One of the highlights of day one on the digital stage for me was Stephen O’Leary from O’Leary Analytics on the benefits of listening to social media. It was a great, easy to follow demonstration of how using search terms such as ‘I wish someone would invent’ could show some interesting results. I grabbed Stephen afterwards and asked him to share some of his ideas and to tell me how they can translate for small businesses in Ireland. Here’s some of his key points:
– People are already talking about what they want online without us asking them.
– Try searching ‘I wish someone built’ or ‘ I wish someone invented’. Very often you will find people talking about things we could never build such as light sabers but sometimes they will be real things that are feasible.
-Message boards like ‘Boards.ie’ ‘MagicMom’ ‘rollercoaster’ are big in Ireland. There is lots of data to mine from them and they are very important for listening to what our customers want to say.
– First step for small businesses on a budget is Twitter search – search for what it is you do so if you sell soap search for soap. Then try searching the same on Boards.ie and the other popular online forums.
– Use these tools to find out what sort of conversations are people having about your industry, product and service.
– Before you speak listen to what people are saying and then you will know what you should be speaking about.