Vision Critical made a splash today with its Vision Critical Surveys App for HootSuite. This App marks the further extension of social media into the world of customer intelligence. Companies and individuals alike are maneuvering through social media learning how best to leverage this relatively new yet hugely powerful communications tool. To date the focus around social media has been on listening, trying to find the signals from the noise, or the needle of an insight in the social haystack that is the Social Web. There are some amazing tools being created to make sense of this data. But like everything else, there is room for improvement.
Everyone is talking about Social Listening, but really are we only just "hearing". Hearing is easy, sit back, kick up your shoes and just let others fill your ear drums. However, as any happily married person will tell you. Listening takes so much more. To really understand someone, you need to probe, ask questions, and seek out clarifications. In other words, you need to use what communications experts call "Active Listening".
The modern organization is already listening to any and all messages coming from their social networks, some have even gone as far as building Social Media Command Centers. The current mechanisms for Social Media Monitoring are the embodiment of passive listening where the myriad of messages and noise from social media is aggregated for easier consumption into themes and trends as they emerge and develop. These may be trends about their company, the brands/products, industry news, senior management, company financial results, promotion, negative feedback and much more. This passive listening tool has provided companies with a new and unique way to listen to the market in a timely fashion - in fact, at lightning speed.
Active listening can be categorized as listening but with more involvement from the "listener" - in this case the company. Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others. To truly listen to the market, you need to ask questions. Questions that go deeper into an issue. Questions that clarify. Questions that go into an adjacent area. Questions on possible solutions. Questions to understand attitudes, opinions and behaviors.
One of the many things that we love about HootSuite, is that they also believe that social media is about more than just listening, their suite of engagement tools allow organization to follow up and probe on every individual social media request, comment or complaint. This allows companies to deliver on their brand promises, and ensure their customers are heard.
The Vision Critical Surveys App for HootSuite, just takes this to the next level, by easily creating new ways for customer to give feedback, and participate in brands decisions. It creates an avenue for those customers that might be a bit shier to share their thoughts, without having to shout amongst their social peers. So we hope that you give our App a try, there is free version for all HootSuite Users, and join us on this ride as we figure out the Social Media WorldÛ_