At Lambert, social listening is a key strategy for impacting our client’s ROI. Our digital team uses a variety of powerful social listening tools every week to monitor customer engagement, increase conversions and protect clients from potential crises. I’ve been doing this for years now, but the first time I ever used social listening was in 10th grade and turned out to be an absolute disaster.

As a mid-millennial, I’m part of the last group of students to go through high school without Facebook. Back then, a blogging platform called “Xanga” was the in-vogue method for airing your adolescent woes and creeping up on crushes. One Tuesday, I made the terrible mistake of asking a girl I liked to prom without doing the appropriate social monitoring on Xanga. Had I checked the night before I would have known that she had just announced she was headed to prom with a popular quarterback named Chaz (I have changed the name to protect the guilty.) What followed was a deeply embarrassing rejection in the cafeteria that felt like a nonviolent version of when Carrie gets doused in pig’s blood.

A lesson learned here is that social listening is a powerful tool to monitor the sentiment and eventual conversions of your consumers. There are far too many mistakes made by brands that are trying to push their own agenda without paying attention to the analytics that can inform marketers of consumer preferences.
While I’m on the self-deprecation track, let’s talk about crisis management. In high school, a good “yo mama” joke could bank you some top-tiered coolness currency. In 9th grade, I made the silly choice to go out for the football team despite a high propensity for tripping and the muscle mass of a toothpick. To compensate, I flapped my lips a lot. One day, I landed a killer “yo mama” joke on a linebacker named Duke. He remained disturbingly quiet during this exchange but I later found out there was a lot of chatter and planning going on behind the scenes. That afternoon when I was walking home from school, I saw Duke and two of his buddies sitting on their porch. I cheekily gave them a thumbs up and jogged past. The next part is weird, but completely true. After I walked past their house, Duke threw a bar of soap that hit me in the ear and made me fall straight into a tree (remember the tripping part?). I got a black eye and was made fun of mercilessly during the next two days – ultimately causing my coolness factor to take a major dip.

A crisis can inflict severe damage to a company’s brand. Lambert protects our client’s reputation by using powerful tools to monitor social media for developing crises. We construct Boolean search term strategies that sets up real-time monitoring to scour the Internet for damaging attacks. Below is a cutting-edge, proprietary monitor that collects brand mentions, geographic social platform hits and the sentiment of every post:

Through this software, we’ve identified everything from short sellers trying to drive down our client’s stock prices to snapchatted stories from high school students acting out sections of KKK history.

Maybe you cruised through adolescent unscathed or it’s possible that you still refuse to go to your high school reunions. Either way, in today’s world of increasing digital interaction, maintaining a strong strategy for social listening is crucial to maintaining your brand’s reputation and ROI.

Joe Sonheim is a multimedia producer at Lambert