One of the most significant but often disregarded aspects in the vast online spectrum is social media monitoring. It is imperative to measure the social media presence of your company and industry to produce content, create strategy and fix any disreputable PR catastrophes before they’ve had a chance to develop (think Coca Cola, Nestle and BP). Below are some steps to take when devising your social monitoring strategy:
What are my objectives?
The initial step in ensuring your monitoring will be worthwhile is to define your current business objectives. Examples of objectives could be identifying or measuring brand recognition, customer loyalty, new markets or social media buzz. For instance, do you want to measure the success of a social media campaign, or even your competitors? Or maybe you’ve recently launched a new product or advertising slogan and would like to observe the public’s response. Whether it’s marketing, public relations, social media, customer service or any other aspect you’d like to measure, it’s achievable.
What to measure?
Once objectives are acknowledged, the next step will be to identify various keywords to measure. The first and most obvious is the company brand name, to determine whether you’re being talked about and to identify any dissatisfied customers or common misspellings/nicknames associated with your brand. Other measurable keywords include competitors, common SEO keywords, slogans, Directors, business partners, events, industry topics, news and products.
What tools to use?
- Google Alerts, Analytics & Trends: Simple mix of updates of keywords, insights into web traffic and monitoring of topic trends.
- Social Networking Sites: Twitter, Facebook, TweetDeck and HootSuite allow you to search, filter and interact with large volumes of real-time conversation.
- Social Networking Tools: Ice Rocket, It’s Trending, Ellerdale and Twitterfall for tracking and searching specified content on social networking sites,
- Blog tools: Blog Pulse and Technorati to monitor daily activity
- Free Social Media Monitoring: Social Media Mention and HowSociable?
- Premium Social Media Monitoring: Radian 6, Alterian, Scout Labs or Visible Technologies for more bespoke and expert monitoring.
How to Analyse?
When examining results on various monitoring platforms, human monitoring is essential to structure and define data and to filter out any unnecessary, irrelevant or inaccurate results. It is essential to identify recurring trends and phases, identify new markets, compare volume of conversations and the main online sources, monitor brand sentiment or feedback and identify domains with the most conversations.
To gain a realistic overview of your brand it is advisable to use a mixture of paid and free monitoring tools for full variety and understanding. Once you’ve reported what’s effective and what isn’t, it’s crucial to alter your strategy or approach accordingly i.e. customer service and products. For this to be achieved a brand needs to use monitoring to learn rather than merely listen to opinions or criticism. Rather than using technology to impose on discussions, customer trust can be maintained by using social media portals to invite feedback whether negative or positive. As a result, measuring and initiating online conversation is priceless and the key to continuous improvement.
If you’d like to discuss this in more depth, please drop a tweet to @brandmovers_US