Rachel Davis Mersey didn’t expect much to come out of an innocent Instagram post of her lunch views at The Bar Room at The Modern. But minutes after posting, she was whisked away to the highly sought after kitchen table and wasn’t sure what was happening.
Social media at its best is what was happening.
The team at Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group saw Mersey’s post and decided to treat their solo patron to an unforgettable experience. She had so much fun, she posted a second photo.
Keeping tabs on social mentions isn’t new, but listening to what customers are saying about your company or brand can be a valuable tool.
USHG’s PR Coordinator, Evelyn Burgess says it isn’t spying. “It’s monitoring. We’re trying to engage with people. We want them to know: we hear you.” The brands with the most successful social media strategies are those that treat the platforms as communication tools, rather than advertising spaces. The more a brand can listen to a customer in order to create memorable opportunities like this one, the more connected customers will feel with the brand.
According to Hootsuite, this practice is called social listening and it is a two-step process.
- Monitor social channels for any mention or nod to your brand, competitors, products, or key words
- Analyze these posts for valuable information that can be used to improve the customer experience
These two steps then prompt the phase of taking action. This is what makes social listening different than social monitoring. For example, some actions that can take place are responding to comments or answering customer questions, using gathered information to improve a product or process, or sending loyal and vocal fans a fun treat or surprise.
Did surprising Mersey with a special lunch have a positive ROI? Probably not in a direct way. But that kind of customer centric approach will definitely ensure a brand a more successful and in-touch future.