MAD Perspectives Blog

 What's Your Backchannel?

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I've been busy researching the topic of Social TV (more on that in a few weeks) and was intrigued by the use of the term - backchannel.  Social media provides a backchannel for conversations around many topics.  For news, it is all the side conversations around a topic such as the 2012 political campaign, the Olympics, unrest in the middle east or whether the Yankees will make the post-season.  These backchannel conversations happen for B2B as well.

These are the discussion that still happen on the golf course, over dinner or at a conference.  However, now social media provides additional mechanisms supporting those conversations. Whether it is discussion of new products, market trends, customer support or stock price, there are a myriad of conversations related to your business. The question for small, medium and large businesses is - are you listening to those conversations? 

Data provides the keys to the kingdom in understanding your customers. Huge investments are being made in BIG DATA. Social media provides even more data points than previously existing marketing and data collection solutions. If your big data analysis does not include social media,you are missing out on the information that reveals what your customers are really thinking about.

In the broadcast industry, Social TV platforms are enabling content producers to engage with their fans in a way that has not been possible. They share content with their fans and in return, their fans share thoughts, opinions and desires.  Broadcasters and producers are learning how and audience becomes fans and how fans want to engage with their shows. The next step, of course, is translating that knowledge into revenue.

Imagine the backchannel around your business and industry. What data are you missing because you are not listening to social conversations. There are many tools available to help you monitor and analyze customer conversations.  Check out my post on customer support to learn about a few of them.  Listening is important for more than customer support. Your customers will tell you which product features matter most to them; which competitors are making inroads; how they are being treated by your sales teams; whether your marketing is hitting, or missing, the mark.

Check out the back channel, you'll be amazed at what you can learn.

What's your perspective?