambassadors will see it and solve it for you.

If advertising is the price companies pay for being un-original, web monitoring is the price companies pay for not engaging.

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Rick Mans is a social media evangelist within Capgemini. You can follow and connect with him via Twitter or his personal blog

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