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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 3

Field, Analyze and Report, and Evaluate Listening Research

Now that we know how to set up listening initiatives (Chapter 1) and choose from among the many and various solution options (Chapter 2), it's time to run the listening initiative, learn, share, and evaluate the results.

Field the Research

Before putting the research into “production,” employ pretest procedures to make sure that the data is top quality and that essential procedures are working properly. The following four tactics will help verify quality of data to derive the highest-value results and insights:

Ensure Data Quality: Four Tactics

  • Test connections to listening sources you want to harvest to make certain they are working: Sometimes sources will change URLs, site organization, access schemes, or even cease operations altogether. Any of these can prevent you from making successful connections. Check periodically if you're running your listening effort over a period of time.
  • Test that content is being harvested correctly: Test the queries that locate and retrieve content from sites to ensure that they return what you want; and keep iterating and testing until the results meet your needs. Writing queries is an art, one that requires knowledge of the business, insights into customers, and some technical skill in search logic. If you are listening in a regulated industry like pharma or financial services, consult with legal and compliance colleagues to ascertain that your listening harvesting conforms ...

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