Monitoring Social Media for Documentation Customer Feedback

LavaCon 2012: Monitoring Social Media for Documentation FeedbackLavaCon 2012-Content Management and Content Strategy Track

Presenter: Rhyne Armstrong, RouteMatch Software

Yes it’s possible to use social media as an effective way to get feedback on documentation, and it doesn’t have to be a horror show.  Rhyne Armstrong’s LavaCon 2012 session on tools for monitoring social media paid tribute to horror film classics while offering an in-depth discussion of various methods and sites you can use to help the documentation team improve products, your department’s awareness, and your value to your customers and organization.

Portion of KISSmetrics infographic on tools for social media monitoring

Rhyne covered the tools for monitoring social media, and provided a screenshot of each tool listed below. The tools covered are meant to provide different kinds of metrics and analytics. Some provide statistics, some provide insight and analysis, and some just let you follow the conversation. For instance, with Klout’s recent refresh to their scoring algorithm, you can see what posts (responses/comments) or tweets (retweets/comments) have had the most impact in the last 90 days.

Rhyne provided an overview of some of the  tools for monitoring social media currently available.

Free social media monitoring tools:

  • Google Alerts
  • Retweetrank
  • TweetStats
  • Klout
  • TweetDeck
  • HootSuite
  • SocialBro

Paid social media monitoring tools (under $500/month):

  • UberVU
  • Trackur
  • Beevolve
  • SproutSocial
  • SugarCRM
  • Viral Heat
  • HootSuite Pro
  • Awareness Networks
  • Argyle Social

Rhyne referred to an infographic from KISSmetrics which shows who is buying tools for monitoring social media monitoring and how they use them. KISSmetrics Web Analytics


Rhyne then segued into the approaches for feedback, and applied a seasonal theme of Halloween to his content. The three approaches are passive, seductive, aggressive and each was represented by a classic horror creature.

  • Mummy (Passive approach): This approach is good for getting started, but not very fast, reactive, or opportunistic. “Publish content, then wait on feedback.” Major problem with this approach is that results are skewed and you’re always putting out fires.
  • Vampire (Seductive approach): This approach teases to draw them in to your content. May be done through a Facebook page or a dedicated Twitter.
  • Wolfman (Aggressive approach): This means you go out directly to customers, and no waiting for feedback. There is usually a “face” associated with using this approach – users know the name and face behind the company, not just a company brand.  “There are always silver bullets” so this approach can have major drawbacks.

Rhyne finished his session by showing some of the feedback options, including Get Satisfaction, which is a customer engagement tool that allows users (aka customers) to self-serve on support. The Society for Technical Communication (STC) uses this tool for issues with and the websites.

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