A few weeks ago, we published the Ultimate Guide to Social Listening. In it, we explored the importance of listening to how your brands are being discussed online and how to use that knowledge to your advantage. This week we’re tackling the flip side of social listening, its better-known sibling: social monitoring.
What is Social Media Monitoring?
Social media is the primary place for brands to connect with audiences online. Social media monitoring – or social monitoring, for short – is really the first step brands need to take to optimize their social media content. Social monitoring lets brands stay on top of things like:
- your brand name and any common misspellings that happen to it
- product names and how they get misspelt online
- mentions of your primary competition
- people searching for products in your region of focus
Social monitoring is really all about helping brands find conversations about themselves that they can become part of. It’s about raising internal awareness of what the world outside is actually saying about specific brands and products.
Why is Social Monitoring Important?
Social media has made having conversations about anything both complicated and straightforward. Straightforward because anyone can now have a conversation about anything at any time in any place – the only thing you need is access to a social media network. This is a double-edged sword, however, as it’s also made the digital sphere a very loud place where finding exact information can be tricky, especially if you’re not keeping an eye out for it.
For companies, social monitoring provides an avenue for just that – the opportunity to interact with customer pools about brands and products.
If you’ll remember from our social listening article, social monitoring focuses on social media channels, which is an important distinction from social listening. It allows for a narrower field of vision that can let you make specific decisions based on each individual social media channel.
Let’s say for a moment that you’re in the fruit juice game. You offer a variety of different products. One of the things social monitoring allows for is to let you know what sort of conversations are being helped about your brand, and only when you’ve been tagged in a Facebook post or Tweet.
Social media monitoring tracks the key phrases and terms important to your company. It can pull that information out and thus arm you with the right context and information to make your next move. As a fruit juice brand – for instance – you might notice that a lot of people are talking about your Mixed Berry Juices on Facebook, but on Twitter it’s your Low-Sugar Citrus Blends that are making waves. What’s with that? Social monitoring gives you that insight.
Monitoring mentions and conversations about your brand is a lot like picking up the phone when it rings – it’s all about having an interaction with your customer. it is essential to your brand’s communications pipeline.
How do you get the most out of Social Media Monitoring?
Okay, it’s clear that social monitoring is useful – essential – to making the most out of your digital presence, but how do you go about setting it up? Here are two simple steps to get you started:
- Centralise your Social Media Channels
Depending on your digital strategy, you’re likely going to have more than two social media profiles and channels in your toolkit. To make your life easier, it’s useful to bring all your social media profiles into a centralised location – a social media marketing tool like Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, or eClincher, for example. There is a solution to fit every budget and every requirement, so have a good look around before you pick one.
Having all your social profiles centralised will give you better oversight of all your social activity – plus it’ll make your content scheduling and organizing a lot simpler!
- Setup Alerts
Your next step – or you first and only if you choose to skip the centralisation step – is to set up alerts for yourself. To start with, set up alerts for your brand and product names and handles, and any common misspellings, acronyms, nicknames, or abbreviations associated with them. You’ll also want to add in some alerts for your primary competitors and some industry-adjacent terms that may be relevant.
These alerts will help you and your team stay on top of the general conversations being held about your brand on social media, and also enable you to head off any bigger issues like complaint handling or HR.
Social media monitoring is an essential tool to add to your digital kit, helping your brand stay on top of ongoing conversations and perceptions on social media. The digital world is a busy place and it can become difficult to stay on top of the changing conversations being held about your brand and products.
2Stallions can help you get started, establish a better relationship with your target audience, and never miss a relevant conversation about your brand. Contact us today to learn more.