Jay Baer once said, “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”
He could not be more right. If your brand is present on leading social media platforms, and you are running campaigns day and night, you are equally busy monitoring the response. After all, you would want to know how well the gasoline works and how much more is required, would you?
Take Arby’s, for example. A few years back, the sandwich brand launched a "Meat Mountain" campaign to change its customers’ perception that it sold only roast beef. The picture showed a pile of different types of meats. Tempted by it, some social media users thought it was a sneak peek into an upcoming sandwich. Soon, the audience started expressing interest in trying the new sandwich.
The result? The social media verdict was clear, and Arby’s listened. Hence Arby’s $10 Meat Mountain sandwich was born.
Your brand certainly needs social media marketing to reach its audience. But also remember that you need a social media monitoring strategy to ensure its survival and success.
So, what does such a social media strategy include? We’ll get to that. First, though, let’s kick things off with what a social media monitoring strategy is.
What is a social media monitoring strategy?
Social media monitoring is like putting your eyes and ears to the Internet. It requires you to track relevant social media conversations about your brand, product, industry and even the laws governing your business. This strategy acts as your go-to guide for mapping everything that’s being said about your brand online.
Here are some the things that you need to be on top of to make the most of your social media monitoring strategy.
1. Check all social media channels
While you can choose to run a campaign on selected social media channels, you cannot be picky about which channels to monitor. You need to keep an eye on all social media platforms where your brand and audience are present. Tracking your brand mentions or just trending topics from your industry is a crucial aspect of social media monitoring.
In fact, following a renowned person who’s related to your industry can offer a cue to kickstart a conversation about your products.
2. Run 24/7 surveillance
Social media doesn’t sleep, so you always need to be on your toes. Even in the wee hours of the night, someone is always online and ready to talk about how good or bad your product is.
Keeping that in mind, Gatorade created its hugely successful Mission Control Center in its HQ a few years back to monitor its online presence 24/7. Its social media managers were known to jump to Facebook chats and Twitter threads in no time if they spotted a mention of their brand or even the word “sports drink.” Talk about being responsive!
3. Employ social media monitoring tools
Effective social media management tools can help you identify a brewing crisis and nip it in the bud. They allow you to track multiple keywords on various platforms in real time and offer live updates. Some tools provide a unified view of up to two million news articles from multiple sources in one place. This gives you a macro view of social media and everything that remotely relates to your brand.
4. Keep your responses ready
Once you start monitoring, you should respond based on the information you get.
a. Examine and delegate
If it’s a compliment, pass on the good news to your marketing team. You may have found a brand loyalist, and it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate their comments. If it’s a complaint, direct it to your PR and customer support teams.
b. Generate leads
Tap into online conversations to find your prospects. Not every potential customer may be following your page.
c. Offer customer support
Many customers use social media to get a brand’s attention. They often switch their channels depending on the brand and the nature of the complaint. Robust social media monitoring tools enable you to create an automatic ticket and discharge it to the respective department, thereby speeding up customer support and complaint resolution.
d. Crisis aversion
Keeping watch over conversations on all your social media channels can help you spot a spark before it becomes a fire.
5. Analyze the data
Continuous analysis is an integral part of social media monitoring. You monitor data and analyze it to gauge the effects of your campaigns and to track patterns.
Analysis churns out essential areas for improvement. You can compare what works and what doesn’t and eliminate the failures.
Sounds like too much work? Trust us when we say that every minute you spend monitoring your social media handles is worth it.
And here are five reasons why.
5 reasons why you need a social media monitoring strategy
Why does your brand need a social media strategy? Because, without it, you are driving with your headlights off. Check out how exactly a social media monitoring strategy can help you.
1. Spot a crisis before it blows up
A large airline company learned the significance of the timely spotting of a crisis in 2017. The airline asked four of its passengers to deboard from an overbooked plane. A pulmonologist refused to vacate his seat, citing that he had to see a patient the next day. A viral video that was viewed over 6.8 million times in less than 24 hours showed the doctor being dragged out of the plane with a bloodied face.
The incident spiraled out of control when the airline’s CEO issued a statement that seemed to justify the removal of the passenger. His email to his employees leaked online, wherein he appeared to support the airline staff’s behavior.
On the flip side, what could have saved the day for the airline was tracking down the video ASAP, issuing a sincere apology immediately and responding to online comments with respect.
2. Track customer feedback in real time
Things quickly go from good to bad to worse on the Internet. So, social media managers need to be vigilant day and night and keep track of their brand’s presence in real time. A well-thought-out strategy can help you in planning your actions and crisis management maneuvers in advance.
3. Stay ahead of the competition
With the right strategy as the guide, you can gather important information, analyze trending topics and aptly respond to customer comments on time. This will go a long way in giving you the edge over your competitors on social media.
4. Measure the efficacy of your communication
A great strategy will also guide you in monitoring the rate and effectiveness of your responses to social media comments. As seen with the United Airlines incident, responding quickly and respectfully is critical to avoid matters blowing up in seconds.
5. Identify brand loyalists
As we covered, a solid social media monitoring strategy entails a set of tools and practices to spot any brand mentions or keywords related to your product or industry and the related comments from users. This will help you in identifying the customers who admire your brand and leave positive feedback online.
However, just a monitoring strategy cannot help you succeed on the Internet. You’ll also need a proper a social media monitoring tool to support your game plan.
So, when it comes to picking your weapon of choice, here are the top features that you’ll need to look for.
The ideal features for a social media monitoring tool
The ideal social media monitoring tool should be able to:
Monitor multiple social media platforms with ease from a single dashboard.
Offer a social media post scheduling tool to prepare the post in advance and decide when it should go online. Sprinklr Social offers a unified solution to plan and manage your social media content across multiple platforms.
Track brand mentions, keywords, trends, threads or hashtags and display the information on an easily accessible dashboard.
Analyze sentiments and monitor brand reputation online on all communication channels.
Provide real-time alerts and automatic report generation so you get actionable insights regularly.
Also Read: Social media reporting: An essential guide
Once you identify the social media marketing tool that suits your needs, you would want to know how to build your strategy.
How to build a successful social media monitoring strategy
Building a successful social media monitoring strategy involves these five steps.
1. Pick the right social media platforms
Focus your efforts on the right social media platforms. Most users take to Facebook and Twitter to complain about or acknowledge a product's performance. But depending on your industry, you may want to keep a tab on Reddit, Yelp, Instagram or Pinterest for customer reviews as well.
2. Spot the trending posts to monitor
Your strategy must involve keeping abreast of brand mentions for you and your competitors’ products or any news related to your industry.
3. Identify the keywords and users to observe
Besides the trends and threads, you need to track significant keywords to stay updated on what your users are talking about. Follow the influencers in your industry and users who often post about your brand.
4. Categorize posts as per importance
Not every post is equally important. It depends on the sentiment each customer's comment carries. Often the signal-to-noise ratio of online comments can be low, indicating that there is much ado about nothing.
Several AI-based tools can help boost your ROI by reducing the time spent monitoring your social media handles and categorizing posts as per sentiments.
5. Improve your monitoring strategy continuously
Like we said, regular monitoring helps you identify relevant keywords and trends. You can also employ an AI-enabled social media management tool to protect your brand reputation and assist your social media managers with integrated AI bots and conversation suggestions.
Ultimately, your strategy should keep evolving and reduce the time and effort you spend on monitoring your social media handles.
Yes, figuring out a proper strategy consumes enough time and investment. But, when done right, it’s natural for you to expect decent returns from it.
Uncover the ROI of your social media monitoring strategy
Here’s how you can measure the ROI of your strategy.
1. Set goals and performance metrics
Your goals need to be SMART, i.e.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. An example would be targeting 200 new leads from the current social media campaign on Twitter.
The performance metrics you choose depend on your goals. For instance, if your end goal is brand awareness, you may want to track the number of followers, impressions, shares and brand mentions. But if you aim at conversions, you should track product sales and the resulting revenue from social media, the leads generated through subscriptions and DMs and any other calls-to-action (CTAs). To learn more, check out the key social media metrics to track for campaigns.
2. Evaluate social media costs
Managing social media handles incurs several expenses for content creation, the managing staff, monitoring tools or paid advertising and campaigns. So, keep track of how much money you’re dishing out on your social efforts.
3. Monitor your social media performance
How your social media handles are performing affects the returns on your investment. The comprehensive dashboard of an excellent monitoring tool can give a macro view of your brand’s performance on multiple platforms. It’ll help you understand whether your strategy is reaping the desired rewards.
4. Calculate ROI
Finally, you can use the below formula to evaluate the returns on the time and money invested in social media monitoring.
ROI = (Amount achieved – Amount invested) / Amount invested X 100
Let the monitoring begin
February 3, 2013, was an important day for Oreo. The Super Bowl (XLVII) was on, and the San Francisco 49ers were playing the Baltimore Ravens when the lights went out in the stadium, plunging everyone into darkness. Well, everyone except for the cookie brand.
Oreo grabbed the opportunity with both hands and tweeted, “Lights out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.”
That tweet instantly went viral, gaining 15,000 retweets and outstanding media coverage. What led to this tweet was a team of fifteen people proactively monitoring the social media trends over two years and being on their toes to capture the moment.
This just goes to show how constant monitoring is the key to successful marketing on social media platforms. But keep in mind that the time and effort it consumes might not be well-spent without a team of experts or a highly efficient monitoring tool. So, be sure to have a well-trained group of social specialists in place. And you can also book a demo with Sprinklr to see how its comprehensive social suite can take your social media monitoring to the next level.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ideally, every single day. Social media is always buzzing, and you never know when a small spark can become a wildfire. So, visiting your social media pages daily is suggested to see what audiences are talking about.