Monitoring - Heart Beat

The last time we talked about building your brand, we mentioned that designating a Social Community Manager at your business is essential for a successful social strategy. But what we didn’t tell you was that being a social community manager can be a lot of work.

Acting in this role myself, I can sympathize with all of you social managers out there. Not only do we need to keep track of our brand’s messaging across at least six different platforms, but we also need to keep up with the engagement and conversation happening around our brands.

Sure, all social media platforms keep us abreast of the latest comments with tailored notifications; but toggling between networks and doing Google searches for our brand names can be exhausting!

Not to mention, notifications only monitor the tagging of your brand within a post, which means we are missing out on responding to people who may not have the Twitter characters or social savviness to find our brands’ page or handle.

So today, I am here to present an option to keep you, my fellow social community managers, sane: the Social Media Monitoring Tool.

Social Media Monitoring (commonly called Social Media Listening) can be defined as “the act of using a tool to…monitor what is being said on the internet” (Brandwatch).

While this may seem like an obvious definition, the idea is actually just that simple…to successfully build my brand online, I need to know what is being said about my brand, where it is being talked about, and how I need to respond back.

And though many social marketing tools provide a variety of features like scheduled posts or photo editing, here are four features to focus on when finding the best social monitoring tool for you:

1. Stream for mentions across platforms
Having a tool connected to your entire social presence is key; if you only know everything happening on three out of four platforms you are on, your job again becomes cumbersome. In which case, be sure your listening tool provides a single stream of your one feed. This would cut the toggling issue we discussed and all of the action would happen in one space. Just add filters and you can keep track of who is talking about your brand with superb organization!

2. Stream for search results across the internet
A tool consisting of a way to save your common searches can be extremely beneficial to finding conversations around your brand not normally found through network notifications.

For example, as a jewelry store, each day you normally search for “jewelry,” “gold,” and “your brand name” in Google to see if there are any articles or stories that could benefit from you joining the conversation.
Your social media listening tool should have a way to save these search terms for you and provide a real-time list of places across the internet – not just on Facebook or Twitter, but also on blogs, online newspapers, etc. – of where these search terms surface. This feature will allow more coverage of internet-ground for conversations around your brand, and potentially open up the opportunity to make connections across a wider audience.

3. Sentiment mining
While it’s helpful having documentation of all the chatter concerning your brand, it’s also important to understand the sentiment behind that chatter. Understanding whether comments about your brand are positive, negative, or neutral can be extremely helpful in managing your online presence.

If your monitoring tool gauges the emotions behind every tweet or blog post, it gives you the ability to be reactive (‘do I need to get support or PR involved, or can I handle this myself?’), and proactive (‘I see a negative sentiment trend, should I reevaluate my strategy or brainstorm a solution for this problem?’). Therefore, this feature could relieve many future headaches for your team, and keep a positive brand reputation.

4. Analysis
But of course, we cannot forget analytics. Having endless feeds of information is wonderful, but provides little meaning to you or your stakeholders unless you can make decisions from all the information you have gathered. Your social listening tool should provide a way to consolidate your findings and put them in a fashion that is easy for you to consume. Whether through graphs, charts, or just a readable report, it is crucial to have your numbers presented in a way to be able to move forward with your findings.

 

These four features are basics that will give you the biggest bang for your social media buck. Yes, there are plenty of more frilly features, like being able to assign tasks to different members of your team or connecting to your CRM platform, for your listening tool, but you can add these as your business grows.

Just remember, compare what you need (a comprehensive listening tool) to what you want (superfluous – if helpful – features) against your budget when making a decisions. And of course, don’t forget to factor in all the hassle it will save you!

Per usual, we are always here to provide any further guidance – just ask us in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech.

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