Monitoring an organisation’s social media presence is important for many reasons
Social media isn’t a magic bullet where leads come rushing in. Far from it. It requires time and effort, often across multiple departments and amongst multiple employees for it to even begin seeing a little bit of lead generation traction. Social media managers need to respond to those talking about the organisation and understand how people see it.
This post will help you formulate a plan to monitor the social media information you need within a streamlined social strategy.
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING MATTERS
We sometimes forget that social media is designed for social interaction: a conversation involving two people or two brands. Brands and individuals who publish without listening are just broadcasting with no consideration for their followers.
Organisations also have to be sensitive to what people actually want from a profile, or you might head in a direction your target audience doesn’t relate to.
When you listen to your prospects’ or customers’ thoughts, you’ll be able to craft better marketing campaigns, close more deals, improve your products or services and gain happier clients. Monitoring is also a great way to avoid issues.
Your fan base will usually point something out before you even have time to realise it, and your level of empathy and response time will either confirm or denounce a person’s feelings about your brand.
People also have high standards in relation to response times. According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter, and of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour. Those who expect a response within one hour increases to 72% when they’re issuing a complaint.
People are talking about your brand, your products or services, your competitors, your industry, and your employees whether you like it or not. These conversations happen candidly in real life, which turns into threads and discussion groups on social media.
If someone complains about you or your product, any reputation marketer will want to know why. Monitoring matters, and it matters for more than just social media managers.
WHO SHOULD MONITOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Let’s jump into who should be monitoring social media within your organisation, what they should be monitoring and why.
There’s a reason why marketing teams have historically owned a brand’s social media accounts. This team needs to think about a brand’s overall image. Beyond brand image, Marketing needs to think about generating visits, leads and customers on a daily basis. Growing the top of the funnel and bringing in a new audience on social media month over month helps to hit key numbers throughout the entire funnel.
However, social media doesn’t just belong to marketing. Actions that a social media manager takes can seriously impact all other departments such as Sales and Support and it’s something to keep in mind when monitoring.
Marketers should collect information from social media to help create better marketing campaigns, enable sales in closing more deals and delight customers. Social media managers on a marketing team should see themselves as the point-person for multiple departments’ different goals.
Marketing team social monitoring checklist:
Activity of your leads based on interested products or services.
Activity of industry thought leaders when they mention certain keywords.
Conversations around keywords and phrases core to the brand.
According to A Sales Guy, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their processes outperformed their colleagues. This is social selling.
Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media platforms – notably Twitter and LinkedIn.
Instead of hard-closing and hard-selling tactics, social selling closely resembles lead nurturing. Therefore, social selling isn’t for reps seeking quick wins. Salespeople have to be willing to put in the time to engage with their target buyers on an ongoing basis, and even then, there’s no guarantee ROI.
Sales team social monitoring checklist:
A lead's conversations.
A closed or lost lead's mentions of certain terms.
A closed lead's activity to check in with them.
SUPPORT AND ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENTS
Having a brand’s customer support team on the thread is sure to help settle a tricky complaint. Often, a brand will have designated social media accounts for technical support related issues or questions.
So support and account teams can focus on product-related topics from prospects and clients, while Marketing can monitor for interactions from newcomers, leads and inquiries from customers that are non-support related.
Support team social monitoring checklist:
Questions users have about your products or services.
Conversations about your products or services.
Positive and negative feedback.
LISTENING AND RESPONDING
When responding, you may find the number of mentions overwhelming. Responding to everyone is the ultimate goal, but depending on the number of replies, this might not be possible. It's best to find the influencers - because their engagement will make noise within the market.
As you monitor conversations, you’ll notice that some messages require that you simply listen and reflect, while other times you’ll need to respond. Responding will depend on who the person is, what they said, and what time they said it.
When responding, make sure to:
Show gratitude and respect.
Include links to factual reference materials to support your case.
Respond in a tone that reflects your organisation’s values.
SETTING SOCIAL MARKETING GOALS
Make sure your social media marketing/social media monitoring goals are SMART. Depending on which department owns your accounts, here are a few goals and metrics you can achieve through monitoring social media:
Leads generated (access our lead generation e-book for more)
Industry trend tracking
Interactions from influencers
If you’ve never set a goal for social media monitoring before, start by aligning your monitoring goals with your department’s goals. For example, if you’re monitoring from the Sales department, set a goal for yourself to interact with ten prospects per week on social media. Find out more about the crucial marketing metrics you should be calculating to generate ROI.
Once you’ve achieved this goal and feel like you can go deeper, attach your goal to a revenue number or see how many deals you can close with social selling per month or per quarter.
STARTING A NEW ROUTINE
To successfully monitor social media, you’ll need to have some things prepared in advance. If you are considering investing in a paid tool to helps aid your monitoring, there are a handful that helps social media monitoring, interacting, and marketing strategy.
For example, HubSpot software includes a social media monitoring tool as a part of its complete marketing software package. The tool tracks social mentions from leads, opportunities, and customers and logs those interactions into your contacts database.
Some free social media monitoring tools you might want to check out include TweetDeck, Google Alerts, Topsy, and Social Mention. You’ll need to monitor on each media platform and how you can consolidate and consume the most important information when you do.
SOCIAL MONITORING ON TWITTER
Twitter provides a world of possibility for things you can search and discover. However, this can also lead to information overload. You’ll have to pick and choose exactly what you want to monitor and if it is an effective use of your time.
The following list includes some streams we suggest you start with. No matter which tool you use, make sure you’re testing out frequency and usefulness for your organisation.
TWITTER MENTIONS AND SEARCHES
Most likely you are looking for industry tweets, replies and mentions of your organisation. Visit twitter.com/search and conduct a search for your competitors, industry terms - it's a powerful spying tool. Anything relevant to your organisation can be searched and accessed for further investigation.
Want something in real-time? Use a tool like TweetDeck where you can save searches and react via the tool itself without needing to log into Twitter. We use this approach every day at Orientation Marketing.
RELEVANT QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR ORGANISATION
If someone tweets, “Should I buy X product or its competitor’s product?” you want to be ready to respond. If not directly by offering helpful content about your organisation, perhaps you could point that person to a customer of yours.
RELEVANT INDUSTRY QUESTIONS
Being helpful by answering someone’s question is a great way to develop credibility with that person. In the event they need a product or service related to the one(s) your organisation provides, they might end up coming to you.
If a customer tweets a request for help (directly or indirectly to their network), you will see that tweet and have the opportunity to respond accordingly. Happy customers are essential for the long-term results of your business.
COMPLAINTS, FEEDBACK AND PRAISE
Critics are always out there, and it’s important to acknowledge and resolve issues as they arise. On the other hand, praise is a wonderful thing to receive! Why not say thank you? Retweet it. Save it to your favourites. It’s wise to appreciate those who appreciate you.
People will praise, complain and ask questions about your competitors also. You should monitor those conversations, if only for the information and data. Now that you know which types of tweets to specifically monitor, you can create your plan accordingly.
Keyword searches are an excellent way to filter through the masses of tweets to find the messages you’re looking for. Use a tool that allows you to save keyword searches as a live stream so you won’t miss out on what’s being said about your brand, your industry and your products.
SOCIAL MONITORING ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is more a personal channel than Twitter but is still used to show appreciation for brands, engage in contests organised by brands, or let an organisation know when its customer service has failed.
Your Facebook Business Page timeline is where your fans, friends, customers and critics can all interact directly with your organisation. They can post questions, comments, feedback, or fan mail. Fans of your business may also interact with each other. Many individuals will interact with the content your business has posted itself.
There are a few ways people can interact on your Facebook Business Page that you should be monitoring.
TIMELINE POSTS AND COMMENTS
If you have it enabled, people can post messages to your brand’s public-facing Facebook Timeline. They can say good things, complain, talk about a recent experience they had with your brand. People can even post photos straight to your timeline or comment on your own statuses.
If you go to a brand’s Facebook Page, you will see a “Message” button on the bottom right corner. When you click this button, a box pops up and prompts you to start a private message with that brand. This is an important piece to monitor, as this is where many fans will send support-related concerns and questions about your products or services.
It’s important to be diligent when monitoring here because if someone leaves you a bad review you should gently comment with an apology or explanation. Another important thing to understand about the content you post is that the more people interact with a specific post, the more viral that post becomes.
Your “News Feed” calculates is the most relevant and important items occurring in your network. Your goal should be both to react to important items on your business’ page and to get your posts featured in others’ News Feeds.
SOCIAL MONITORING ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn is arguably the most business-focused social media platform available. There are more than 610 million professionals around the world using LinkedIn. Its purpose is for networking, recruiting, social selling and content promoting. Find out how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
What should you be monitoring on LinkedIn?
Check comments on your Company Page posts. You’ll likely find the volume here is much less than that of Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll still receive comments and you should be aware for those that need answers.
LinkedIn members interact often within LinkedIn Groups by posting discussion questions, topics, and more to the group. These discussions offer opportunities to answer, comment and link to your resources.
The best way to get group notifications and still save time is by getting a group digest of popular topics sent to your inbox. Additionally, if any team members at your organisation are part of the LinkedIn Influencer program, it’s always good to check in occasionally on comments.
SOCIAL MONITORING IS AN ENABLER FOR A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
As time goes by and you develop effective social media habits, you should make sure you also have a system in place to measure your success.
If your goal was marketing related, you should use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or another tool to monitor the amount of traffic, leads, and customers you’re generating through social media channels as a result of your efforts.
If thought leadership and brand positioning was your goal, has there been an increase in the volume of blog and news articles written about your company? Has there been an increase in links?
No matter what the goal, be sure to monitor your metrics over time. If you decide to begin spending more than just ten minutes into your social media monitoring efforts, your success should correlate with the additional work.