Why there’s no way around social media monitoring

An extensive monitoring scheme helps build the basis of a solid social media marketing strategy, but many businesses often neglect to collect valuable user-generated information. This can prove to be an unwise decision, as the user data can help to precisely define target groups and their preferences, and provide details on multipliers and influencers.

What is social media monitoring (SMM)?

For businesses, social media is an important resource for gaining insight into target groups and potential customers. Social media monitoring lets users comb through data and evaluate relevant content. With the help of keyword sets, analyses can be carried out by searching through blogs, forums, social networks, communities, and ratings websites. By analysing user-generated content, businesses and firms can find out more about which opinions, experiences, and interests are relevant to certain interest groups. Commercial content or news entries are not taken into account, but similar web monitoring options are also available for many SMM tools.

6 good reasons to use social media monitoring

Every business should incorporate monitoring into its marketing strategy. Even if you are not particularly active in the realm of social media, it’s worth observing the user-generated data in order to collect important information about your target group.

With the help of social media monitoring, companies can:

1. Identify target groups

Without significant knowledge about target groups, it’s difficult to find a fitting social media strategy for your company. Incorporating social media monitoring software into your efforts makes it possible to determine when, why and how brands or products attract attention. Monitoring relevant keywords (brands, corporate names, product names, etc.) reveals potential customers’ interests. By consistently observing user activity, you can gain a better understanding of which posts users share and which are of little interest or importance to them; all of this contributes to a more effective content strategy.

2. Keep an eye on the competition

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

While Sun Tzu’s famous treatise on war may not be 100% relevant to today’s business world, there is a kernel of truth to this message. Keeping tabs on your immediate competition is just as important as knowing what customers think about your own business. Social media monitoring provides an insight into what factors motivate customers to switch to the competition. Staying informed on the product ranges and various strengths and weaknesses of other market players gives your business a clear advantage. Not only is social media useful for learning more about the image and activities of competitors, it also supplies useful data on pricing systems.

3. Identify conflicts early on

As proven time and again, social media is a powerful tool for marketers that, when used correctly, can assist in improving a content strategy. But, as many brands and individuals would surely confirm, a sinister Mr. Hyde lurks behind social media’s seemingly harmless Dr. Jekyll appearance. Complaints and negative attention can quickly turn this helpful tool into yet another hurdle. Acting as the canary in the coalmine, social media monitoring counts and registers criticisms early on, providing your team with precious extra time for damage control efforts and potentially saving you from dealing with an onslaught of consumer rage.

4. Provide real-time support

Social media marketing presents a host of challenges for the community management of a company. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, expressing criticism or asking for support has never been easier for customers. However, questions about products or services are bound to be posted outside of your own social media channels. But thanks to social media monitoring tools, these critiques can be promptly addressed. Active customer support on all channels then increases customer satisfaction and contributes to your overall goal of creating a positive reputation.

5.  Manage and maintain reputation

Users regularly search for criticisms, suggestions, and discussions online. Following this, social networks, comment sections, and forums have become valuable sources of information for companies. These discussions not only reflect the views of individual products, they also afford crucial input on how brands are perceived by the general public. With social media monitoring, specific keywords can be used to run an analysis on how positive or negative these contexts are. This feature is particularly advantageous for marketers as it can help signal when it may be appropriate to introduce counter measures. 

6.  Recognise trends and implementation

To know a target audience is to fully understand and work with the desires and needs of potential customers. Appreciating the importance of these aspects can present a major boost to both product and innovation management. This is because many users go beyond simply venting their frustration and actually explain why they are dissatisfied with a certain product, often providing suggestions for improvement in the process. By monitoring solutions, these recommendations can be identified, collected, and implemented for new approaches.

Social media monitoring tools

To use social media monitoring methods, an appropriate tool is required. There is a wide range of social media monitoring software (both free and fee-based) intended for keeping an overview of various networks, performance indicators, and data. Here are three popular social media monitoring tools.

Brandwatch

Brandwatch centres on marketing, competition, and reputation management functions. The tool can also be used for carrying out market research and serves as an indicator for identifying influencers and multipliers. The package prices are determined by the criteria of data volume as well as the desired scope of support.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an all-in-one-tool that offers broad social-media-monitoring functions. Thanks to its various features, running a precise target group analysis is possible. New users have the option of trying out the free trial version. The pro version is available for only a few pounds a month.

Talkwalker

The social media monitoring tool, Talkwalker, gives you an overview of all discussions trending on various social networks. By taking advantage of analyses on references found online, businesses are able to break down their influence and advertising range. Talkwalker offers a free demo version and their basic monthly packages start in the £100+ range.

For more information on the topic, check out our article from our digital guide series by clicking here.

Monitoring as the bedrock for every social media strategy

Social media monitoring is essential for planning, managing, and accessing communication throughout various social networks. With the help of extensive analyses, those responsible for managing social media accounts can stay informed about business-related topics. Discussions, opinions, and trends can be tracked in real time. Constantly keeping up with all ongoing discussions is the only way to locate influencers within a business context. With its role as an early warning system, SMM furthermore serves as the medium through which critical opinions can be identified quickly, therefore minimising fallout.