Social Media Monitoring: some tricks to do it better
Everything you should know to increase your social media strategy.
by Antonia Di Lorenzo
Would you be able to drive with a covered dashboard, without knowing how much petrol you have, how fast you are going, if you have any problems? I don’t think so.
At the same time, you cannot know how your activity is going if you don’t monitor periodically what happens on your website, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and if you are achieving your goals.
Social media monitoring is a magnifying glass on your company, that allows you to know how, from where and who visits your website. As Jasmine Jaume, Marketing Manager at Brandwatch, writes on the blog, “social media monitoring is the act of using a tool to monitor what is being said on the internet”.
The clients’ feedback is the most effective instrument to orient your brand, to plan your future actions and to optimize your website. Conversations on social media channels reveal authentic users with needs and opinions expressed in a natural environment. It is a sort of crossfire between you and your clients that allows you to understand how and why to act.
Grow3 met Domenico Armatore, Founder of Community Manager Freelance, who explains to us in an interview tricks to create the best social media monitoring strategy.
- What is social media monitoring and why should PR start tracking?
Social media monitoring is a set of activities aimed at listening to the conversations on social media. The internet is now a place where people express opinions on certain topics, and very often also talk about the brands they love or hate. Knowing exactly what happens online is therefore crucial for companies. In these activities PRs play a central role because they can anticipate and resolve various kinds of crisis.
- How can it be managed by companies?
My advice is to commit to professionals who are able to read the tone of the conversations and then help companies to take action on any trouble spots. Listening is often not enough, you have to know how to intervene and “enter” into conversations related to the brand. In order to do this, very specific strategic skills are often required that companies do not have.
- How important is Social Media Listening to build a solid reputation?
Understanding what people think about a particular company is central to any brand reputation strategy. You cannot build a solid reputation if you do not know what are your weaknesses. It’s the client who often gives the most useful and relevant feedback and in recent times the internet is the tool most often used.
- How can we gain the trust of customers?
Social media is a great way to create strong relationships with customers or potential ones. Companies must be able to know how to listen and to give definite, relevant and fast answers. Brands must make every effort to show that the customer is always at the centre of their activities. Quite often you can achieve this goal by giving unique and targeted experiences, where the element of personalisation can make a difference. If you look at digital campaigns of the last few months, you’ll notice that the customisation is central to all of them: personalisation of experiences, products and so on.
- Could focusing directly on customers be the key to gaining their trust?
As I said before, the answer is absolutely yes. Social channels are to be used in this way and, in my opinion, companies that are able to do it as best as they can win a very strong competitive advantage.
- How can you handle negative feedback?
As Social Media Community Manager, I often find myself having to deal with negative comments or criticism from various channels of my clients. My advice is to always respond with grace and apologise if necessary. Depending on the severity and the impact of the comment, it is essential to activate different tactics. Most importantly: the crisis management on social media should not be left only to the Community Manager, but always requires the participation of various departments of a company.
- And the positive ones?
The positive comments on social channels are a very important resource for companies. They reflect the reliability of the quality of a brand, its products or services. Surely thanking is the first step to take in the event of congratulations or appreciation of various kinds. If, for example, we find a number of positive comments on a single topic, we could use this insight to develop activities that give visibility to a company’s strength.
- In this regard, some people have said “stop talking about yourself and start listening to the others” can be useful to become number one in your business. Do you agree?
As I said before, listening is one of the most important tasks that the brand has to do. In my opinion, this is for a basic reason: the conversations of people about a company often reflect the perception that these people have of the brand. And sometimes, as you know, the perception of the brand is more important than the brand itself.
- What should we monitor? What is the main aim of an operation of social media monitoring?
It depends. The monitoring must be calibrated according to the needs of the brand. There are not, in my view, unique directions.
- What are the prices of the instruments used for this operation?
Around the web there are several sophisticated tools to help you monitor online conversations and in particular on social media. The prices change depending on the quality of the instruments. Recently on our blog we published two articles analysing the avalaible tools. You can read more here http://communitymanagerfreelance.it/blog/category/tool-2/.
- Are there any free tools?
There are some free online tools, but if you work with major companies, I always recommend buying one that returns accurate insights. Among the free packages, one of the best is SimplyMeasured (link: http://simplymeasured.com/free-social-media-tools/).
- How can organizations get the most out of establishing workflows for increased analysis and management?
I believe that companies should begin without creating any distinction between digital departments and non digital ones. The analysis on social media is an important resource not only for those who create the communication, but also and firstly for marketing departments. The analysis often allows you to have real time views of people about a certain product or service, although it has not yet been launched.
Listening to internet communication can also help in the development of a product that has the features required by the market. As you might guess, it can mean a big competitive advantage.
Domenico Armatore, Italian, Founder of Community Manager Freelance, co-founder of Pinterestitaly and teacher of Community Management and Pinterest Marketing for Ninja Marketing, Il Sole 24 Ore and other Italian realities. Co-author of the e-book “Pinterest for the business”.