What is Social Media Monitoring and Why is it Important?
Social media monitoring is the act of identifying and gathering information regarding your brand mentions and customer sentiments online. The sample size for such data collection is massive. It encompasses all the social media platforms, review boards, and messenger forums.
Manually tracking all the user-generated content about a brand is quite impossible. It’s impossible without software tools which can crawl sites and index them which make the content easily trackable and enable searches based on queries or using conversation strings.
Track Precise Content with Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring tools are designed to work with what users type in a query, using a brand name, a location, a general phrase or an event mention.
The tool uses Boolean operators to filter out irrelevant content and home in upon specific terms to precisely identify the relevant bits out of complex strings in a query. Some tools allow searches which get results from across sites, anywhere in the world and in different languages too.
Importance of Social Media Monitoring
The modern age is defined by the use of social media and the internet as a whole. In today’s wired world, every conversation is digital! In a survey conducted by The Advertising Research Foundation, FOX and DB5 (with a sample of over 12000 twitter users, both male and female), it was found that about 80% users had mentioned a brand in their tweets in the measured period.
This goes to show how much you would be missing when you fail to monitor social media sites for your brand mentions. However, if you aren’t yet convinced of the power of social media monitoring, here’s a list of some benefits of social monitoring:
Feedback can be positive or negative. Both help to set your strategic direction and guide you on your path to success. Seeking feedback is a great way to invest in improving your product, service or overall strategies. Feedback does not necessarily have to be about your existing product. You can also seek feedback from a closed focus group on social media about a campaign. Tracking everyday brand mentions gets you very useful feedback without your having to actively seek it. This real-time feedback is great as you can surprise your customers by covertly listening to their wishes and demands. Modifying your product accordingly and releasing it in as a new improved version would pleasantly surprise them.
One of the greatest examples of how a company listened to customer opinion to successfully turnaround its product comes from the world famous pizza restaurant chain – Domino’s.
Domino’s tapped into social media, gathered evidence of how a number of customers complained that their pizza crust tasted like cardboard and re-invented their pizza.
Identify Your Advocates and Critics
Social media monitoring gets you in touch with your greatest fans as well as your harshest critics. Embracing both can help you develop your business strategy. The critics help you improve, and the fans help you to advertise your brand. Interacting and engaging with both these groups makes them feel valued and who knows, maybe you can turn a critic into a fan. When you engage with your fans, you encourage and excite them about your brand all the more. They may turn into active ambassadors for your product and that can positively affect your sales.
At Par with Trends
Say you are in the food business serving Italian cuisine. Your town is hosting the year’s biggest food festival, and all the restaurants are vying to put up their stalls. This upcoming food festival in your town is one of the trending stories on social media. But you failed to catch the buzz because you did not monitor social media platforms and as a result, missed all the action. Popular trends related to your industry help you to stay informed and to plan your marketing efforts.
Social media monitoring is not a shallow activity for passing time. It falls under the umbrella of social intelligence. Once you’ve started with social media monitoring, gaining crucial business insights using social listening and social intelligence, isn’t so hard.