Social media makes it easy for us to have the floor, with a number of venues available to share news, sentiments, and promotions, or start a conversation with the masses—but it’s important to take a break from talking and take some time to listen.
Social media monitoring should be performed by companies in good times and bad. There are a number of tools available that can help sort through the noise on the Internet to track meaningful conversations about your brand. Some are free services like Google alerts, Technorati and Twitter clients like Tweet Deck. Others are full service companies, like Radian6, that offer state-of-the-art monitoring and response options. If people are talking about your brand online, it is easier than ever to find them and join the conversation.
Here are three areas where listening can give you an edge in the marketing world.
1. Reputation Management
In a crisis, listening is critical and response speed matters. Knowing what is being said about your brand creates the opportunity to correct false information and provide fact-based responses that can diffuse a crisis before it happens. Having a service that does the searching for you can be the difference between a problem averted and a rant going viral.
2. Customer Service
Knowledge is power, and knowing what people are saying about your brand can be a powerful customer service tool. Engaging someone proactively can remind people that there are real people behind your brand. Providing a better customer experience has the potential to significantly increase brand loyalty.
3. Keep Tabs on Competitors
As great as it is to know what people are saying about you, it’s also good to know what people are saying about your competition. By creating keyword searches for rival brands or products, you can gain valuable insights into your target market and increase your chances of success.
Looxii is one such tool EMA uses to track conversations. If your brand is mentioned in a tweet, blog post, Facebook update or YouTube video, or if it is tagged with a photo on Flickr, Looxii is a cost-effective social media monitoring service that can help you identify where people are talking and provide the information you need to engage them.
Looxii offers multiple logins and unlimited keyword searches, and it displays real-time data in easy-to-read customizable dashboards, graphs and feeds. In addition to providing the frequency with which your brand is mentioned and URLs for the posts and tweets it uncovers, Looxii also tracks trends and sentiment.
The trend function can provide insight into what terms and phrases are currently associated with your keywords. Such information can be used to refine your searches to return more meaningful results.
Looxii’s sentiment tracking, while not a perfect science, allows users to adjust the
sentiment scoring by marking individual results as positive, neutral or negative.
Dashboards can be branded to display a company logo and customized daily email updates can be sent to multiple recipients. Data can also be exported from Looxii into an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis and archiving.
To get started, create keyword searches for your company name, including nicknames and abbreviations, any products or service names, taglines and trademarks. Then create an internal workflow of how to respond in certain situations. If you have a team of people who will be responding, make sure there is a process to avoid duplicate responses.
Social media monitoring is not an end unto itself. Great customer service requires action. Once you have the insights and information you gain from listening, interpreting that data and determining who and when to engage is a critical—perhaps the most critical—part of any listening strategy.
Modern consumers want to be involved in the products and companies they are loyal to. By establishing connections through social media channels, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to interact with their customers and become a part of their everyday online experience.