Social Media Monitoring
Consumers talk all the time about the things they buy, the things they want to buy and the things they never want to buy again. They do this at home, at work, offline, online, all the time. Although it’s going to be complicated (and probably illegal) to listen in to and monitor what your consumers say while they’re waiting for a bus, at the hairdressers or at a conference, it is really easy to listen to what they say on Twitter, in blogs, on Facebook, on Vine and all the other types of social media that exist today.
The tricky part is knowing what to do with what you hear. Here are some ideas to help you move from monitoring output to action plans that you can actually work with.
1. Identify communication channels
A basic question to ask is where is my product or brand most mentioned on the internet? Using this information you can then build a communication strategy that takes into account these touchpoints. Running this type of analysis across different language or geographical zones will also help you to adapt marketing or advertising material from a lead agency to a local market.
In this example it’s easy to see that there are differences between where people talk about the subject (credit cards) in German, French and English:
2. Identify Trends and Hot Topics
For any brand it is essential to know what kinds of things your customer base is interested in. This can then be fed back into advertising or marketing strategy. Lego have been very successful at this and have been extending their brand reach by co-branding based on upcoming or existing trends.
This strategy can also really pay-off for communication that has a short lead time. The quicker you can spot a new trend in your market, and the quicker you can get this out on your Twitter or Facebook accounts or your blog, the more in tune with your consumer base you will seem, and you also win points for being reactive and innovative.
Combining this with what you can learn about communication channels will help you to identify which topics need to be addressed on each channel or in each geographical zone.
3. Track and Analyze Advertising Campaigns
ROI is always an important issue for any brand. The growth of social media’s impact and influence means that it is no longer enough to simply count of your CTR (click-through rate) or page views because consumers react to TV commercials or print ads on Twitter. They also show their interest, support or derision of a brand by creating spoof ads or other UGC (user-generated content), which posted onto YouTube, Vine, etc.
As a result, it’s important to look for signs that the buzz around your product or brand has increased during the advertising campaign. Use these questions to analyse the information you get back:
- Was the buzz positive or negative? Which elements of the campaign were most cited in the negative buzz and in the positive buzz?
- Which social media was most used to pick up on the buzz and spread the message?
- Did it go viral? If so, how?
This kind of analysis will help you to plan future campaigns, building on past successes and learning from mistakes.
4. Prepare your Crisis Management Plan
Although there may be some people who think that there is no such thing as bad publicity, anyone who has lived through product recalls linked to toxic ingredients, misbehaving car parts, or exploding computers knows better.
Social media monitoring is going to help you in two ways.
Find out where people are talking about you and your brand (specific forums, social media networks, blogs, etc). If ever you do need to respond quickly to calm and reassure your consumers you will be able to save valuable time because you already know how to reach them.
Identify trends and complaints before they go viral and spread like wildfire onto the national press, TV and radio. This will give the heads up to catch negative comments early on, and then react appropriately.