"The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to managing success." - James Cash Penny
In the world of Web 2.0, engaging with your brand’s followers and having a two-way communication is essential. Thus, considerably more professional entities and organizations have a presence on popular online social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. By investing in online storytelling, interactive contests among fans, or merely functioning as online customer service, organizations strive for leading a real-time conversation with their audiences. But what’s more important is actually listening to what the publics have to say, as it’s crucial not only for ROI and sales, but it also affects brand identity in general.
In order to give social listening a life example, let’s look at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Georgia Chapter’s annual one-day collegiate conference the Real World PR that was hosted February 21, 2014. Hundreds of professionals from Atlanta’s largest corporations, communication agencies, and non-profit organizations participated in the event to provide students with educational workshops, career fair, networking, and resume critique sessions from the real world PR. To understand and evaluate the attendees’ feelings and attitudes towards the Real World PR 2014, the Twitter conversation using the hashtag #RW2014 was analyzed. Here is what was found:
Interpreting the results, the hashtag #RW2014 was mentioned 496 times (excluding Retweets) during the day of the event. The majority of mentions (66%) was favorable posts indicating contentment for useful information and advice from the conference speakers. Attendees used expressive adjectives, such as excited, happy, grateful, etc. Nearly 20% of the posts included a picture that was either uploaded directly from the phone, or shared through Instagram. Most of the photographs contained snapshots of keynotes shown at the conference or of main panelists during their discussions. Also, a sizable portion of mentions is considered neutral, acknowledging the fact of being ready to participate in the event and not showing any particular emotion. According to the data, only a few posts were considered negative. This signifies of an overall positive and favorable attitude towards the annual conference of PRSA Georgia.
So what could be done to take the Real World PR 2015 up a notch?
There’s always room for improvement, and a great way to do so is by adding more visual content to conference sessions. By analyzing 94 pictures uploaded to Twitter using the hashtag #RW2014, the majority of photos contained keynote session slides. Thus, by including more visual support in the working sessions, this would multiply the enthusiasm and eagerness of the students to share photos on Twitter. However, the best way to improve the experience of the Real World PR is by increasing interactivity. For instance, a photo contest for the best conference promotion would add more positive and game-like experience among the attendees. Also, a yearly PRSA Georgia membership would be an encouraging prize for a winner.
“Listening is active. It usually requires you to do something as a result of what you’ve heard: spotting issues early, righting wrongs, surprising and delighting customers, marketing in real time, and gathering insight and intelligence to help you develop better products,” says Tamara Littleton, CEO of social media management agency eModeration. Thus, this executive summary of the PRSA Georgia's Real World 2014 would be essentially helpful for the team of organizers. It would help increase the interactivity and positivity among the audience and reduce the negativity and neutrality for the product of the Real World PR 2015.