We Notice What We Choose To Notice

Image via Wikipedia

Social media listening can sometimes be very easy. If you make a decision to go out and look for something in your data, you’ll always get a result, and it will either be expected, surprising, or sometimes even insightful.

Should your social media listening or analysis tool generate and provide insights for you? Is it even possible to? I think improvement in our ability to do advanced segmentation, to experiment with data, and to move towards the edge of known discussions is the real key to pulling insights from social channels.

The zero in the image, is possible in the LCD display of many calculators. If we were to not look for this particular combination though, we would never find it because the calculator never displays it to us.

In social media discussions there’s a 2×2 model of the discussions happening online, and it’s a balance between knowns and unknowns.

  • The discussions we know they’re having
  • The discussions we don’t know they’re having
  • The discussions we know they’re not having
  • The discussions we don’t know they’re not having

What social media listening tools are able to do is give you access to each of these realms, but not much else. Without a good listening tool you are practically shut out completely from identifying or exploring this entire set.

At the same time, it doesn’t get much easier when you have a social media listening tool. Without a good tool with the ability to perform advanced segmentation analysis, you also don’t have any way of understanding these realms.

So why are things still so difficult with advanced social media listening tools and segmentation abilities? Because, the tools can’t tell you what to look for, they can only make it possible, and make it easy. You’ll only notice deep insights after you make the decision to find them, and platforms that enable you to move and manipulate data are your only tools.

While tools tend to keep you in the realm of discussions that are happening, our own biases keep us in the first realm, of conversations we know they’re having. That’s why I like advanced listening tools with segmentation abilities. These segmentation abilities are the best method that we can use to start to approach the other 3 regions of social media discussions.

Inspiration for this post taken from Spotto!

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