Social Media monitoring should be an essential part of your Social Media strategy for many different reasons:
- It is a great way to define and better understand your audience.
- it makes curating quality content to share on Social Media a lot easier.
- It is an efficient technique to monitor competition and their social media activity as well as to listen to what is happening in your industry.
- It can improve your customer service with providing immediate response and solutions to your customers.
- It will help you build relationships with your customers and your brand’s ambassadors.
- It can be a great source of leads, marketing opportunities and customer acquisition.
All you need is a good system in place to make social media monitoring as quick and cost-effective as possible.
Where to begin
Deciding what you should monitor derives from your Social Media strategy and goals. Having a strategy will help you figure out where your monitoring should focus on, starting with compiling a list of important terms and keywords.
Clearly your brand’s name should be at the top your monitoring list including any possible misspellings or variations of your name, to make sure that you will not miss any results. In addition to these, you might consider including the names of your products as long as any keywords related to marketing campaigns you might be running at a given time.
[Tweet “For more accurate results, monitor variations and misspellings of your brand’s name on #SocialMedia.”]
Competition is an integral part of your brand’s environment so keeping your competitor’s social media activity on your radar is important. For a better overview of your brand’s environment your listening should also take into account popular hashtags and keywords related to your interests or industry. For example, one of the terms I am regularly monitoring for Twitter Counter are “social media” and “twitter statistics”.
How to set up your monitoring
Now that you have defined what you need to monitor, it is time to start the engines of your social listening! And luckily there are some pretty helpful tools to help you out. These are some of the tools I use on a daily basis and have found quite helpful:
Setting up Google alerts is a great starting point for your social media monitoring. You can set up alerts for your brand, your competitors or for important news in your industry to be delivered to your inbox.
Similar to Google Alerts, Talkwalker delivers to your inbox all mentions of your keyword from across the web, including news outlets, discussions, and blogs.
Meltwater allows monitoring across different platforms including blogs, Twitter and Facebook and is very handy for specific periods of time. You can use advanced search for monitoring blogs and get some information on the trends around your search term.
Social Mention is quite a helpful monitoring tool that provides results for up to the last hour. Much like other monitoring tools, its results derive from a variety of platforms including rich media such as video and images.
Even though Feedly is traditionally a news aggregator, it can be a great tool for monitoring your competitor’s blogs and keeping an eye on interesting stories you could share with your audience. Curate content (link to content curation blog)
Quora is essentially a question-and-asnwer platform where people can ask questions and receive answers from the community. It is therefore a great source of information and a valuable monitoring tool. Needless to say, that it can also turn out to be a great opportuinty for generating leads.
Twitter itself can be a handy monitoring tool. First of all because of Twitter lists that makes it a lot easier to monitor competition, ‘listen’ to your audience and curate content. Twitter hashtags are the tools to your Social Media monitoring which you should regularly track using tools like Tweetdeck.
Twitter search is also a great way to monitor. In fact, a few days ago Twitter announced that all tweets since the beginning of time are now available for search.
That’s right! You can use Twitter Counter for Twitter monitoring and track important hashtags and keywords, which can come in handy during marketing campaigns you might be running. Along with the volume of tweets, you get access to list of the Twitter users that have tweeted about your search query the most, as well as a list of Twitter influencers that have tweeted about it.
What to look for
First you decided what it is important for you to monitor, then you found the tools that will help you set up your monitoring system, so what’s the next step?
The whole purpose of monitoring is gathering input and information; as much information as possible, unfiltered and unbiased straight from the source. This is the great value of social media.
[Tweet “#SocialMedia have the power to provide you with firsthand input from your audience. If you listen.”]
The question is how do you make sense of all this information? Well, you have to know what to look for. Here are a few elements you should look for in your results.
Look for people that are passionate about your brand, and that they’re so passionate that they spend the word. Connect with them, engage, build relationships and a strong, loyal online community.
Automating sentiment analysis is hard and often times inaccurate as no machine or software to day has been able to catch human irony for example, or sarcasm. But a glance at your results can often be an indication of what the general sentiment around a certain topic or your brand is.
Opportunities in Social Media are everywhere as long as you are a good listener. Scan your streams of information for opportunities to curate quality content, discover conversations worth joining to raise awareness of your products or services as well as build relationships and trust with your audience and thought leaders in your industry.
Social Media conversations are a great source of firsthand, unfiltered feedback straight from your audience or customer base. This way, you can gather valuable information on your product or service and use this input to develop products to fit your customers’ needs.
However, keep your eyes peeled for negative feedback, complaints and recommendations and address them as quickly as possible. Being responsive and interested in your customers will help you build a strong reputation for your brand.
Remember that a Social Media monitoring system that works can save you lots of time and effort. In the end, good listeners are the ones who win Social Media. In other words, Social Media monitoring is key to creating a loyal community for your brand, establishing a good reputation, as well as building authority, and an overall stronger online presence.
Got any Social media monitoring tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!