This post is included  as part of a series of posts related to social media training efforts underway at Cisco.  I sat down with our corporate Cisco Social Media Listening team members team members members (Charlie TreadwellBernadette KoscielniakGeorge MetrikNancy RivasMichael HoppsDavythe Dicochea, and Jennifer Robertsto ask a few specific questions around social listening. This is  the second part of the interview.  Read the first part of this series. 

What tools are available to enhance the social listening effort?

Various listening platforms are available, with varying focus areas in metrics and data streams.  In a June 2012 report, eMarketer profiles the strengths of industry leading platforms as followed:

Profile of Select SM Monitoring Services 2012

What is and how important is sentiment analysis in your reporting?

Sentiment analysis in the social web is a somewhat new factor, but it can in fact be very relevant for analysis as it represents the measurement of a user’s sentiment (positive, neutral or negative) when they wrote a particular post or message. Whether this is important to a particular analysis or report really has to do with the listening objectives involved for that project.

For example, when listening to conversations about specific Cisco products, measuring the sentiment to determine “the good, the bad and the ugly” about a particular product is very important. This can be key insight and valuable feedback that previously was very hard to obtain without extensive surveys and user groups. Now, it’s just a matter of tapping into and analyzing the conversations available in the social web.

The challenge is that sentiment analysis at this time is not accurate. We use it as a guide, but sentiment analysis accuracy is still hovering around 70%, which does not meet our required confidence level. As this field continues to improve, and expand to additional intentional recognition, we will actively look to leverage new capabilities.

What should be the key takeaways for your social listening efforts?

Our October 2012 blog post demonstrates Cisco’s leadership in B2B social listening.  Our work is showcased globally across Cisco Social Media Listening Centers.

SM Listening Center

We have deployed several Social Media Listening Centers and configured and customized each for a specific purpose, including customer facing, internal, and events social conversation monitoring.  Our first listening center for the social media and digital marketing team was deployed in San Jose and created to monitor all Cisco and competitor conversations in order to identify opportunities to engage.

Recent engagements have included assisting customers with their support inquiries, answering questions, and listening to feedback.  The Social Media Listening Center deployed in the Executive Briefing Center is a customer-facing setup displaying general Cisco conversations and engagements.  Additional listening centers have been deployed for events such as the London Olympics and the Collaboration Summit 2012, where conversations were monitored and visualized in real time.

Is your organization listening?

How are you currently monitoring social conversations?  We look forward to hearing how your organization is listening and engaging across social channels.  Keep the conversation going and provide your comments below.  #CiscoListens

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Cisco invites you to on-demand courses and one-on-one team social media consulting to help businesses realize the benefits of social media.  Find more details:  http://cs.co/SocialMediaTraining