We know we should be monitoring our reputation online and social media is one of the easiest ways to do that. Monitoring, or sometimes called listening to, social media can also be one of the best ways to get to know your audience. You can ask questions; see how they respond. Answer questions too. Be personable and get involved and you may be able to get information about your niche that you wouldn’t have obtained otherwise. Depending on the user and what their goal is, listening can also offer useful insight to help a business become more efficient.
Social media nor the internet are going anywhere. Take advantage of that fact and use them both as much as you can to build and improve your business. You should monitor the conversations online to ensure that your customers/clients are satisfied with your services or products. Use these tips to get started:
Identify what you want to monitor
Before starting your social media monitoring you need to know what it is you want to monitor. You may want to separately monitor your business name, your reach, your competition and so forth, so you might want to set up separate tasks to ensure that you can keep track of each part you’re monitoring.
Determine the best keywords for your niche including your business name, product name, and your name. If you want, you can also use your competitors’ names in order to find out more information about them.
Identify what sites you’ll monitor
You probably won’t have time to monitor across all platforms at once. Pick the platform that has the most impact on your business right now. For example, if the majority of your social media marketing has been on Twitter or Facebook, start with them.
Determine the impact
You will find that some mentions or conversations are insignificant to your brand and you don’t need to address them. Only intervene in and guide the conversation when it could really impact your business in some way.
Search individual sites
Use the search box on Twitter to find information by entering your keywords to see what comes up. I always recommend setting up an alert using Google Alerts to find information from numerous sources any time your keywords come up.
Use other online tools
There are several social media monitoring tools available that can locate conversations you won’t find by just searching Google. Each tool produces different types of data to help you modify your social media strategy as needed. These tools can help you set up a social media monitoring system that’s easy for you to maintain and analyze.
Here is a list of some of the free monitoring tools available. Nearly all of these tools are free, but some offer paid versions with more features and capabilities.
Lets you create a customized Twitter interface to monitor different usernames, hashtags, search terms, and lists. From a single panel, you can look at Twitter content from the several different groups — whether that’s customer or competitors.
Aggregates all of the blog, microblog, image, and video content related to the search term you provide from a variety of search engines and social networks.
Gives you a free “snapshot” report on the potential reach of any tweet that includes a given hashtag, keyword, or username.
My favorite, this connects to a variety of different social accounts — including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn — to provide you with insights about your followers, interactions, and engagements.
Works like TweetDeck — but for all of your social networks. From your Dashboard, you can carry out social media monitoring, scheduling, campaigns, and analytics — all in one place. Hootsuite integrates with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+, and it’s free for individual accounts.
Another favorite of mine, you can set up alerts to see when and where people are mentioning you or your brand. Enter specific terms that might be included in news story titles, and schedule the alerts to be sent and you’ll receive regular emails alerting you to mentions from around the internet.
Organize the data
When you start gathering data, create a spreadsheet. This will help you keep all the information together so that you can access and analyze the data more easily.
Using social media to listen to any conversations about you and your business or even your niche, helps you become the go-to person in your area of expertise. The more you know about what’s going on, the more you appear to be a thought leader among your target audience.
Originally published at www.shelleygraves.net on January 14, 2019.