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Choosing a social listening tool & what to use it for [Expert’s Opinion]

Choosing a social listening tool & what to use it for [Expert’s Opinion]

Keeping up with the latest social media platforms is hard enough. How do you stay on top of all the chatter and filter through the noise of social media? Enter social listening tools. Designed to save you time, these tools work to collect and analyze social data to help you generate business insights. How do you choose a social listening tool? We’ve interviewed Dennis Owen, GM for Social Media & Branding at Hong Kong Airlines, about his journey choosing a social listening tool, what they’re using it for, and what’s next for social listening.

Interested to dive into an actual case study of what it’s like to have a social listening tool in place for your business? Check out how Hong Kong Airlines turned a social media crisis into a PR win.

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Q1. Why did you choose Talkwalker as your social listening tool?

Dennis: There was nothing when I first came to Hong Kong Airlines.

There was absolutely nothing in terms of social listening. I came from a company where it was there and I know how essential that is to doing business well. So it was the very first thing that I started working on.

Until I had that, it was really like being blindfolded.

Q2. What do you use Talkwalker for today?

Dennis: We use it in terms of listening for issues… issues management.

I mean it’s great to hear the positive conversations but as an airline I have to say that the brand protection side is extremely important.

We also provide a daily report to our top-level management. We call it a situational report but social media is a part of that. So any issues that pop up or anything positive that is said, we include that as well.

It’s something that is used daily, all day long.

Choosing a social listening tool - social media expert Dennis Owen

Dennis Owen on the value of having a social listening tool for brands today

Q3. What is your favorite Talkwalker feature?

Dennis: One of the things I value is the ability to tailor and automate your report.

We’re all busy. And we don’t have time to deep dive, dig into what’s happening every day. So I’ve set up a report that comes to me every morning at 9 am from the last 24 hours. From what’s being talked about, the sentiment, and where it’s coming from. These tools are extremely important. I have a separate one for negative sentiment because it’s those that can make a difference to your brand.

Discover how Hong Kong Airlines stopped a crisis by reacting quickly within 72 hours.

Q4. You implemented Talkwalker when there was nothing, how does success look like today at Hong Kong Airlines?

Dennis: It’s really evolved into not just listening but developing reports for particular departments.

We’re breaking it down into things like website and app - what are people saying about that?

Baggage, what are they saying about that? Check-in. In-flight. Cuisine.

HK Airlines in-flight cuisine

Source: HK Airlines

These are reports that I would like to see completed. Artificial intelligence is being introduced to do a lot of work for us, so that we can then turn around and supply results to different departments. This will help us make better decisions in a timely fashion.

Q5. What do you think are the challenges of marketing professionals today overall?

Dennis: Probably one of the biggest challenges, and it won’t be a surprise, is Management will ask what’s the ROI of social?

It’s a common question. But I think it’s getting better and better in terms of the analytics that you can identify to prove your strategy is working.

How quickly you respond to a problem, for example. Without this tool, I would not have been alerted to this. We may or may not have ever seen it.

You can show how you can turn a customer around by responding quickly.

The other feature that we’re just starting to use is the social sentiment score.

It’s hard to put a number on social media. But with the social sentiment score, you can really start to tell how your brand is performing over time.

You could start to track it by week or by month and see if the score goes up. Is it steady, is it going down? If it’s going down, why is it going down? And then you can do a deeper dive into what are the problems. What are the issues here that are popping up, and address those.

Those kinds of numbers or scores are the kind of things management wants to see. They want to see something tangible from social media and social sentiment score allows that.

The Key to Social ROI

Q6. How important are AI-powered image recognition and video analytics in your social listening?

Dennis: I think it’s very important. It’s early days but I think video, in particular, is extremely important because more and more people are using video.

As an airline, a lot of people do videos on board. Everybody wants to show their experience.

The faster we can find those and react to those even if it’s positive or negative, the better.

And those are the kind of videos that our in-flight department wants to see. It’s about what they do. So if they can see visually what people are saying and feeling about the experience, we are going to become an even better airline.

We hope this interview with Dennis gave you some insights to help you in your own journey to social listening. Interested to see Talkwalker in action? Let us know!

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