Luke Brynley-Jones is a co-founder of Influence People, which runs social media conferences in the UK, Europe and USA. His next event, Monitoring Social Media 2010 is on Monday 22nd November in London.

At Monitoring Social Media 09, my first social media monitoring conference, Robin talked about how We Are Social helped Skype set-up and run a real-time social media listening and responding programme.  It was one of 16 presentations during which a lot of clever marketing people made the case for social media monitoring.

In the past 12 months the question of whether brands need to monitor conversations about their brand, products, senior staff and competitors has been loudly answered. Earlier this year Synthesio used their monitoring and engagement tools to reduce the number of calls to telecom giant Orange’s call centres by 100,000 and save them “a few million Euros”. Similarly, Brandwach, one of the UK’s best known monitoring companies, ran a monitoring and engagement campaign for a client that led to over 1 million extra website views and measurable return on investment of over 400%. This is impressive stuff! In the US, market leader Radian6 is working with The Red Cross to amend their website content on a daily basis to reflect the changing the interests of their supporters.

The case for monitoring is positively deafening. Yet monitoring on its own isn’t enough. As I write this, hundreds of Marketing Managers around the world are sitting at their PC’s staring at gazillions of brand mentions, tracked and highlighted by their fancy new monitoring tools. And they are all thinking the same thing: “What now?”

Now that we’ve got all this data, how are we going to make the best use of it? How can we make sure that the right data gets to the right people within our organisation? And how can we ensure that the right person responds? Most monitoring solutions are in the hands of marketing and PR teams. Now, I’m a marketing man at heart, but am I the right person to be managing this data?

Forward-thinking brands are starting to tackle these questions head-on. People are calling it social CRM, but it’s much, much bigger than traditional CRM. We’re talking about harnessing the power of the social web as never before by plugging it directly into the structure of your organisation. Sounds scary – but finding the answers to these questions will be critical for success in the next phase in social media monitoring and engagement. Now’s the time to start thinking ahead.

Luke has kindly offered We Are Social readers a 10% discount on the MSM10 £145/£195 ticket prices, by entering the discount code “wearesocial” when buying a ticket directly from the Monitoring Social Media 2010 website.