It’s no secret that social media is one of the top ways to market your business online. But then social media has its own disadvantages, challenges and limitations.
With social media, people are free to talk about your brand just about anywhere they want, and if you’re not listening then you have no idea how they perceive your brand or what they think of it. Only by monitoring online conversations will you know whether consumers are talking positively or negatively about your brand and whether your marketing efforts are paying off or not.
To be more specific, here are 7 ways in which social media monitoring helps businesses:
1. Reputation Management
Brand reputation is the popular perception of your company as well as its products and services. The key to managing your brand reputation is listening to what people are saying about your company on various channels such as blogs, forums, review websites, and social network platforms.
Monitoring social sphere will help you know whenever your brand is mentioned on these channels and help you reply to people instantly. Monitoring online conversations involving your brand will help you track negative comments, allowing you to reply to them on time. In the hyper-connected social world, not replying to negative tweets or comments promptly can do unimaginable damage to your brand’s reputation.
A good online reputation helps increase sales of a business. On the other hand, a bad online reputation can cost a business in many ways; not only could a business lose sales but in some cases a bad online reputation can result in a total boycott of its products/services.
2. Sentiment Analysis
Are consumers talking good about your recently launched campaign? Simply knowing the number of comments or tweets mentioning the campaign is not sufficient. What good is a comment or a tweet if a marketer is unable to pinpoint the tone of online conversations? It’s important for businesses to be able to accurately gauge consumer sentiment towards recently launched campaigns or products.
Social media monitoring is much more than counting the number of likes, comments, retweets and shares. Sentiment analysis helps you detect and understand the audience’s reaction to your brand.
Social media monitoring lets you analyze all conversations and tag them as positive, negative or neutral. Analyzing the tone of conversations will tell you what your customers dislike about your brand, allowing you to bring about the desired changes in your product/service or marketing. Making changes as per customer feedback or reaction will help businesses achieve better sales.
3. Competitive and Industry Insights
It’s important to know the conversation surrounding your brand, but it’s equally important to keep track of what is being said about your competitors. Monitoring your competitors will give you an insight into what you are doing wrong and the changes you need to bring into your products/services and social media marketing strategies.
Learning from your competitors’ mistakes and following their successful marketing strategies will help you grow your follower base and possibly increase your sales. The other important metric you need to keep track of is the share of voice —“the percentage of all online content and conversations about your company, compared to your competitors.”
Listening to conversations happening around your brand or that of your competitors is not sufficient. You need to keep a track of what is happening in your industry by monitoring industry-related terms. Industry insights will let you identify emerging trends and help you decide on how you need to change or modify your products to serve your customers better.
4. Influencer Identification
Influencers are those with strong online voices and thousands of followers. They can help your marketing campaign go viral and send millions of followers to your social profiles and website.
Social media monitoring is a great way to identify whose opinions hold the most weight in your industry. Once you have found social influencers who have influence over your target audience, you can start building relationships with them.
Getting influencers to talk about your brand or your marketing campaign is one of the best ways to improve brand recognition, expand your customer base, and ultimately achieve higher sales.
5. Customer Service
Respond to all the comments and tweets made on your social media pages by your customers. Social media monitoring can help you resolve customer issues and give you deeper insights into customer service beyond studying brand mentions.
For e.g.: @MicrosoftHelps is a prime example of customer service done well. This twitter handle by Microsoft is solely dedicated to responding to customers who need help.
6. Crisis Management
Being ignorant of or finding out bad reviews later than sooner will only make things worse for your business. Dissatisfied customers are likely to get even more indignant if they feel they are being ignored.
Monitoring conversations will help you keep a track of negative comments or tweets and respond to them in time. You can set up email alerts in this regard to keep you informed of any increase in activity surrounding specific words or phrases pertaining to your business.
In case of a sudden rise in activity, check out the matter immediately and do your best to bring it under control if it’s a negative development. Social media monitoring can thus help you contain negative developments and avoid crises.
7. Lead Generation
Many consumer sales happen instantly, impulsively, and online. Through social media monitoring, you can find the exact kind of people that might be interested in buying your products.
Monitor keywords related to your industry and find conversations where people are looking for products or services similar to yours.
If someone tweets: “Any recommendations for a good café in downtown Los Angeles?” reply to them with your official café handle and offer a special incentive for them to check you out.
Chances are the person may take you up on your word and turn up at the café. If they like what they see, they may even tweet about it positively. This shows how monitoring keywords related to your industry can help you generate leads.
Social media monitoring makes you aware of how your business is doing and how you can continually make improvements to generate more exposure for it, build a rock-solid reputation for your brand, and boost sales. Social media monitoring should therefore be a significant part of your overall social media strategy.