Why Social Monitoring Is Important for Your Business
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!