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What Social Media Monitoring Can Teach You About Your Business
Social Media Management

What Social Media Monitoring Can Teach You About Your Business

March 22, 2024

Intro to Social Media Monitoring

Have you ever gone to a party and noticed an individual or a group looking at you while whispering covertly?

What's up with that? Is your fly open? Does somebody have a crush on you? Does someone want to throw a drink in your face?

You 'd like to know, wouldn't you?

The online universe is a lot like that party; It's a system of digital communities in which people are gathering and discussing a wide range of topics, including YOU. In your personal life, you may or may not care to find out what they're saying, but in business, it's essential to your survival that you know.

At the party, you may never get the answers you look for without shaking somebody down. However, online, you can use social media monitoring to track mentions of your brand, competitors, product and any other keywords that apply to your business.

Monitoring your social media networks is about more than just listening.

The information you accumulate can help you make big decisions regarding your marketing technique, the products and services you provide and how people see your brand. Also, it can help you identify leads, build relationships, stay on top of trends, learn about your competitors, protect your brand and more!

Keep in mind: This article is outlining organic social media monitoring tips, rather than paid social campaigns. Organic social media is more tailored toward creating brand recognition and interacting with your target audience. Paid social is usually focused around driving targeted actions like content downloads, webinar or appointment signups, and other specific objectives.

Here's more on why it's so important that you monitor what people are saying about your company online.

Why Should You Utilize Social Media Monitoring?

1. To gauge social sentiment

What do you know about your brand's reputation? You can get a feel by reading your reviews and talking to customers, but you 'd be missing out on a wealth of more informal brand or product mentions.

Also, you need to be there to respond! In a recent study, Sprout Social found that 89% of social messages go overlooked. That's a problem-- and an even bigger missed opportunity.

People use social media to discuss the topics they care about within the communities they choose. That's where you need to listen to really learn how consumers view your company, the problems they're having, and the things they love.

2. To identify leads & develop connections

Are customers searching for your products and services? You've seen those calls on Facebook for recommendations, or the plaintive cries for help on Twitter: "I want pizza!" When you monitor your brand's keywords or phrases, you can jump in and respond to these requests (Just mention your current Monday 2 for 1 pizza promo!). NOT selling anything can be really effective too. Be a part of the discussions that are happening online about your industry.

3. To stay on top of trends

When you're carefully monitoring discussions in your specific niche, you might be able to discover new and developing trends as they emerge. For example, when Instagram launched its "Stories" product, Snapchat growth took a big hit (growth decreased by 82%). In response to information like this, you might decide to change your marketing strategy to be one of the first to dive into a new social channel or try a new tactic.

snapchat statistics

Image source: Techcrunch

Why is this important? In an oversaturated market, doing the same thing as everyone else can get you lost in the crowd. Identifying ways to stand out will help you get noticed and stay relevant in your industry.

4. To perform competitor research

Has your competition introduced a product similar to what you offer, but at a lower cost or with a few more bells and whistles? Did they just launch a marketing strategy that your customers are enjoying? Did they just screw up royally using a strategy you've been considering? Having your finger on the social pulse will alert you regarding these types of scenarios and unexpected issues that might have big repercussions for your business.

5. To protect your brand

Building your brand's reputation takes a lot of time and effort, but it can all be lost in seconds.Monitoring your social channels allows you to identify any issues customers have and jump on solutions before they blow up.

Stuff happens. It's unavoidable.

It's how you respond and how quickly you respond that matters. In fact, we've found that if a company fixes its issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers return to you.

Listening, identifying the problem and showing your customers you care and are taking steps to fix the issue is what can transform them from a brand killer into a champion for your company.

What to Do with Your Social Media Monitoring Insights

So once you're set up with the tools you need for monitoring, tracking, measuring and analysis, what do you do with the information? This is the pivotal moment where you decide how to act on the information you've received.

Change Social Strategy

Is your strategy working? Are you actually getting traction on your main social platforms? You might discover that it's time to re-evaluate the resources and effort you put into particular networks.

For instance, maybe you find that your people are very engaged in Quora. Devoting more time and resources there would be worth pursuing, even if it's at the expense of another social channel.

Results from monitoring your competitors on social media may also give some interesting insights as well. You might discover that a new video strategy has people in your area or industry buzzing about a close competitor. Why let them go unchallenged?

Work on Creating Relationships with Leads & Influencers

If you can jump into conversations and authentically solve problems for people, do it! This strategy can be especially relevant when it comes to people's frustrations with your competitor's products or services. When you do this, it's important that you come from a really authentic place and provide tips or advice tailored around helping people. People do not want to be spammed, and sensitive subjects like plastic surgery should be off-limits.

However, in a lot of industries you should feel free to have real conversations with people around the subjects they care about (which also happen to be subjects YOU care about as a business owner!).

Finding and reaching out to influencers in your industry as laid out in this post (Salesforce) can have an incredible amplification impact for your brand as well. People look to influencers to help them make purchasing decisions constantly, and if you can develop strong connections with key influencers you can expect better outcomes for much less work.

salesforce built relationships

Image Source: Salesforce

Create New Products/Services

Listening to the needs of your target audience is a wise way to fine-tune your solutions and develop new ones. If enough consumers are saying they dislike a product, or wish they could tweak it, it's probably worth looking into what the issue is and try to determine what can make that product better.

For instance, Natalia Chrzanowska of (Brand24) notes that GoPro did exactly that when they released their new camera-- GoPro Hero4.

"We evaluated the social media discussions regarding both releases-- Hero3+ and Hero4. The insights gathered during the Hero3+ premiere included lots of suggestions for features that could improve customer experience, which then appeared later in the succeeding model-- GoPro Hero4."

On the flip side, if your customers LOVE one of your products, there might be an opportunity to create similar or complementary products or services.

You can then turn around and apply all this awesome feedback as testimonials for new campaigns. Think ad campaigns, email campaigns, social campaigns and more!

Update Customer Service Policy/Process

Social media has resulted in a major shift in how customer service is performed by a lot of companies. Customers want immediate answers, and are less likely to put up with call centers. Many won't even pick up the phone when they have an issue; They'll just tweet about it! According to a new report from Conversocial, 54% of customers prefer customer service via social media and SMS. The upcoming generation of millennials will only amplify this trend.

People are staying with their preferred social media channels to air out their complaints, and you need to know if this is happening in your industry (and be ready for it).

In Jay Baer's book Hug Your Haters, author and consultant Dave Kerpen notes that:

"If a customer calls you on the phone to complain, surely you wouldn't hang up on them. And not responding in social media is akin to hanging up on them, only worse, because there are actually other people watching and listening."

Letting complaints hang around there unanswered is not acceptable to current and potential customers, and it shouldn't be to you!

4 Easy Wins

I've tossed a lot of information your way. It's easy to get overwhelmed and put off testing these techniques for yourself. To help you get started, here are a few simple action items for you to try:

  • Jot down 3 of your top goals that you're hoping monitoring your social networks will help you with. (example: Find out if consumers are liking the new kombucha flavor we just released).
  • Contact us to get set up with the social media monitoring tools you need. Poke around and see what value you can get out of the tools.
  • Enter a few of your brand's keywords and see what information the tools come up with.
  • Review the initial results. Make a list of 3 things you learned and whether you should discuss with your team.

Final Thoughts

Most companies know that they should monitor social media for mentions related to their brand, products, services, competitors and industry. You may actually be doing so already. But do you have a plan in place to evaluate, respond and incorporate results into your business's ongoing strategy?

If you don't, you may be missing some great opportunities ... or you could get a martini in your face!

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