In the world of social media marketing, we often hear of the importance of monitoring as the first actionable item. Although social media monitoring has numerous benefits to a businesses, both large and small, it may be unclear as to how to use monitoring. A recent study reveals that close to half of businesses surveyed don’t know how to use monitoring effectively for marketing purposes.
Decide What to Monitor
Whether you are a Fortune 500 or an entrepreneur, what you monitor is important. Sarah Evans outlines what to monitor in her post, HOW TO: Set up a free online monitoring system
In her article, she covers key terms to monitor including:
- The company name
- Company CEO and/or executive team
- Company spokespeople
- Highly visible employees
- Key stakeholders/shareholders/investors
I’ll add to the list with any branded products or services.
Choose a Monitoring Platform
What is the focus and complexity of what you need to monitor? If you are a small business or entrepreneur, you may find free monitoring tools will more than do the job. We like Google Alerts for brand and key word mentions and HootSuite for Twitter mentions, but there are many others. Following is a line up of some helpful blog posts regarding tools:
Top 10 Social Media Monitoring Tools and Social Media Monitoring Tools Review
Free Social Media Monitoring Tools
A Wiki of Social Media Monitoring Solutions
Set up an Alert Chain:
Whether you use a paid monitoring powerhouse like Radian6 or a free online monitoring tool like Google Alerts, you’ll need to decide if you want to receive real time alerts or daily email containing alerts.
Delegate someone in your company who is going to receive and analyze these alerts. Create an action chain on how to handle relevant or hot alerts. Amber Naslund of Radian6 brilliantly explains how to do this in her recent post, 5 Steps to a Better Social Media Monitoring Plan
Monitoring for Proactive Engagement
One of the best strategies for creating online visibility for your brand or business is to seek out relevant blog posts via monitoring. Browse through the alerts to locate blogs that you can comment on. Not only does this help to establish your business as an authority in the field, it creates additional inbound links back to your website or blog post. Comment on popular blogs that receive a lot of comments for added visibility. In your comment, refer back to a blog article you wrote, or to a product on your website. Read more on how to incorporate reactive and proactive engagement using social media monitoring in our previous post, Strategies to Ensure an Engaged Social Presence
Monitor for Content to Share
Sharing information that is relevant to your business or profession is a sure way to establish your brand or business as an authority and to keep people coming back for more. Use the information you find via monitoring to share with others (think Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, Amplify, Delicious, etc.) or to spark ideas for writing your next blog post.
Monitor for Knowledge
What you know about your industry and your competition can elevate you or your business above the rest. Use social media monitoring to mine out content to read for the sake of knowledge.
Make it a practice every day to read & learn from, comment on, respond to and share the content you find through monitoring and you’ll be one your way to casting a wide net in the social media sea.