Social media for business is as much of a trend as blue jeans, rock ‘n’ roll and that new thing called the Internet.  So let’s discuss why good digital strategy should include a plan to monitor all of these social channels. Many misuse social monitoring to listen to conversation surrounding their brand and their brand only. But in reality, businesses should use social monitoring tools to expand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, increase leads, follow trends and keep a close eye on competitors.

Many research and measurement tools exist to help businesses make better decisions, but using social media monitoring tools can nicely complement those research and measurement tools to expand their use and effectiveness.  We discuss a few examples below:

Keyword Research:

Keyword research tools allow businesses to uncover specific keyword data such as search volume and competitive levels. Some keyword analysis tools even help businesses discover new keyword opportunities based on numerical data. However, using a social media monitoring tool offers qualitative keyword suggestions by monitoring real-life and real-time conversations. Social media monitoring is a great way to examine how and why customers talk about brands.  After identifying new keywords integrate them into your SEO efforts, paid search campaigns and other digital marketing channels.

Lead Generation:

Many users engage in social media when making a decision to solicit feedback from their peers in the social-sphere. When companies monitor service-related keywords that allows them to observe or “listen” to conversations that could become potential lead opportunities. For example, if an auto dent repair company monitors keywords like “hail damage.” They can observe, listen and even communicate with potential customers that might need dent repair services.  See the example below:

Take opportunities like these to start conversations with online communities. Let them know your company is on the web and here to help. Many social media monitoring tools offer demographic user data such as location, gender and interests. Take the time to get to know your potential customers, so you can reach out to them with a targeted message.

Industry Trends:

Discussion threads and forums have huge potential to affect your brand. Following the trends can provide a better understanding of current sentiment surrounding a certain topic and help companies identify advocates or opinion leaders.  This would become a daunting task without the use of social media monitoring tools.  Using social media monitoring tools to track keywords may help companies identify important topics to monitor going forward. Tracking a topic’s viral nature and how long it lives can give insight about its relative importance.

Competitor Tracking:

Along with your own brand, it is imperative to monitor competitors’ brands as well. Tracking competitor brand names can inform social strategy, communicate how competitors respond to users (and vice versa) and help companies forecast future moves.  By monitoring the conversations around your competitor’s brand companies can find other interested and engaged industry advocates who discuss similar services online. These users may be interested in knowing more about your offering and advocating for your brand. Finally, social media monitoring can highlight future opportunities from dissatisfied users who mention another brand in a negative light and may potentially seek a new service, company or brand.

These are just a few ways to integrate social media monitoring into your overall marketing plan. How is your brand using social media monitoring to benefit your entire marketing strategy?

Learn more about how The Net Impact can help with social media monitoring and other social media services.

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