Social Listening for Scientists

by Jessica Ramesh

Donal Phipps, Digital Analyst at GE Healthcare, discusses the steps the business took to get to know their customers better

At GE Healthcare, we wanted to listen to and understand our customers better by finding out what they were saying and where they were saying it in digital channels. To do this, we had to build a social listening approach from the ground up, and figure out how best to discover and measure those conversations which delivered real insight amidst a sea of noise and ambiguity.

For B2B marketers, it can be hard to mimic the agility and innovative approaches being implemented by our B2C and agency peers. But even for B2B marketers, there are some useful, practical steps which can be followed—steps which help you find customers online, understand their language and analyse conversations to deliver actionable insights for the business.

We believed that in order to truly understand our customers, we would have to look beyond conversations about our brand or category and identify the themes and topics which really occupied their thinking.

Whether you work with a specialist listening partner, or make use of some freely available tools, these steps will allow you to define your audience’s lexicon and measure the volume of online conversations taking place. Getting this right means that finding real insight follows naturally and brings several benefits—improved content targeting, valuable input into search optimisation and website taxonomies. Most importantly of all, you’ll improve your ability to converse with customers in the right place, at the right time.