Monitoring your social media campaigns is a vital element in marketing via social media platforms. It might seem like a secondary objective, but, in fact, it is one of the most important factors to follow and understand...
According to popular retired NBA player, Ray Allen, “You don’t need a corporation or a marketing company to brand you now: you can do it yourself. You can establish who you are with a social media following.”
Social media is bubbling with user activity. On Twitter alone, 6,000 tweets are generated every second, which means 500 million tweets per day.
Most ecommerce platforms today use social media to engage with current and prospective customers. These networks give businesses the ability to communicate with consumers in real time. You can use social media monitoring to gauge how people talk about your brand online.
A successful social media monitoring strategy will help you streamline all of your brand’s mentions and search parameters into one place so you focus your time on responding to important messages and developing a strategy based on your insights. Your monitoring approach should start with listing everything you want to keep track of and how you’ll be responding to those messages.
Social monitoring is an essential part of any social customer care strategy. It can lead to faster response times, PR crisis prevention and identification of brand advocates. Responding to customers has been shown to lead to stronger brand loyalty among customers.
What is Social Media Monitoring?
Social media monitoring is the process of identifying and determining what is being said about a brand, individual or product through different social and online channels.
How does it work?
Similar to search engines that send crawlers to the far reaches of the Internet, social media monitoring is an algorithm-based tool that crawls sites and continuously indexes them. Once sites are indexed, they can be searched based on queries or strings.
How does it affect ecommerce businesses?
Social media monitoring can impact how you market your ecommerce business. Businesses engaged in social monitoring actively search digital media channels for keywords or phrases directly related to their brands.
How to Improve Your Social Media Monitoring Strategy
1. Brand Mentions
This is the top goal of social media monitoring. You need to keep track of posts that mention your brand, even those without the @ or # operators. The best way of doing so is by tracking mentions with and without links.
Don’t limit your search to exact-name matches. Allow common misspellings and product names too. Also, look for results in all languages to widen the scope of your search. This way, you can engage your international customers in personal one-to-one conversations.
A high volume of brand mentions doesn’t necessarily mean that your brand is making waves. It could be the result of a successful outreach campaign or could also signal a potential crisis. So, you need to track other parameters along with brand mentions for getting a more holistic picture of your brand’s social media positioning.
2. Brand-Adjacent Terms
You need to track brand-adjacent terms to reach customers who have a purchase intent but are not typing your exact brand name. These terms coincide with the keywords relevant to your brand or product.
We can suggest a great way of finding non-branded keywords that have a history of conversion. Use Google Webmaster tools or Google Analytics to find such keywords in your domain.
Once you find people who are using these terms, micro-target them using appealing content and offers. As they haven’t mentioned your brand explicitly, it’s best to start off tactfully and gauge their intent. Bombarding them with pushy content might kill your chances to win them over.
3. Customer Questions
Modern customers are extremely demanding. They expect brands to be available round-the-clock to answer their questions.
If their questions go unanswered, they often don’t hesitate to shift their loyalty to competing brands.
In such a competitive ecosystem, being unavailable is just not an option for brands. 50% of unhappy customers will abandon your brand if you don’t meet their needs promptly. You won’t ever get to understand the reason why they left if you don’t use social media monitoring.
That’s why you need to set up a unified inbox in the social media monitoring platforms you choose to use. All the messages that your existing customers leave on any of your channels will show up in the inbox and you can attend to these quickly.
You can configure custom alerts for different audience segments. Some platforms offer smart inboxes from where you can delegate tasks to appropriate team members without leaving the inbox.
Competitor analysis should also be a part of your social media monitoring plan. You should inspect your competitors’ brand mentions as diligently as your own.
When you set up alerts for keywords, your competitors might show up in the search results. Look for insights such as unique marketing tactics, product ideas, and customer feedback. You can use this business intelligence to fine-tune your products and strategies.
You can replicate their successful marketing tactics and avoid their tactical mistakes. Negative sentiment around your competitor could mean additional business opportunity for you. If you reach out to the dissatisfied customers of your competitors with competitive prices and better deals, you may be able to win new customers. But, use a soft pitch, preferably through brand advocates and influencers instead of approaching them directly.
5. Customer Sentiment
If you need guidance about features and pricing for your upcoming products, you need to take a deep look into your target audiences’ general perception about these aspects. You will learn what customers desire, what is non-negotiable, and what is not required.
Customer sentiment gives a top-level view of your brand’s health.
A high volume of brand mentions with negative sentiment can mean a crisis is brewing. You need to step up your customer service to stop the snowball effect. On the contrary, a low volume of brand mentions with positive sentiment indicates low brand awareness. In that case, you need to accelerate your marketing efforts.
6. Use the right tools
There are tons of free and paid social media monitoring tools out there, and they’re not all the same. Choosing the right tool is about understanding your goals. For example, if you need a tool that helps you determine consumer opinion about your brand, you’ll need to look for one that offers sentiment analysis.
Each tool produces different types of data to help you modify your social media strategy as needed. These tools can help you set up a social media monitoring system that’s easy for you to maintain and analyze.
7. Leverage the influencers
Who are the influencers in your niche? Who are the people out there who seem really passionate about your brand? Knowing who the influencers and brand evangelists are can be useful in helping you leverage them to help spread the word about your company.
A way of identifying influencers in your niche is to use Google, for example finding influencers in the food niche could be done by searching for "Food blog" on Google, and opening up the few blogs that come up first. Usually, a combination of both methods can give you the best results.
After you have identified the influencers commanding a followership in your niche, it's time to start communicating with them. Engage them in their blogs, on articles they post both in their blog and in social media. Creating a first impression of you being an open and approachable brand is important, and remember to offer them value. Don't waste their time, but engage them with creative and useful comments. This type of communication and engagement can then be turned into influencer marketing with the help of your newly found associate.
8. Review your purpose for monitoring
What’s your reason for enacting a social media monitoring effort? Are you wanting to determine how people perceive your brand? Are you hoping to stamp out negative chatter before it turns from a whisper into a roar? Do you want to monitor so you can use social media as a customer service tool? Do you want to monitor the conversation to determine what your audience needs so you can deliver it? All of the above? Knowing your goal will help you stay focused and effective.
You may want to separately monitor your business name, your reach, your competition and so forth, so you might want to set up separate tasks to ensure that you can keep track of each part you’re monitoring.
9. Organize the data
When you start gathering data, create a spreadsheet. This will help you keep all the information together so that you can access and analyze the data more easily.
Using social media to listen to any conversations about you and your business or even your niche, helps you become the go-to person in your area of expertise. The more you know about what’s going on, the more you appear to be a thought leader among your target audience.
10. Delegate someone to respond when necessary
Social media is about conversations, so that means someone on your end needs to be interacting with your audience. Delegate someone who understands your brand, knows your key messages, and can be trusted to interact with your target audience in a professional manner.
This could be your social media manager, someone from your customer service team, or you could share responsibilities throughout your staff. But you need someone in charge of checking social mentions as they come in, and delegating responsibility when necessary.
Wrapping It Up!
Social media monitoring involves the tracking of online brand mentions and the subsequent responding of them. Monitoring keeps your brand on top of messages before they might become viral for the wrong reasons. They also help you maintain a positive brand image among consumers and identify potential influencers. It can give direction to your social media outreach. You can plan your content instead of relying on a hit-and-trial approach.
When choosing the right monitoring tool for you, you want it to cover all the networks that you’re presently on and hopefully all in one space. With less back and forth between apps and browser tabs, you’ll be able to focus more clearly on the task at hand: focusing solely on social customer care and maximizing the value of your campaigns.
All companies should have tools that assist with social media monitoring. Are you ready to take on a social media monitoring strategy for your brand? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Hipsocial today.