Most of us spend a good deal of time crafting social strategies, building online communities, managing social customer service and working to be social media hero’s for our organizations. Part of our jobs must also includes monitoring all sorts of things within the social media world. Here are my top ten tips for monitoring:
1) Monitor for Risk Management
Risk management is an important part of any social media strategy. There are lots of things that can go wrong and social media can quickly escalate any situation. Engaging on social platforms can be a bit scary when we’ve seen hashtag’s go wrong for McDonalds, negative viral videos popping up for Dominos and emails sent to thousands of customers rather than internally. Any risk management strategy must include monitoring for those possible risks so you can get involved as quickly as possible and not get caught off guard.
2) Monitor for Negative Chatter
Not all negative chatter rises to the level of a “crisis” but that doesn’t mean negative comments, tweets or posts aren’t important. Monitoring for negative social conversations around even topics that are relate to the organization is extremely important. These conversations can give your organization direction and insight and also allows an opportunity for the brand to get involved in the conversation. Even though people may not agree with everything your brand does or says they will respect that you’re paying attention and willing to join the conversation
3) Monitor to be a Resource
If your organization can answer questions, give guidance and be a resource this creates positive sentiment for the brand. As we all know, times have changed and brands are now expected to do more than push their message out to the masses. In order to be a resource it will be necessary to locate the conversations you can contribute to.
4) Monitor to Keep Tabs on the Competition
Social media has given us all a very unique opportunity to hear what our competitors are saying, watch what they are doing and understand what their plans of action are. Not paying attention to what competitors are doing in social media is a lost opportunity.
5) Monitor to take Advantage of PR Opportunities
Public Relations plays a very important role in every organization no matter what size or type. Using social media as a listening tool increases the number of opportunities you will be able to take advantage of.
6) Monitor for Spikes
Understanding why social media conversations, Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers etc…. spike is key to making those spikes occur on a more frequent basis. This requires significant monitoring to understand what factors contribute to those spikes and when spikes are actually unrelated to any actions your organization has taken.
7) Monitor to Find Brand Evangelists
Every organization has brand evangelists, super fans and customers who support organizations they love on social media platforms. The best way to locate and cultivate brand evangelists is through social media monitoring. Monitor for conversation around your organization on various sites such as, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Linkedin and your blog. Keep a log of who engages with your brand on various sites, how often and what types of engagement. This can be done by simply using a spreadsheet, does not have to be fancy or extensive.
8 ) Utilize Monitoring Tools
There are plenty of free management tools but there are also some great paid tools that can help your monitoring efforts. Take the time to figure out what types of tools would work best for your organization. Here are three I’ve found have the necessary applications to take your monitoring efforts beyond simple looking for your brand name mentions:, Radian 6, Sisimos, Shoutlet
9) Create a Monitoring Team
Having more than one set of eyes on social chatter is always a good idea. Different people see different things and from unique points of view. Don’t passively watch the chatter go by. Instead have a dedicated team who are willing to work together to monitoring in a way that is most effective.
10) Report Findings
No matter how extensive your monitoring if you do not report on findings, and frequently, your efforts will never find true success. Report your findings on a regular basis and track all your monitoring efforts.
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