First, the good news. Brands are starting to ‘listen’ to what people are saying. There are great listening and social media management platforms available, such as Spredfast (plug disclosure…I’m an advisor). However, it’s typically a few people inside the company that are paying attention to user generated content. There’s still a long way to go to make this listening penetrate the depths of an organization to achieve what I call “Customer Oxygen”.
Then, there’s the analytics. There are a lot of ways to analyze the data of what people are saying. Many solutions are out there. The gap here is in making the analysis actionable and operational.
But then, once the listening and analysis is going, brands have the biggest challenge with content. What do they say? How do they say it? They have difficulty finding their ‘social voice’, and figuring out what to say where.
This is the big content gap.
There are two ways to solve this, not mutually exlusive. First, they can improve their own voice through training and making social interaction with customers part of more people’s job. But second, and more importantly, they can be facilitators of the voice of customers that are already occurring.
People are already out there talking about topics, brands, and people at an exponentially increasing rate. There is far more user generated content by the mass of minority than can be consumed by the mass majority. Yet, there is a high degree of interest to read social and user generated content as long as it’s relevant.
Let’s face it, we value the unbiased, relevant, and raw voice of our fellow ‘man’. So the question is how to aggregate, curate and display those voices in the right places and right context to engage customers. The content from others fills the big content gap, both in cost of creation and in credible relevance, to attract new customers.