🎅 He’s Making A Strategy, And Checking It Twice
Congrats! You made Santa’s Nice List this year! I’m assuming it’s because you wore your face mask outside and social distanced like you were supposed to. Regardless, you and your brand deserve something special for the holiday season, and we know just the thing to help you ring in the New year: A Social Media Monitoring Strategy!
Unless you have an army of elves sitting around with smartphones somewhere, refreshing their feeds every thirty seconds and watching the engagement numbers rise and fall on your social media administration pages, you’re going to need a solid social media monitoring strategy that’ll help your company track conversations about your products, analyze user sentiments regarding your services, and help you build a superior marketing campaign that’s informed by comprehensive data-driven insights.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of your favorite hot chocolate by the fireplace, as we cover three important things:
- What’s a Social Media Monitoring Strategy?
- Why do you need a Social Media Monitoring Strategy vs. something like Social Listening?
- How can you tell if your Social Media Monitoring Strategy is working?
🔦 Rudolph’s Got His Red Nose To Shine A Light. You’ve Got A Monitoring Strategy To See What’s Up On Social Media.
Social Media is a broad landscape composed of various unique platforms that cater to everything related to connecting people, ideas, stories, views, values, and news. Whether it’s to apply to a new job, or just share some videos of silly cats, sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and others provide marketing professionals with an endless means to connect with potential new consumers for their products and services, and grow their popularity in order to bolster sales for their brands. But because of the gigantic, almost mind-numbing infinity of this digital space, this also has the unfortunate aspect of being unwieldy, and difficult to track and understand in order to take the most advantage of. This is why you need a social media monitoring strategy to make sense of your brand’s positioning online, and see how well you’re performing, or how poorly you’re doing with customers. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has his shiny nose to shine a light and see the path ahead on a foggy Christmas eve, and so too must you accept the necessity of a monitoring strategy for social media.
So that’s out of the way, but how do you go about making a social media monitoring strategy that’s right for your specific brand? By asking yourself a few key questions that’ll help solidify what your needs are, what your company’s short and long-term goals are, and who you’re trying to reach and monitor online. Questions like:
- What kinds of messages and conversations do you want to stay on alert for?
- What sort of tone and narrative are you striving to adhere to for your social media scheduling calendar? Is it achievable or do you need to start fresh for your monitoring efforts to properly succeed?
- Are you including your competitors and their followers within your monitoring efforts? Or no?
- Do you intend to stay active and responsive to consumers when tracking their conversations on social media? If so, to what extent?
- Will you involve brand-partnered influencers as part of your monitoring strategy?
Obviously there’s more aspects to building a proper social media monitoring strategy than what we can fit here, but by establishing the who, what, where, when, and why, of your strategy, the rest of the process is as easy as analyzing the data from your social media platforms administrative boards, or even better, taking advantage of a social listening platform in order to maximize the effectiveness of your monitoring strategy.
Pro Tip: Social Listening is the process of acquiring reams of data and developing strong market insights that can help your brand’s marketing strategy move forward. Picking the right Social Listening tool to facilitate this is absolutely crucial when you get started, and there’s no better way to make your brand’s sleigh bells ring than by adopting Digimind for your Social Intelligence needs.
🍐 A Partridge In A Pear Tree Won’t Cut It. You Need A Social Media Monitoring Strategy.
You can email your target audience with emails offering 15% OFF coupons, you can promote your connection with consumers by lauding your corporate activism/charitable causes, and you can report on the rapport you and your customers have until the cows come home, but if you really, truly wish to make genuine relations with your user base, and have them be felt, then there’s simply no alternative to social media monitoring. By setting up an effective strategy that helps you hear their needs, wants, distastes, and emotional states that vary almost constantly, you’re able to respond in kind in ways that are genuine. Some excellent examples of this includes McDonald’s hearing and subsequently adopting their customer’s preferences for paper straws instead of single-use plastic straws, or the time when Tesla heard the parking mode complaints of a loyal customer and added it to the latest software patch for their cars, or the time when Hilton used customer feedback from social media to tweak their loyal customers points program.
Consumers usually communicate with brands if they have a question, to drop praise, or to vent their frustrations or dismay for something they did or didn’t do. But without a social media monitoring strategy, you’ll never know, and thus you’ll be deaf to their voices, which makes it appear like you either don’t know, don’t care, or both. More damning than all of that though, why wouldn’t you want to listen to your target audience? There’s no other conceivable way to replicate the power of social media, and as companies continue to invest more and more into digital marketing and social intelligence, you’re either on board or you’re history. Simple as that. So don’t get on Santa’s naughty list and receive a stocking full of coal (the future is green anyways), GET ON IT.
Pro Tip: There’s a difference between Social Listening and Social Media Monitoring. Social media monitoring is an action-reaction process that engages fully with customers online in order to track their emotional sentiments for a stronger market positioning. Social listening is the process of broadly taking specific groups of data from social media in order to offer insights that help marketing and insights professionals to sharpen their marketing strategies for things like marketing campaigns and avoiding brand crises. Both operate within the same field, and can overlap within a marketing team’s efforts, but understanding the difference and acting accordingly is necessary if you’re going to independently do both appropriately.
🤔 Ho-Ho-How Do You Know It’s Working?
This calls back to the first part of this piece where we went over how best to develop the best social media monitoring strategy for your brand, so it’s unique to your particular goals, both short and long-term. It’d be easy to say, more or less, that you know your strategy is working if your consumer engagement has improved, your brand awareness has grown, and business and sales are accelerating since the beginning of the monitoring period was implemented, but it’s a bit more complex than that.
Firstly, more engagement doesn’t mean more positive sentiments regarding your brand. Scrutinize the kinds of conversations that your monitoring strategy is uncovering and filter through the posts with careful consideration using keyword and key word web searches that focus on positive words and terms. A sentiment analysis can also go a very long way in shortening this important process, especially if you want to break it down by certain demographics, like age, gender, occupation, location, etc.
Secondly – and for similar reasons as the first point – just because your brand awareness has grown, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for a good or advantageous reason. If you got twice as many gifts under the tree this year as you did last year, but found out that instead of a PS5 with games and accessories, all you got was a bunch of socks and underwear, you’d think someone had it out for you. Access the situation with a competitor report via social listening, and figure out if your brand awareness growth is comparable to other brands within your target market. If so, then the growth might be more reflective of your industry itself than your company and its social media efforts. Either way, scrutinize what your competition is doing, and if your social media monitoring strategy is working then you’ll know for certain if your brand awareness boost is a benefit, or a turn-of-events to be wary of and keep an eye on.
Thirdly, and lastly, short-term profit increases are just that, short-term. True success can only be evaluated if acquired over a gradual period of extended business quarters. If the increase in business is stable and can be quantified in years versus months, then it’ll be pretty clear that the strategy worked overall.
Pro Tip: Most influencers on social media overlap with their messaging and subjects. But you can identify the most appropriate individuals to partner with for supplementary consumer engagement if you use the right social listening tools to compare certain points, like follower numbers, rankings, and frequency of postings.
🐝 It May Be A Silent Night, But Social Media’s Always Buzzing About Your Brand!
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza, or The Queen’s Gambit this holiday season, all social media strategists and marketing professionals need to adopt a social media monitoring strategy that best suits their brand’s needs and business aspirations. As we leave 2020 behind (and hopefully this pandemic and current market as well) and enter 2021, the world will be ever more reliant on platforms where people can connect, communicate, and grow, with more lockdowns and remote working/living. So it’s within that spirit that we bequeath this wonderful gift of tips and advice for your brand, so you can make your new year a bright and successful one.
Stay safe and well, and may peace be with you, your teams, and your families.