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How Defense Contractors Can Outsmart the Competition with Social Media Monitoring

By monitoring social media, defense contractors can generate leads, keep tabs on their competition, get product feedback and better engage with detractors.


photo credit: The U.S. Army via photo pin cc


Anyone in military intelligence will tell you that if you listen quietly, you can learn a lot.

That’s the principle behind social media monitoring, the process of filtering out the millions of post, tweets and status updates for the ones that matter to your business.

Surprisingly, nearly half of all businesses are blind to the threats and opportunities that monitoring can provide, according to a report by Satmetrix. The specifics for B2B companies:

  • Fifty one percent of companies have no social media tracking in place at all.
  • Almost 70% percent of companies ignore customers who provide feedback via social media – by having no process in place to respond

So why have companies been slow to monitor social media given the valuable information that it can provide? Since the science and technology of social media monitoring is still relatively new, many companies may not be aware of how it can be marshalled to help.

Here's how defense contractors can put social media monitoring to use as outlined in a primer from Radian6:

Gauge the Health of Your Brand - On social media, people's opinions can be brutally honest. If your product or service is being praised, believe it. If not, fix it.

Flag Customer-Service Opportunities - When someone complains on social media, everyone can know about it. By responding quickly and resolving the issue, your stakeholder can become more loyal. And then tell everyone.

Handle Your Next Crisis - When a crisis occurs, monitoring social media allows your company to respond immediately. Doing so can actually improve your reputation in the midst of a crisis.

Generate Leads - By monitoring what people are saying in social media, you can discover opportunities to help by offering information or expertise, just when they need it.

Keep Tabs on the Competition - There's a surprising amount of chatter going on about your competition on social media. People are talking about what other defense contractors are doing. And not doing. Plus, other contractors could be sending signals via social media about what they are planning.

Collect Product Feedback - Social media supplies voluntary feedback and product reviews without the hassle and cost of focus groups. Understanding what customers love and hate about your product can help you figure out how to better satisfy customers and prospects.

Track Industry Trends - With social media monitoring, you can learn valuable information about emerging trends, crises, or issues of interest to your community and prospects.

Identify Influential Advocates (and Detractors) - Possibly the biggest benefit of monitoring social media is fostering strong connections with those who are your most ardent supporters. Similarly, you can find your company's critics, what they are saying, and respond.



The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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