There are two sides to social media: broadcasting and receiving. This is what makes social media so valuable to businesses. In the past, print, radio and TV media was a one-way street: brands put out information, but they couldn’t get anything back from the general public using these channels. Social platforms allow consumers to speak directly to brands – or indirectly share their opinions with the world.
All businesses understand the broadcasting part of social media as it works in much the same way that people use social media in their everyday lives, but very few companies take full advantage of the ‘receiving’ side. Brands can’t just monitor responses to their own social media posts. Social media monitoring tools allow brands to listen in on all the public conversations happening on the internet, find those that are important to them and use them to enhance their business.
There are may reasons that brands shun social media monitoring. It can seem complicated and expensive, they have other priorities such as producing content and responding to direct messages or small companies assume that nobody is speaking specifically about their brand. Also, when we think about social media monitoring, it’s normal to imagine a huge command center for a global brand where a team of 50 people monitor social media channels 24-hours a day, responding to disasters and jumping on viral trends. Most brands can’t afford this, so they just forget it all together. But the reality is that there are free monitoring tools that a team of one person can set up in a matter of minutes and even small companies can find valuable information. It’s also important to understand that monitoring doesn’t have to be a full time job, you can set up alerts that only notify you when certain keywords are used.
The Sether Platform
The Sether platform has built-in monitoring tools that make it easy for companies to take their first steps into social media monitoring. We have three options: social media monitoring, review monitoring and mention monitoring.
The first two are quite straightforward. The social media monitoring tool helps you to monitor KPIs for your campaigns across your social media accounts. Review monitoring allows you to easy track, view and respond to online reviews from multiple sources in one place. Our mentions monitoring tool is where it gets interesting. You can easily enter keywords, a date range and the geographical locations that you want to search in, and the tool will scan the internet to find every public mention of your terms.
As an example, let’s say your company is launching a new online food delivery business in London and you want to find out how people use and react to delivery services. On the Sether platform, you just click on ‘ADD NEW CAMPAIGN’ at the top of the page, select ‘Monitoring’ then ‘Mention monitoring’, input your campaign title and date range, then enter a range of keywords such as ‘food delivery’, ‘take away’, ‘food delivery app’, ‘delivery guy’ and competitor services such as ‘Deliveroo’, ‘Just Eat’, ‘Uber Eats’. Enter your language and location, then Sether will scan for posts starting from today that mention any of these keywords. It takes less than five minutes to find interesting posts like these:
This kind of information could help you find out what’s important to your potential customers and help you to stay informed on your competitors’ products.
There are many other business use cases for keyword monitoring:
Sometimes people’s complaints about your products won’t be directed at your company. When people complain about your company on public channels, this hurts your brand’s reputation. Monitoring allows you to intervene and turn this into a positive by publicly responding to or resolving the situation.
You might not think you need to monitor social media until a PR disaster happens and it goes viral. Monitoring also gives you the ability to respond to potential disasters and fix them before the damage is done. Mistakes happen but it’s how you deal with them that customers remember. Just ignoring it and hoping it will all blow over isn’t an option anymore.
Monitoring allows you to track down interesting stories about your brand and turn them into positive PR. Fitness tracker Fitbit used monitoring to discover that their trackers were being used in clinical studies and to catch criminals. These were then turned into news stories to create positive buzz.
Find leads and build relationships
People often use forums and social channels to ask for opinions on products. Answering these posts with info on your products is an easy way to reach these customers and show the wider audience that your company is in touch with the audience, especially if it’s done in a humorous way. You can also offer freebies and discounts to increase exposure.
Your products aren’t always used exactly as intended by the audience they were designed for. Monitoring can give brands new insights into how customers use their products and any needs that aren’t being met, such as men who prefer women’s deodorants and vice versa.
Monitoring also gives you an overview of how people feel about your brand and allows you to track this over time. This can be used as an indicator to show that your social media efforts are having a positive effect.
If you are closely monitoring keywords around your market and target audience, it’s possible to sport trends and react to them before your competitors do.
Monitoring isn’t just for mentions of your own products and services. It allows you to monitor what people are saying about your competitors too. Just set up keywords for your main competitors’ brand names and products. You can then gather intelligence on their strengths and weaknesses and exploit them.
Find brand advocates
Monitoring makes it easy to find people who are passionate about your brand and have a social following. You can then reward and incentivise them to spread the word.
Improve products and services
If there’s something wrong with your offering, someone will be talking about it somewhere online. Monitoring helps you to quickly find faults and fix them for future iterations. When Barclays bank launched the PingIt mobile money transfer app, they used social monitoring to check for any negative comments. They discovered that people were complaining that the app wasn’t available for under 18s. Within a week they were able to make the app available to 16 and 17 year-olds, keeping their customers happy.
Start transforming your business today
So, if you want to become more approachable to your customers, never miss a brand relevant message across social media channels, interact with top brand advocates and also key customers, better understand your competitors and also try and bring your lost customers back, social media monitoring is the way to go for you.
Without social media monitoring, it’s impossible to get the most out of social media. It’s not complicated, it isn’t expensive and it hardly takes any time at to get started on Sether. You can create an account and use our KPI monitoring tools for free and we currently have a free trial available for our review and mention monitoring tools.
Start listening to your audience and become a more customer-focused business today.