As a key part of a solid social media strategy, social media monitoring has many important uses and should be not only the foundation upon which a brand builds its social strategy, but also play a key role in its ongoing social media marketing efforts.
Below are 6 strategic ways social media professionals, experts, consultants and agencies incorporate social media monitoring:
1. Monitor to Know Where Your Customers are Online
You might assume that the social media platforms your business needs are Facebook and Twitter, but what if your ideal audience is actually more on Pinterest and Instagram? How would you know?
Social media monitoring will show you where your audience is online and help determine the best social media platforms for your brand/business.
This is always one of the first steps taken in devising any social media strategy and should be reviewed annually at a minimum. We use Radian6, a robust subscription-based monitoring tool to pull in brand mentions. We then toggle it to allocate mentions by media type, showing us exactly where on the web the conversation about a brand is taking place.
2. Monitor for Brand Sentiment
Understanding your brand sentiment (the overall feeling or emotion that goes along with the content being posted) goes a long way in shaping social media content and marketing messages. Use tools like Social Mention for a quick analysis of sentiment around your topic, brand or industry.
3. Monitor for Recurring Themes/Topics
While the process of sitting through the volume of brand mentions takes time and effort, this is an effective and insightful way to unearth any reoccurring topics or themes about your services, brand or products. This intelligence can be integrated into your brand’s content marketing plan. For example, you might discover the same type of question or comment over and over. This is an opportunity to create a blog post and other marketing content directly addressing this question or confusion.
4. Monitor to Identify Influencers & Advocates
Brand Advocates and Brand Influencers are the people who are most vocal about your brand or industry — and usually have large social media followings.
With social media monitoring, you can easily find the key Advocates & Influencers for your brand, service or business.
Use this information to your advantage. If the Influencer has a blog, you can comment on the blog. Or ask the Influencer or Advocate to review or write about your product or service. Reach out to them on Twitter to say hello, link to your latest blog, invite to an interview, etc. You can even start to curate these Advocates for a blog outreach initiative. For clarification, read about the difference between Influencers vs. Advocates.
5. Monitor to Find & Join the Conversation
Responding to conversations directed to you (your brand/company) is not only a Best Practice, it’s critical to the success of your social media efforts and the sentiment around your company/brand. Monitoring tools such as HootSuite, TweetDeck or Google Alerts make it easy to stay on top of these conversations or to find relevant conversations to join in on.
6. Monitor to Avoid Potential Crisis
Being prepared for the dreaded social media crisis is good planning and goes hand-in-hand with monitoring not only your platforms, but the entire social space.
Social media monitoring provides the opportunity of early intervention, which can virtually eliminate a social media crisis from going viral — which, on the web, happens in warp speed.
While not always possible to thwart, knowing what to look for and how to respond is an invaluable use of social media monitoring.
With an abundance of social media monitoring tools to choose from, there is no reason you shouldn’t include active monitoring as an essential tactic in your everyday social media marketing routine. Read 6 Savvy Tips for Social Media Monitoring to learn how to set up monitoring, what to monitor and best practices of social media monitoring.
Share your monitoring tool of choice and/or how you use it in the comment section.