Social media monitoring is one of the most discussed topics in social media marketing these days, and with good reason. It is still a new industry and there are a lot of different things to look for. If you have a brand or sell products, you NEED to know what people are saying in social media. If you aren’t, you’re leaving your brand in the hands of consumers and one bad experience could turn into a PR nightmare.
So you’re ready to listen, now you need a plan. Of course it’s different for every brand, but this as a general step-by-step guideline for a solid social media monitoring strategy.
Step 1: Determine WHAT you want to listen for
Do you want to listen for just your brand, or do you want to listen for specific products? Should you be listening to what is being said about your competitors? Are you looking to develop leads or compile market research? These are the questions that you need to think about to get a better of idea of what you should be listening to. With so much chatter out there on the web, it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you hit step 2.
Step 2: Start Listening
Now that you know what to listen for, it’s time to start listening. How to listen depends on your needs. Our Resonate platform provides a full-service solution for social media monitoring combining cutting-edge technology with a dedicated industry analyst. We manage social media listening for you.
Step 3: Analyze the Data
Depending on what you’re listening for, you can have 100 mentions a week, or 10,000 mentions a week, either way you’ll need to be able to analyze the data and know what people are really saying and this is where advanced tools are required. In order to analyze social media, you need to know whether mentions are relevant to your brand, whether the sentiment is positive or negative, and what the relative influence level is for each social media posting . While looking at data you’ll see some things that you’ll likely want to respond to, and that takes us to step 4.
Step 4: Get Involved in the Conversation
If people are complaining about your brand there’s no better way to find out how you can help. This is where real-time social media monitoring is important, you can respond on the fly as soon as it happens. If your customer had a bad experience, simply reach out to them and offer to help. A recent study shows that a majority of consumers APPROVE of being responded to by the companies they are talking about. If you don’t already have an established social media presence, this would be a great time to get started. Showing that your company cares about its customers goes a long way.
Step 5: Use the Data to Make Smarter Business Decisions
Social media monitoring isn’t just to see what people are saying about your brand, it’s also to see what people are saying about your competitors. Use social media monitoring as a complete market research tool. Social media is the world’s largest focus group, just start listening. You may learn that people hate your latest product, or they just really loved the old design or packaging. You can use the data in all parts of your organization to improve performance in customer service, marketing, human resources, design & development, etc.
BTW, if you’re still using Google Reader, or RSS feeds to track the mentions of your brand, it’s really time to upgrade. Hopefully these 5 steps will give you something to think about when planning your social media strategy – just remember to adapt accordingly to your brand.