Why and how to step up your social media monitoring

Here are four approaches and benefits to keeping tabs on your brand advocates and detractors, as well as the competition, to improve your online marketing strategies and tactics.

Social media monitoring entails finding out what’s being said about your company, products, brand and team on social media, and analyzing those data.

Social media monitoring—sometimes referred to as “social media listening”—can be a vital tactic for gathering intelligence from your customers so you can improve your content, business development, R&D, customer service and real-time marketing campaigns.

Social media monitoring is more than simply setting up a Google Alert to see what people are saying about you on their platforms. It’s about finding out where those conversations are taking place and engaging with the people involved.

It’s also about responding, delivering content to them once they’ve shown interest, and helping them solve problems whenever you can.

The way to reach a targeted group of consumers is through relevant, personalized, engaging content. When you focus on social media monitoring, you can find out what they want to talk about—and avoid getting tuned out.

Here are four key ways that social media monitoring can benefit your business:

1. Get an edge on your competition.

Set up keyword tracking to monitor all mentions that relate to your products and services. (Make sure you list variations of your product name, as well as any common misspellings.)

If you find that people are complaining about a competitor’s product or customer service, step in and ask them to explain those shortcomings. From there, you can show them that they’re important to you, explaining your own product’s benefits.

2. Identify influencers and brand advocates.

Find out who’s sharing your information about your products and spreading positive news relating to your brand. That’s a great way to pinpoint opportunities for influencer relationships.

Once you identify your brand advocates, reward them for spreading the love for your brand. A happy customer who talks about you without being asked is marketing gold. Build upon those relationships.

3. Find your tribe.

With social media monitoring, you don’t have to puzzle over the best place to focus your marketing efforts. Avoid guesswork and save yourself time by determining which platform is best for marketing your brand.

Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, join the conversation and get to know current and potential consumers.

Event: Big 5 Social Media Boot Camp

4. Improve customer service.

In monitoring social media, you’ll see both positive and negative feedback—the latter often providing clear direction on how you can improve.

Those who take the time to complain are not lost causes; they’re showing you they still like you, your product or brand—and that they’re open to being helped through a problem.

A version of this post first appeared on Social Media Today.

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