Social media monitoring for the point of need

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How I got my new glasses for less than $25

My new glasses!
My new glasses!

By now, most of us have Google Alerts set up for mentions of our company name. Some of us use Twitter Search or even a more advanced social media monitoring solution to find out who is talking about us.  But what about people who we want to engage with who aren’t talking about us?

Enter the importance of monitoring for the point of need. My colleague Kevin sometimes illustrates this concept in Cision’s free social media monitoring webinars with shoe insoles. If your company makes shoe insoles, don’t just monitor for who is talking about “shoe insoles” but look for people who mention “sore feet.”

I experienced this firsthand recently. A few weeks ago, I left my glasses at the driving range. When I returned, they were nowhere to be found. Feeling down, I tweeted:

glasses tweet

I received some funny responses (“I’ll write big so you can hear me. GOOD LUCK FINDING THEM. ;-)”) and some well wishes (“oh no! hope you find them!”) but I also received a tweet from Serena Chiang of She told me to try something new and order my glasses online and provided a link to

I was a little iffy on buying glasses online at first, but the seed was definitely planted. I went to the eye doctor and he gave me my prescription. As I tried on expensive frames with expensive lenses, I thought, “I just wonder if I could save money ordering them online now that I have my prescription.” So I did my research, read reviews from other consumers about purchasing glasses online and decided to take the plunge.

Monday, I received my new glasses. They cost me less than $25 – including anti-reflective coating, prescription lenses, frames and shipping. I see perfectly. And now Serena Chiang will have a return customer. If Serena wasn’t monitoring for her products’ point of need (lost glasses, broken glasses), I would have never considered ordering my glasses online.

As you monitor for point of need, however, it’s also important to keep in mind that you are listening in. Don’t be agressive, don’t push a sale, just merely offer an option and help if needed. You are raising brand awareness.

What is the point of need for your company, product or service?

Tags : social media

About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.

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