One of the key aspects of this whole new social media craze is keyword monitoring and online reputation management. Unfortunately, many small businesses have not quite captured the importance that monitoring plays in the social media realm. We are told to create social media profiles for our brand and use these platforms to increase engagements with our audience. That is awesome if you are a big brand with national coverage but for smaller companies, this route can be a slow and painful process. Don’t get me wrong, if you are considering jumping into social media marketing and you know that your target audience uses a specific social media network, then it is definitely important to set up a profile and create engaging discussions with your audience. That is a no brainer. For smaller businesses, it is extremely important to build leads and build awareness for your brand through monitoring your activity online.
Okay, so how do I suggest that you go about doing this? First and foremost, we begin by monitoring those who already know about your brand and using this as a way to get them to continue purchasing your product/service. Brainstorm a few keywords or phrases that you believe people would use when mentioning your brand or product. This can include your brand name, some variations people may mistakenly use, any abbreviations for your company name, and/or the names of your core products. Now that you have that set in place, go ahead and plug them into your monitoring tools (I will give a list of some free tools at the end) and utilize them for results. I do recommend setting up email alerts or creating a RSS feed for these results so that you can stay on top of each mention as they occur in real time.
After collecting all of the data, it is now time to start your research by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are people saying about you?
- Do they like specific products over other ones?
- Are there improvements that they are suggesting that you can implement?
- Did he/she have a bad experience with your product or service?
These questions allow you to assess where you are in the market as a brand. You can reach out to your customers and show your appreciation for their loyalty, their positive feedback, or as a customer service platform. This is where you keep happy customers wanting to buy from you and give unhappy customers a reason to give you another chance.
After conducting your own due diligence, you now need to work on obtaining the market that is unaware of your product/service. These are the individuals who have never heard of your company or have never really thought about trying out your product/services. This somewhat requires you to think like a search engine optimizer. Which key search terms and phrases do you believe will bring the most sales? For example, let’s say you are a clothing company. You would want to monitor the main types of product that you offer, for example jeans, flip flops, halter tops, etc. Obviously the more specific in product type that you can get, the better the chance of creating a prospective customer. So now that you have a list of words and phrases that could help you find new customers, you once again plug those into your monitoring tools. You will begin to come across many tweets and posts that you can convert into sales and many others that are just useless. Pick and choose the results you believe would be beneficial to respond to and create a connection with. Remember that it is not always about going in straight for the sale. Begin by asking questions or trying to find out more about the situation and then figure out whether your product or service is the right fit for that person.
Finally, it is always fun to spy on your competitors. Use competitor brand and product names to see what people are saying about them. Use this information to improve your own products and service as well as trying to convert those unhappy customers into new potential customers for yourself! Don’t consider this stealing but rather doing what is right for the greater good. J
Here are some monitoring tools that you can use, but there are many out there so pick what works best for you (listed in no particular order):
search.twitter.com (You can also set up search queries in Hootsuite or any other 3rd party tool)
You could also use paid services such as Radian6, Alterian SM2, Engage 121, Argyle Social, plus many more.
So there we have it, monitoring is very important for you and your company. Use it wisely to build your customer base as well as keeping current customers wanting more. If you have any specific suggestions for monitoring tools please feel free to share in the comments below!
So in my previous post about which metrics to track for social media ROI, I explained the different aspects that you should consider when it comes to your social media networks. Taking these metrics into account, we were able to create conversation rates, amplification, attraction, view ability and click-through rates. It is important to watch the trend that these rates follow and look into any dips and peaks – what caused the conversation to decrease or what type of content resulted in better amplification, etc. – but for many companies this will not be enough. It is nice to see improvements in social media but your end result needs to be cold, hard cash money! Most brands use social media as an avenue to drive sales and therefore need to use these metrics to truly figure out what their social media ROI is.
This is where you will need to gain some web analytical skills if you do not already have a background, or maybe you have someone in your company who specializes in it (even better!). Before I jump into how you can track your social media success on your website, it is important to understand that some of your social media efforts could result in in-person sales, especially if you are a physical store. If this is the case, run coupons or specials that have specials codes or are directed only to specific social network audience. This is a great way to figure out if your efforts are being utilized by your audience…plus who doesn’t enjoy a nice discount coupon J
When it comes to discovering your social media ROI that is restricted to the web, you have to really analyze your website. First of all, if it’s an e-commerce site then that is awesome, this will make things a little easier. But for non e-commerce sites, and maybe even some e-commerce sites, you have to really dig in deep and figure out what you want your audience to do on the website. What is the end result that you are looking for? Do you want them to contact you to find out about your product or pricing? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter or blog RSS so that you can keep them in the loop with information? There are many purposes of a website so you really need to figure out the purpose of yours.
After analyzing your website and figure out what end results you want (aka conversions), it is time to set up goals on your analytics tool. There are many different tools such as Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, Omniture, etc., but they should all allow for you to set up goals. For e-commerce sites, you’re end goal is to sell product so set up goal that gets counted every time a user checkouts and buys some product (you can even go and create values for the goals and products, allowing you to really see how much income is being created). For the non e-commerce conversions, such as contacting you or signing up for a newsletter, create thank you pages and set up goals to track when users do either of those and land on the specific thank you page (after some time you can start analyzing how many of those conversions have lead to sales and calculate an estimated value for each goal).
Once you have these goals set up and running, you can begin segmenting your data with the analytics software in order to see which social media sources had the highest goal conversion rates (and if available, the goal value per visit from that social network).
*Side note: ROI is return on investment so it would also be beneficial to compare and analyze the income that you believe social media has accounted for with the money and time invested on your social media efforts.
I also like to note down the number of new leads and total revenue per month and analyze the trends for these values. Discover when and where you were bringing in the most leads and income. You should also document, when you are not bringing in leads and income. Compare this to your social media metrics for those same time periods. For example, let’s say you have a huge jump in monthly income in October and you look at your social media metrics and notice that your engagement rates for Facebook were at a high point, it’s a no brainer, start to analyze those metrics! See what you were doing and what type of content you were sharing during that time period on Facebook. It could be that you were running a campaign that worked wonders for your organization!
If you put your thinking caps on, you can discover your social media performance, as well as the best tactics for your organization. This process is by no means an easy one. It will take time, and you may even have to discover other efficient ways to calculate financial ROI. So I ask that you please share with our readers through the comment section! We also understand that these concepts are sometimes confusing so feel free to leave us questions or contact us if you would like us to explain something in more detail.