„Choo-Chooo,“ goes the digital train. Each cart a familiar social platform. It’s almost approaching and bustling with insight. Are your ears on the tracks? If you have not thought about social trends and listening to customers online, then it’s time to join the conversation.
Think about it. Just a little while ago, Facebook was mostly a silly website for college kids. Today, it stands as a robust series of networks that redefine relationships, stimulate brands, support political movements, and engage global causes. In other words, social media is not going anywhere so it’s time to start listening.
What is Social Media Monitoring?
To adapt your business model to a customer that is constantly connected, you need to go to their water cooler. Social media monitoring is a way of listening to social channels to establish the popularity of a brand (among other metrics). Social channels can include anywhere online people socialize, like:
- Social networking sites (Facebook)
- Micro-blogs (Twitter)
- News sites
- Message boards
- Video / Photo sharing sites
- And even user-generated content
Social listening helps you to become the success of your digital marketing strategies and gauge current industry trends. The idea is to use the customer and your competitors to better optimize your presence and define your brand.
Why do I Need it for my Business?
Like dark matter in the universe, 96% of people who talk about your brand do not follow you on social media. Say what? So how are you reaching these potential leads? Improving your business and challenging customer challenges starts with valuable social insights.
Social monitoring measures the „social value“ of your product / service and can help you to set the standard for online user activity. In other words, you can use the data to better understand conversion triggers and what drives your customers to buy.
The Benefits of Social Media Monitoring
When you’re listening to social media, there’s a large number of people talking. Both your customers and the thought leaders of your industry can teach you one thing or two about your own business.
Social media monitoring does not have to be costly, difficult, or time-consuming. There are a variety of benefits to taking a few minutes a day and really putting your ear to the tracks:
- Become a thought leader and influencer in your industry by paying attention.
- Respond to customer complaints in a quick manner.
- Anticipate any disputes before they are escalated.
- Increase customer engagement and satisfaction.
- Develop deeper brand trust through industry knowledge.
- Use social listening to raise brand awareness.
- Use feedback to shape future design and create the product / service your customers truly want.
The advantages continue to be truly defined by how you use social monitoring and the way in which you engage your customers. Social value comes with aptitude for creating your digital brand identity
Developing a Social Intelligence
Social media monitoring is critical because it informs a competitive strategy for your business by developing a social intelligence. That means you know what people just want to talk about. When employing the old-school data-gathering methods of public and proprietary sources, it takes time to test and analyze the information. Then there is often a „guessing game“ of how to make people happy.
In the current digital climate, thought leaders and experts are freely sharing data and viewpoints through social platforms. Like apples on a tree, this free data is ripe for the picking. It is both driven and global in scope.
Defeating Your Competition
Social media monitoring is therefore essential to understanding your competitors. Measuring engagement and watching others in your industry are doing it. It’s all about how to get involved, but there are several tools and strategies that can help you peek over the fence of your competitor (without stepping on their lawn).
One of the best-kept secrets is Google Alerts . You can use this tool to monitor competitor brands, and every time you post, you’ll receive a text or e-mail. This is the child of social listening that can really help you stay informed.
How to Get Started
The process starts with a goal that you want to achieve and your expected outcome. Is there a problem in your business? The best way to do this is to research some of your keywords and understand the general concept of your brand.
The best way to find them is by examining the hashtags your customers and are using on their social media posts. Once you have your list, it’s time to head to the tool.
Grab this for your toolkit
The social monitoring tool that works best for your business is based on a lot of factors, but there are some that are more popular across all industries. Because there are so many options, you should do some thorough investigation before investing any money. The following are just some of the top social monitoring tools for 2018:
- Sprout Social
- Zoho Social
- Sharp Spring
- Luxury watches
The list could go on, and every day new tools and technologies are developed. As long as you are at least one, it’s better than a large portion of work.
Do Not Forget to Speak up!
You may not notice if you do not engage. You have to use the data to discover genuinely interact with your audience. Did you know that customers spend 20-40% more on companies who engage them on social media? So, do not go your way and waste your critical social intelligence on being shy.
The McKinsey Global Institute reported 9 out of 10 jobs using social media, over $ 1.3 trillion of business opportunity remains . Only 3% of work are even maximizing this chance. It is sitting there … untapped. That opportunity lies in consumer interaction. When you’re doing social media to engage your audience.Take Starbucks as a prime example. Six years ago, social monitoring spelled out to create their own Facebook page that would establish a consumer community. With robust content marketing strategies, continued social listening, and committed customer engagement, the brand now has over 36 million followers on Facebook and over 6 million on Instagram .
Social media monitoring is ultimately about forming immediate connections and real-time conversations on a global scale. Remember the train barreling down the tracks? The only way to know it’s coming to the rails and act.