How Audible Uses Social Intelligence Powered By Sysomos

Audible needs no introduction. The company is one of the pioneers on the web, having brought audiobooks to the connected, tech-savvy consumer. The service has a loyal fanbase of customers ranging from the very young to those who’d classify their age as ‘mature’. 🙂

Audible is a global brand, stretching across North America, Europe and all the way to Australia.

The social team at Audible is a small group that has a large impact. In order to help service the various departments at Audible, the team uses Sysomos to make smart decisions based on social intelligence.

Helping product marketing decide upon priorities

As Audible customers ourselves, we realize that the best audiobooks are a combination of a fantastic book and of course, a stellar narrator. In fact, when you find a narrator you like, you often seek out books brought to life by those immense talents.

It turns out we’re not alone and Audible realizes this. Using Sysomos Heartbeat, the marketing team tracks top narrators based on conversations occurring on the social web. Then, using MAP queries to dig deeper, product marketing is made aware of top narrators and given context of the voice talent is one who’s sought after.

In the same manner of Heartbeat monitoring and ad hoc MAP queries, the social team reports on authors, narrators, plot lines and other social data to help formulate a predictive formula for a top seller in the Audible store.

Informing Customer Care and Community Management

In our interview with Audible’s marketing team, community management and customer care were recurring themes that make use of Sysomos technologies. As a team that’s spread across geographies, Sysomos Heartbeats and MAP searches unify efforts and leads to time efficiencies that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Instead of just monitoring direct mentions, we have Heartbeats that help us monitor all aspects of customer satisfaction,” says Monica Vaccari, community manager at Audible.  “From identifying issues with books, to pinpointing potential bugs in our mobile apps, Sysomos helps puts hours back in our day.”

To communicate what categories of questions and issues the Audible social team replies to, they’ve employed tags in Sysomos Heartbeat. After a response is issued to the customer via Sysomos Heartbeat, they use the tagging system to tag each contact with a relevant category.

Social Care Responses

In their rock-star efforts to ensure customer happiness, Audible makes use of Sysomos Heartbeat, MAP and publishing tools.

“Through Sysomos, we can find buried conversations that we wouldn’t be able to find on our own.”

Using Sysomos Text Analytics, the social care team reports on what words and phrases are being used and responded through on social media. This helps the team illustrate that time period’s conversation topics in relation to Audible’s key words.

Text Analytics

Applied example: going above and beyond for the community

Recently, the Audible social care team noticed a notable influx of inbound messages surrounding the a popular podcast and Audible. At first glance, the team thought it was a crisis of some kind, but upon further investigation, the podcast creators, in their show, urged listeners to Tweet at Audible in an effort to get an audiobook recorded.

The social team went in to action and helped the show’s producer through the audiobook production process and in a short period of time, Audible had the audiobook up for sale.

This process is a successful example of community managers identifying a want, helping the customer through an otherwise involved process and delivering a finished product to the marketplace.

What a great way to honor a content request and enable these content producers find a market for their creations!

Influencer engagement

One marketing outreach area that Audible is seeing a boost in is YouTube personalities. Through affiliate marketing, YouTubers are driving links and sign-ups at Audible.com and through the Sysomos lens, Audible knows which YouTube creators are the most valuable to their brand.

In a similar vein, if you’re a podcast fan, then you’ve likely heard your favorite podcast host mention Audible.com as a sponsor.

Audible learned early on when podcasting started as a medium that listeners of top podcasts were the perfect candidates to trial Audible and convert to customer. Similar to finding YouTuber influencers, Audible uses Sysomos to recruit and track podcasters in their affiliate marketing programs.

Merchandising using social intelligence

For any retail business, knowing what goods and products to highlight is an art that is sometimes informed by science. This is where social intelligence comes in to play. By using social insights, Audible merchandising teams can listen, experiment and feature titles at will.

On a regular basis, the community management team sends reports and observations to the Content team at Audible (the group who acquires new titles). From data on new prospective authors, narrators and even potential titles, the Community team has 6 MAP reports that went over Comic books, podcasts and other new types of content.

As a result, Audible acquired the rights to those titles and they’ll be in the store this summer.

Applied example: One Direction

In 2014, the wildly popular group One Direction released a memoir of their lives as artists.  As an added bonus, the band members each narrated their parts within the audiobook. Noticing a spike in conversation on social, the Community team at Audible was the first to pick up on Audible customers’ interest in this title. The team was astonished at how focused and passionate One Directions’ fans were and notified the Audible product team.

Audible was able to put the book up for pre-order and with their learnings, the social team informed those in charge of paid social advertising. Those ads drove new member acquisition and the One Direction narrated book even made the Audible.com home page based off the interest first spotted on social media.

Launching a dedicated social care channel

In order to better serve their customers, Audible is launching a Twitter account dedicated to customer care. To help coordinate between the main Audible account and Audible social care channels, the teams will use assigned tweets inside Sysomos to coordinate responses and set assignments.

Also, with an added team member, Sysomos makes it possible to orchestrate efforts regardless of a person’s office location.

Audible.com has sister sites in Australia, Germany, France and the UK, the community team has adheres to a unified social approach through regular meeting and weekly email coordination with the social care teams.

Being able to have social care reporting will be an added benefit to launching an Audible Social Care Twitter handle. Social Care and Audible Customer Care both align in one mission: “Exceed Expectations.” As Audible matures along the social care timeline, they seek to keep exceeding expectations.

In the graph below, the Social Care Team reports on the favorable sentiment of the contacts social care responds to.

Social Care Sentiment

Social Intelligence’s place in your community management practice

How do you integrate intelligence as a community manager? Which any of the lessons learned form the Audible team resonate with you?

Is your reporting different and better? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!