So far, we discussed the two most important objectives for using and measuring social media, ranked by the participants in our survey. These objectives were: Getting insights in their online community and improving their brand awareness. This week the focus is on the next important objective that came up in the ranking: Improving brand dialogue. When you already know your public and they know you continue communicating and engaging in activities and campaigns.People start commenting on your messages, liking or sharing them, visiting your website or web-shop. These conversations and opinions spread across channels and many more people are able to see and participate in them. That is why it is very important to be able to oversee this entire buzz. Knowing how many messages have been sent everyday will allow you to track the conversation and know what topic (at what moment) triggered most discussion. It would be even better to know on which channels (Facebook, Twitter, Hyves) people are talking about you most. This will help you choose the right channels for your messages. What is the attitude of your fans is determined by a metric called Sentiment. It is useful for many aspects of communication and PR. This is a kind of alarm bell to signal when something has triggered very good or very bad reactions. A valuable and enjoyable dialogue forms an enthusiastic and loyal community. This community creates a stable and ‘healthy’ environment as well as new opportunities of a company or brand to grow and attract more customers. So, being smart and proactive, as well as having a good overview on the social scope is what pushes companies and brands in the future of online marketing and communications. Next week we will explore how to use social media to manage and improve the image of your company, product or brand. Join the discussion and share your experience or difficulties in managing your brand dialogue on social media.