If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?
After centuries of debate, rationalization, and study we can probably infer that a falling tree will produce sound even if no person or recording is present to observe it. The problem however, is that we are unable to prove it. It is this sort of thought that messes with our knowledge of reality and prompting questions like what’s real, what’s perception, or is there really a difference between the two? I may have overshot the analogy here and gotten a little too abstract, but this is the example I often use for explaining why people need and use our social monitoring software Orenda.
Whether or not you’re aware, people tend to talk about nearly every organization’s products, services, and ideas online. These conversations make up social data, and the people having them will ultimately determine how a brand will be perceived online. For many, this could be the success or failure of their business. The problem is that they either have no idea how to access this data or they’re overwhelmed by the volume of text and are unable to make decisions that will benefit their brand immediately. For people who aren’t working with social data, it can be like a tree falling in the forest and Orenda is able to observe and interpret the noise it makes when no one is there.
For the organizations that aren’t working with social data, their brand is not necessarily out of their control and influence, but it is at risk. Without some form of communication, a brand might be creating an image or set of values that is disconnected from the everyday concerns of their consumers.
This quote neatly sums up why social data is important and why organizations seek out social monitoring software. How an organization or individual decides to market their brand means nothing unless their consumers, competitors, and stakeholders recognize and vouch for the brand. Traditionally, an organization would only be able to measure this relationship through focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires that only capture a small sample size. The problem with this process is the time it takes to conduct a survey, analyze data, make recommendations, and then implement change – only to realize you need to repeat the process to measure impact or effectiveness. With social data, it is possible to access a larger sample size almost immediately and measure the effectiveness of your marketing, communication, and PR efforts in near real-time.
What sets Orenda apart from other social monitoring software is our focus on insight rather than information. Orenda is built on the idea that when it comes to a brand, the way people view and evaluate it is based on established methodologies in Public Relations. By categorizing and quantifying social data, our software does not overwhelm users with qualitative messages that require further analysis and preparation. Orenda takes care of this process for quick and comprehensive viewing so that users are able to understand what people are saying about their brand and learn the reasons behind their reputation.
The problem with traditional social research is the inability for the researcher to interact with other humans while maintaining objectivity. Even when separated by a survey or questionnaire, the language and presentation of words in the research process can influence how people express their ideas on any given subject. In that sense, all social research is in some way an Ivory Tower, because there is a disconnect between the everyday concerns of people and the goals of social research. Our goal is to connect brands with the people who are affected by them. The idea is that when people know better, they do better, and the best insight for a brand to know better is to listen to voluntary social data.