1. Monitoring the competition
The benefit of social media monitoring is that it not only tracks your brand online, but your competitors as well. And while you can easily follow your competitors on Twitter to see what they’re up to, seeing what others are saying about them on other channels, forums and web sites is a daunting exercise. A good social media monitoring service not only culls these mentions, but analyses their sentiment as well. You can then see where your competitors are floundering or have gaps in their service and step in with your own targeted marketing.
2. Identifying prospects
Do you have time to manually check for all online mentions of a keyphrase related to all the services you offer in your target market? Unless you invest in your own social media monitoring tools and a full-time team to make sense of the data, you are certainly missing out on a segment of your ideal customer base. A social media monitoring service can identify the types of conversations your customer base is having and where they’re having them.
3. Spreading the good word
If you’re not listening to discussions about your brand online, you are letting other people influence potential customers about your organisation. What if someone is posting negative or misinformed information about you on Facebook and prospective customers take it at face value? You won’t know what’s being said unless you are using social media monitoring. Not only does social media monitoring help you identify what’s already being said about you, it also lets you control messaging for your brand and track how positive news and posts influence the online community.
4. Better customer service
It pays to respond to customers or prospective customers in whatever medium they’re using. More than 80 per cent of customers who received responses from an organisation after tweeting about them say they have a heightened opinion of that brand, according to Maritz Research. And people who like a brand tell their friends about it — almost a quarter of customers who have a positive customer service interaction tell 10 or more individuals, according to a Harvard Business Review article. Whether it’s a general customer service request or a mitigating circumstance like a product recall or an ATM outage, responding to questions online with the help of social media monitoring will help boost your brand visibility and likely your sentiment as well.
It will take time to build up to all four of these activities through social media monitoring. But you might be surprised to find an early ROI when practising any one of them in a dedicated fashion. A good social media monitoring service will assist you in coming up with your strategy so you can be on your way to leveraging your online communities for direct business opportunities.