Best practices for responding to social media comments

When a Stack Overflow or Twitter user posts a comment that links to a Docs.microsoft.com article, SkyEye collects that comment and makes it available and searchable in our reports. The reports include a link to the post, so you can easily view the comment in the context of the whole thread and respond to it with a clarification, a follow-up question, or a pointer to another Docs article that answers the question. Stack Overflow comments, in particular, can often point out potential gaps or areas of confusion in Microsoft documentation.

By engaging with social posts, you develop your "voice of the customer" awareness and watch what's on your customers' minds. You build the reputation of Docs.microsoft.com by pointing users to an article that answers their question, and identify areas where customers are turning to social channels because Microsoft documentation is lacking. And finally, you gain the opportunity to find customers (and potential customers) who can informally and quickly answer your questions about what they need.

How to access social media data in SkyEye

SkyEye offers a couple locations to find your social data. Try both options and use the one that works best for you:

  1. The Social Report includes two tabs (one for Stack Overflow and another for Twitter). From these tabs, you can:

    • Slice by service using the pie chart above the table (additional slicers can be added upon request).
    • View or respond to the social post by clicking the link in the PostLink column.
    • View the topic that was mentioned by clicking the link in the LiveUrl column.
    • After you have sliced by service, export the data to Excel by clicking the ellipses (More Options) button above the table. From there, select "Export data", opt for summarized data and .xlsx file format, and click the "Export" button.
  2. SkyEye Search provides two methods for natigating Stack Overflow posts (Twitter not included). You can:

    • Use the main Search page: In the search bar, enter your service or product name. Under the summary view table, click the "More details" link. Then click the chevron symbol next to "Stackoverflow (past 2 months)".
    • Use the User Comments page: At the top of Search, click the User Comments link. In the search bar, enter your service or product name (or other search criteria, like author name or article title). In the left nav, expand the Comment Source list, and select "StackOverflow" to narrow down the results.

Healthy habits for staying connected to social media

The following weekly habits are recommended:

  • Check your social posts in SkyEye at least once per week, but a few times per week is best--for example: every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Respond to posts where you can. Make sure your responses are timely; you should respond on the same day you view the post, even if it's to say you are looking into details and will follow up within X days.
  • If a response from a specific feature PM or other Microsoft expert would be better, point that person to the post and ask for help.
  • Update your content based on what you are learning.

The following monthly habits are also recommended:

  • At least once per month, find a post that is a good opportunity to engage with and learn from the community at large and ask a question.
  • Each month, compile your learnings and content changes from social engagement and share them with stakeholders.
  • Consider themes or trends you are seeing in social posts, and what they might teach us about overall content strategy.