If your business has any sort of online presence, you can’t afford not knowing how to monitor social media mentions. While some customers still contact businesses directly to resolve a query or lodge a complaint, most tend to voice their opinions on social media. As a result, brands must have a social listening strategy in place to track social media mentions. It allows brands to track, analyse and respond to online conversations about your brand and industry.
Gathering data from social listening can help you manage every aspect of your business, from public relations and customer services to product development and marketing. Without a social listening strategy, your brand is missing out on valuable insights like what customers think about your brand and what they are saying about your competitors.
Social Listening And Social Media Monitoring
This is essentially a two-part process of monitoring social media channels for mentions about your brand, product, competitors or any related keywords. It is followed by analysing the collected information to find ways of taking action. These action can refer to a number of activities including online customer responses or adjusting your entire brand’s online presence.
The difference between social listening and social media monitoring is taking action. Social media monitoring involves collecting data that enables you to look at past events for valuable historical data. You can use this information to compare different campaigns or to monitor ROI (Return On Investment). It is based on metrics like engagement rate and the number of social media mentions.
Social Media Sentiment
Meanwhile, social listening goes beyond the numbers and considers the sentiment or mood behind the social media posts. This is a great way to understand how people truly feel about you and your competitors, instead of only counting the number of times your name appears.
Social media sentiment is vital to keep your product development and marketing efforts on track. It also enables you to respond instantly to positive or negative social media posts. It’s important to remember that social listening looks forward and not backward. It essentially involves analysing the information you collected and subsequently using it to guide your social media marketing strategy and day-to-day actions.
Why Should I Track Social Media Mentions?
Every social mention can either be negative or positive but it always provides an opportunity to engage with your audience or manage your brand’s public perception. Social media mentions are vital to improving customer service standards, customer retention and potential conversions.
Companies that effectively monitor their social media mentions and respond to customers online are in the driver’s seat. There is also a greater likelihood that their customers will spend more money on their products, anywhere between three and 20%.
The Power Of Social Media
The power of social media has been proven time and time again where negative comments tend to go viral much faster than positive ones. As many people love to share their experiences with family, friends and colleagues, online can prove to be a challenge. While the concept is similar, sharing brand comments online, negative or positive, can reach thousands of people within seconds. If you are not mindful, your online reputation could suffer the consequences.
Social Mentions, Content Management and Marketing Opportunities
It’s important to always keep track of your customers’ common questions, concerns and suggestions on social media. It allows you to use those insights to better manage your product, create compelling content or brand building.
When you notice multiple social media mentions about requesting additional information on a specific item, listen to your audience and engage with them. Find out what kind of information they would prefer and make the change. Social media mentions like these can really help brands decide what content to create and how to improve their product.
Everything that you or your brand post on social media is essentially brand building which can often go horribly wrong. Identifying your target audience and how they communicate online becomes increasingly important. While humour and witty banter may work for some brands, it’s not the same for everyone. Make sure that your online interactions resonate with your followers in a way that’s consistent with your brand identity. Even though rules always apply, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and have some fun along the way.
Using Customer Testimonials
One way that brands can capitalise on social media mentions is to keep an eye on positive customer interactions. Many brands repurpose these good interactions into customer testimonials that you can feature on your website. Testimonials are exceptionally powerful, especially from a leading authority in a field. There have been numerous studies showing a significant increase in online sales from a website with customer reviews.
To cut through all the noise and focus on what you want to hear, set up a social listening stream. There are many different social listening tools that can help simplify the entire process. Some of the more popular ones include Mention, BuzzSumo, Brandwatch, Google Alerts, IFTTT and Hootsuite.
How To Respond To Social Media Mentions
Monitoring mentions are one thing but effectively handling them is a different story. Each and every brand mention is a unique opportunity to make a difference to the customer and your business. Always keep these basic guidelines in mind.
- The faster you respond to customers, the quicker you can resolve the query or complaint. This goes a long way in building customer trust and loyalty.
- If a news outlet or a public figure mentions your brand, re-post it to your social channels as soon as you can.
- Always use clear and simple language. Ensure that visual content is appropriate, not just in terms of age but also for your audience as a whole.
- Never get defensive and address every mention with positivity. Be accountable and don’t delete messages or suppress conversations intentionally.
- Sometimes moving to a DM (Direct Message) is the best solution especially when it involves sharing someone’s personal information. Misunderstandings and long explanations rarely work in Tweets or quick replies.
- When a conversation is seemingly not going anywhere productive, rather disengage and move on.
Social listening can help address public relations disasters before things get out of control. Review customer feedback when social sentiment is down to find out how you can prevent similar situations in the future.
If sentiment is really suffering, look for the cause and make changes immediately whether you remove a problem article or apologise for an insensitive post.