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Social Media Listening Strategies

By Barbara Beauregard   |    October 18, 2017   |    9:42 AM

  

5 Strategies for Better Social Media Monitoring

Social media is a powerful force that can help propel a business forward. These tips can help you create an effective social media listening strategy that cultivates positive engagement.

What Exactly Is Social Media Listening?

Social media listening is about much more than watching for tweets or getting Google alerts; it's a systematic approach to identifying and interpreting what people are saying about your company on social networks. This includes what they are saying about your products, service, employees, brand and industry. If you can do it well, you can obtain valuable information that will allow you to alter your business strategies to promote better engagement. If you do it poorly, you could quickly see your brand's reputation sink to new lows.

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

When people talk about your company, you need to know about it. At the same time, you also need to respond effectively to head-off problems and build relationships. Before you start aimlessly responding to your customers, consider the following listening strategies.

  1. Engage your customers. It's not enough to audit customer interactions from afar. You need to proactively answer questions, respond to concerns and create dialogue. Many business owners spend a lot of time thinking of ways to spark conversations about their individual brands. While this is important, it's even more critical to consistently engage in existing conversations, positive or negative. Whether you are providing recommendations, answering questions or addressing concerns, make sure to take an active role in your online reputation.

  2. Monitor your competitors. Your social media listening strategy shouldn't only focus on your brand. It should also involve a comprehensive approach, wherein you monitor what consumers are saying about your competitors. This is a good way to identify threats. It's also a good way to identify tactics that either work or fail on behalf of your competition. If something seems to be working, see if you can adopt the strategy for your benefit. If it doesn't, take note, so you don’t make a similar mistake.

  3. Leverage the right tools. Unless you have unlimited time on your hands, you will have great difficulty noting every single comment related to your brand. Simplify the process by taking advantage of helpful tools, including:

    • Twitter Advanced Search: Allows you to refine your search by different message senders, terms, locations, dates and more.
    • Facebook Search: This is pretty limited, due to privacy issues; however, you should still use it for what it's worth.
    • Sprout Social: This service offers many helpful tools to help you monitor social media without having to download any software.
    • Google Alerts: This is a great way to monitor brand mentions across the majority of the Internet. If won't cover many key social networks, but it will tell you what's being said in the news, on blogs and many public forums.
  4. Focus on influencers. If you watch closely, you may notice that specific individuals talk about your brand more than others. You will also see that some people are more active on social media or have much more friends or followers. Whatever the case, it's a good idea to spend more time targeting these influencers over someone who made one single post five months ago.

  5. Have a goal. Before you can succeed with any business activity, you need to create clear goals. If your goal is to improve customer service, arrange your listening strategies around this. If the plan is to become a respected authority within your industry, make sure you stay focused on this. Whatever your goal, you must create clear methods for assessing whether you are having success. This is the best way to develop and maintain a winning social media strategy that will build positive sentiment for your brand.


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