How To Listen To Your Audiences Like A Pro With Social Media Monitoring
“Listening is one of the most important things a brand can do online. If your brand is just broadcasting its own agenda, it isn’t truly engaging in a conversation.” - Jeremy Goldman, Social Media Strategist & Entrepreneur
What Good Is Social Media If You Can’t Monitor It?
There’s a lot that can be said about social media, mainly that it’s a great source of information and trending news. It’s your job as a marketing or insights professional to scour the platforms that are home to key consumer groups, and engage them to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, this is a job easier said than done. That’s why there’s two great means of listening to important target audiences: Social Media Monitoring and Social Listening. Though one should not be mistaken for the other. Whereas Social Media Monitoring is more of a active-reactive process that allows brands to respond more readily to customers based on data from conversations on social media, Social Listening is more of a supporting assister for marketers, allowing them to glean key insights through sentiment analysis, keyword searches, and trend tracking. Knowing how to properly use monitoring for better marketing strategies will be crucial going forward into 2021, as companies and consumers move further and further into the digital space.
So with that in mind, we’re excited to share this short guide on some ways in which you can, and should, use social media monitoring. We’re all busy people, so let’s get on with it:
Why Is Social Media Monitoring Important?
Unlike Social Listening, which is directly tied to a larger strategy, Social Media Monitoring is directly involved in gleaning overall sentiments via the actual posts and tweets on platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This allows marketing teams to be more directly involved in the brand positioning online. You’re not just on the sidelines listening with this kind of monitoring, you’re also:
- Checking in on your brand’s reputation
- Better understanding preferences for products or services
- Highlighting either positive or negative feelings related to your digital messaging
- Keeping tabs on your competitors via comprehensive reports
- Seeing the full scope of the effectiveness of your online campaigns, or lack thereof
- Setting up protections against possible brand crises by monitoring criticisms and/or complaints from customers
- Fully comprehending the successes and failings of your consumer engagement efforts on different platforms
- And more
By removing the fat and getting to just the essential data derived from social media monitoring, your job is that much more focused, efficient, and improved with each new insight.
Pro Tip: We mentioned both Social Media Monitoring and Social Listening previously in this piece to discern the difference between the two, but that doesn’t mean their uses are mutually exclusive. A true marketing professional (such as yourself) can utilize both methods in order to cover all of your bases for a dual proactive and reactive approach. One will help you stay up-to-the-minute with your key consumer base, and the other will help you acquire vital data from those engagements, allowing you to effortlessly identify which steps are needed in order to extend your reach with all future marketing campaigns.
Don’t Forget Your Audience Analysis
The true and tried way of getting the most out of your social media monitoring effort is through an Audience Analysis. Using a social intelligence tool, like Digimind, an AI-supported software developed for collecting data on consumers, you’ll be in the best position to learn everything you need to about specific target audiences, especially by:
Tracking consumer trends in real-time across multiple platforms
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, all social media platforms offer the netizens of the world wide web a chance to communicate, connect, and explore the world outside their homes. But different trends and details operate differently on various platforms, as you’d know if you’ve ever compared the users of something like Twitter, with the general users of something like LinkedIn. So what’s the deal?
With social intelligence you can learn more about the preferences and trending subjects of your target audiences, and compare those results across various social media sites in real time. With such information at your fingertips, you can optimize your content to engage in ways that are uniquely tailored towards your current, and also potentially new, group of consumers. Since trends are just that, trends, they tend to pass quickly, so always try being on top of what’s new and relevant.
Identify And Rank Potential Influencer Audiences For Brand-Based Partnerships
For those not in the know, Influencers are online personalities that engage with established audiences through special content that comes in various forms, whether it’s articles, videos, projects, or sponsorships. Knowing which influencers could be a boon to your brand reputation is essential to marketing, and by using a tool like the ones we discussed, you can break down the most relevant individuals who might be of use to your brand. Through analysis of their follower base, their overall posting rate, and their individual rankings, you can determine if a brand-influencer partnership is indeed advantageous for your company through social media monitoring.
Of course, the inverse is also true, with an audience analysis being available for the very followings that these identified influencers wield. Having the available data for both the influencers and their audiences can make the difference between accidentally working with an influencer who’d be ultimately detrimental to your brand, and a fruitful relationship. For something as personal as Influencer Identifications, use your best judgement as well, and don’t forget to scrutinize each of the listed influencer’s posts, articles, and video content to get the best sense of what they could bring to your brand.
Segment Key Demographics And Target Audiences By Specific Groups:
Audience Segmentation is one of the best gifts that can be bestowed from a strong social media monitoring effort, and a crucial element of an Audience Analysis. Key demographics are identified and broken down into data points, either via an easily-understandable graphic or report, and can provide useful insights on how the consumer base responds to your marketing.
- Age - Targets key audiences in ages groups ranging anywhere from 18 and younger, to as old as 65 and older.
- Gender - Targets key audiences between male and female groups.
- Occupation - Targets key audiences by their various occupations, and can even reveal their general income so as to assess what class (lower, middle, or upper class) of economic rung they belong to.
- Location - Tracks key audiences by their specific location, either nationally or internationally.
- Brand Preference - Can decipher what their general sentiments are (positive, neutral, or negative) when it comes to your own brand, or competing brands within the same industry
- And much more
Understanding which tool will best suit your unique marketing needs is a tricky thing, but above all else, you’ll want to make sure that what you end up using can help you scale your work over the long-term, offer more services than you were initially seeking, and that the customer care service provided by the tool’s team can help you both directly and indirectly.
Pro Tip: This shouldn’t need to be said, but it bares mentioning that monitoring social media isn’t a point A to point Z process. It’s an ongoing process that requires patience, flexibility, and most importantly, a keen understanding of the market. Also, onboard and train everyone on your team, regardless of role, to have a basic understanding of the methods used with the tool you choose. Neglecting to monitor and directly engage with consumers for the long haul is not only a waste of resources, it’s also harmful for your brand’s reputation. Never. Stop. Listening.
Social Media Monitoring Works So You Can Too
Your competition might not be using social media monitoring, which is an excellent opportunity for your company to outperform and get ahead within your industry. If your closest competitors ARE using social media monitoring and you’re not, then you’re risking your very standing within your field by letting them engage consumers where you’re not. You key consumer base is screaming, tweeting, posting, snapping, sharing, and living on social media platforms. If you’re not hearing what they have to say, then the other guy (or gal) will, and the brand that listens to their consumers is the brand that - in the end - hears the loudest sound of profit being made.
Written by Micah Levin
With a background in creative writing, advertising, and psychology, Micah is a copywriter in name and a Digiminder at heart. When he's not developing content for agencies, you can find him crafting novels, cooking and running around in Brooklyn, NY.