Does it really matter? What can you do?
They are talking about you. Even as you present the last month’s sales numbers, they are whispering about how the next month or quarter is not likely to be as good.
Even as you immerse yourself in planning distribution logistics for an imminent product launch, you fail to notice the storm brewing over a competitive product failure. Guess what? You did not realize that this will call into question the credibility of the entire product category.
They are the ones who queue up for hours to buy an iPOD or watch the “1st day, 1st show” of a much anticipated movie. Even before your formal marketing was being put in place, they were whipping themselves into a frenzy; talking about it, anticipating the pleasure.
“They” are as likely to be your customers as competition. As likely to be positive or negative.
What should you do?
Should you participate? In how many places can you be at the same time? How many intelligent conversations can you sustain at the same time?
Can you “control and concentrate” the conversation? Host your own blog, have your own twitter account. Hoping to “stay on the topic”, you end up with shutting out the vast big blogosphere where perhaps more insightful comments are being passed at the very moment.
I am quite excited at the launch of a couple of companies in this space; one of them is “pure” Indian, incubated in IIM-A and is doing pretty exciting stuff in the social analytics space. This is Beevolve.com. To understand what they do, go to their blog.
The other company is Buzzgain; based in US. Including at least one of the founders, the rest of the team is Indian. They have a much wider product and services portfolio.
The importance of these startups is that they enable SMBs to at least dip their toes into Social Media monitoring and take action basis the insights gained. Unlike the big corporates with huge budgets for marketing and PR and analytics, the SMBs do not have either the money or the manpower to focus on social media monitoring and analytics.