What is Social Media Monitoring – Answers to FAQs and Addressing Misconceptions

Social media monitoring is a relatively simple concept, but it also has its fair share of grey-ish areas. For example, how does one actually perform social media monitoring? How frequently do you need to monitor your social media accounts? 

And when you’re performing monitoring, what exactly are you looking for? In this blog post, we’ll cover these questions and address common misconceptions. Before we do, let’s establish a clear definition of social media monitoring. 

Social Media Monitoring: Answers to FAQs and Addressing Misconceptions:


What is Social Media Monitoring?

Social media monitoring is the process of using tools to “listen” and “look” for content published with your brand or product names. 

Why is it necessary? 

Brands spend lifetimes cultivating the right brand image. But today, the speed at which the internet is evolving presents businesses with a challenge. Anyone anywhere can challenge or tarnish a brand’s image. Social media monitoring gives brands the ability to control the narrative. They can catch the good and the bad mentions they receive and before they escalate and the damage is done.

But it’s not all to do with just tracking negative mentions. Brands also use monitoring to track sentiment and feedback from customers in real-time. Understanding how customers feel about products and services helps businesses enhance their offerings and competitive advantage.

For example, in 2016, Elon Musk caught a customer complaint on Twitter. A Tesla car owner raised the issue of superchargers in the Palo Alto area being occupied by drivers whose vehicles had long charged. The problem is that superchargers are located near grocery stores, gyms and some restaurants. Tesla drivers find it convenient to seek out and use these superchargers, making it easy for drivers to leave their vehicles on charge while visiting these establishments. 

Musk not only caught the complaint, but he also acknowledged it and addressed the issue by instituting a $0.40 idle fee.

Source: Loic Le Meur 

Do you need to be like Elon Musk? No.

Do you need to pay attention to Twitter and track mentions and complaints about your brand as and when they happen? 

No. 

There are tools for that.


What Tools are Available?

There’s a growing list of tools you can use to monitor your brand on social media. Basic functionality includes the ability to listen for content published with your brand’s name and also the option of alerts when your brand is mentioned.

Listening for brand mentions is a brand management best practice. While using tools to listen for your brand’s name across a multitude of channels is a great way to ensure that you control any narratives that could form around your brand, the really smart apps go a few steps further. 

They help you measure sentiment, track trends, include reputation management and can provide insightful indicators of your brand’s strength by measuring your marketing impact.

Here are three tools to consider

Brandmentions

Brandmentions was founded in 2015 and supports businesses of all sizes. This tool goes beyond scanning social media. It searches the entire web and measures sentiment, too.

Pricing starts at $49/mo for one user and range to $299/mo for up to 10 users with custom reporting features and dedicated support.

Features include

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Configurable Alerts
  • Dashboard
  • Impact Scoring
  • Influencer Tracking
  • Reputation Management
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Trend Tracking

Services Offered: Competitive AnalysisConfigurable AlertsDashboardImpact ScoringInfluencer TrackingReputation ManagementSentiment AnalysisTrend Tracking

Channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Websites, “Every corner of the internet”


Brand24

Brand24 also supports businesses of all sizes. Founded in 2011, the tool has been adopted by the likes of Intel, Panasonic and AirFrance. It allows you to track campaigns as well as search using negative keywords.

Pricing starts at $49/mo and scales up to $499/mo for larger organisation that require more features and functionality.

Features include

  • Mentions feed
  • Discussion volume chart
  • Marketing analytics
  • Influence score
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Alerts
  • Data exporting 
  • Filtering 

Services Offered: Audience SegmentationCompetitive AnalysisConfigurable AlertsCustomer EngagementDashboardImpact ScoringInfluencer TrackingReputation ManagementSentiment AnalysisTrend Tracking

Channels: Twitter, Tik Tok, Youtube, Podcasts, Images, Videos, Pinterest, Social, Reddit, Quora, Blogs, Forums, Reviews, News, TV Transcripts


Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is likely one of the most popular tools available today. It’s also the choice of brands across the globe that need to not only track mentions but also produce more compelling content to help better position themselves. 

Pricing starts at $79/mo for the Pro plan and ranges up to $499/mo for the enterprise plan that offers more features and functionality in the form of custom reporting and more alerts. 

Features include

  • Brand monitoring (keyword and brand alters, domain alerts, author alerts, link alerts, personalised dashboard, filter alerts and email alerts)
  • Content discovery
  • Content curation 
  • Content insights
  • Content research and planning
  • Competitor research
  • Influencer marketing
  • Question analyzer 

Source: Buzzsumo

Services Offered: Audience SegmentationCompetitive AnalysisConfigurable AlertsCustomer EngagementDashboardImpact ScoringInfluencer TrackingReputation ManagementTrend Tracking


How do You Perform Monitoring?

Monitoring is made simpler with the use of social media monitoring tools. They are designed to do the heavy lifting. Here’s how: 

Monitoring tools scan the web for keywords that you choose. Like Google, these tools are constantly indexing web content to ensure they return any and all relevant results.

This means that performing monitoring really is easy. It is a matter of knowing which terms or keywords you need to track and how to run the query in your tool of choice. 

Source: Brand24


How Regularly Should You Monitor Your Brand?

Brand monitoring on social media should be conducted daily. While that may seem like overkill, the nature of and speed at which news develops on the web and social media constantly requires brands to stay on their toes.

One way tools aid brands in keeping up with mentions are through the use of alerts. Alerts can be based on keywords, domains, brand and product names, author names, or even the sharing of links to content your brand has published. 

These options make it easier than ever before to keep tabs on what’s going on around your brand online. 

Alerts can also be emailed to you as they are triggered, allowing you to focus on other important responsibilities while your social monitoring software does the legwork.  


What Should You be Looking for?

Taking to monitoring can be a little confusing. As mentioned above, you want to listen out for both the good and bad mentions associated with your brand. 

This is where sentiment analysis comes into play. Most tools include some sort of sentiment analysis feature which allows you to determine the attitudes your customers have towards your brand.

Sentiment is often measured as positive, negative or neutral. Tools help determine what type of sentiment customers share by identifying the words your customers use along with their mentions of your brand.

It’s important that you not only focus on positive and negative but also on neutral sentiment, too. Doing so will give you a clearer picture of how your market is truly responding to your business.

For example, if you’ve launched a new product and only seem to be receiving neutral comments about it, you could take to your drawing board and rethink your promotion strategy. 

On the other hand, while positive sentiment would help you double-down on your promotion tactics to generate more reach, negative sentiment would require a change in approach to yield positive results.


How do You use the Results in Your Business?

Most brands struggle to develop meaningful insights based on social media monitoring results. This is often due to a lack of understanding of the power behind the results they receive. 

But as shown in the examples above, brands can use monitoring results in a transformative way. For your brand to truly derive helpful insights that can be turned into actionable data, you need to have a well-oiled process in place. 

You must:

  • Understand the data you receive
  • Know how to track and measure it over time to identify trends
  • Be able to associate a monetary value to the data they receive
  • Be able to use the data to make positive changes to your marketing and products to better serve your customers

Summary

Social media monitoring involves listening to what people say about your brand. Monitoring is made easier with the use of tools that help brands track keywords and other elements and measure sentiment. 

For brands to use social media monitoring effectively, they must have processes. They need to know how to interpret the results they receive and use it to make informed decisions on how to enhance their products, services and brand experience for their customers.

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