Listening to conversations online about your brand or business is a key part of social media success. You wouldn’t just run out in the street shouting about your brand in the hope someone random passer-by will take notice and buy from you?! The same strategy applies online; you need to find out where your customers are and what they are talking about to effectively join the conversation and add value. You will then start to spot trends in your market and find out what the sentiment is around your brand (do they like you or not).
If you haven’t had a read of Step 1 – Set Goals, click here.
Below is my 3 step formula to effective social media monitoring, I use this at the start of every campaign for my clients.
Step 1 – Where are they?
Find out where your audience is talking online about your industry and your brand. This can include review sites, Facebook groups/fan pages, Twitter, forums, blogs, and many other social networks. Locate your audience and start listening to what they are talking about. If you are new to business or don’t have a huge audience, model your competitors. They will have located their audience hot spots so you don’t have to!
Step 2 – What tools?
For my clients I always set up Google Alerts for specific keywords, their company & competitors names so if Google indexes any relevant content I can review it straight away. Twitter offers a saved searches feature that is extremely useful when monitoring Twitter for keywords. You can set up various automated searches for your keywords, hashtags (see more on hash tags here) and business so you can spot potential leads from the content they are tweeting.
Some more great tools for listening are:
Step 3 – Emulate
Emulate, don’t imitate. This is an important lesson when monitoring your competitors. It’s good to note all the positive elements of your competitors marketing and where they are engaging, but don’t just straight copy them. Instead, improve and expand on what they’re already doing, and add your unique twist. This will ensure you have found the right place where your customers are talking and enable you to enter from your own unique perspective.
If there is anything you think should be added to my process or if you have come across any other great tools, feel free to add a comment below.