Yesterday we touched base on what social media monitoring is and we explored the long list of benefits and opportunities it presents to you – not just for steering your brand through a social media crisis, but for marketing opportunities and key evaluation exercises as well.
Today, we’re going to dive even deeper by determining the type of social media listener your company or organization should be, as well as look at the different conversations, remarks and comments that you should be monitoring for.
What type of social media listener are you?
There are two main types of social media listeners: the passive listener and the active listener. The type of listener you choose to be depends on both your level of integration within social media and your online goals and objectives.
The passive listener
The passive listener is the brand who has not yet began to dabble in social media, but plans to do so in the near future. If this is you, then taking the time to be a passive listener will allow you to determine:
- Whether or not people are talking about your brand online
- What they’re saying
- What your share of voice is
- Whether the comments are primarily of a positive, negative or neutral sentiment
- Where your customers and prospects are currently online (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc)
The passive listener will set up their listening posts and silently listen and analyze each conversation, while planning and developing their strategy for interaction.
The active listener
The active listener is the company who doesn’t just monitor the discussions around their brand, but regularly jumps in and engages with customers and fans. If you’re presently on social media and engaging with your audience, then odds are you’re already doing some form of active listening whether you realize it or not.
The goal, is to make it intensional!
Note: If you’re just becoming an active listener, you’ll want to make sure you have your social media policy, as well as your social media crisis policy in place. This way, whether you receive positive or negative comments, your team will clearly understand how they are to respond, and what is expected of them. To learn more about this topic, read What to Include within your Social Media Crisis Policy.
What to monitor for
Once you’ve determined the type of listener you want to be, even if temporarily (passive listeners usually move on to become active ones), then it’s time to decide on the important keywords your brand will be listening for.
There are three main types of discussions that you might choose to monitor for:
- Discussions about your brand
- Discussions about your competition
- Discussions about your industry
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these categories, highlighting the key importances within each:
Discussions about your brand
These are the most important discussions to listen for. Knowing what people are saying about your brand at all times, means knowing when possible sales opportunities are arising, as well as knowing when a potential crisis is unfolding. When setting up your listening posts, you’ll want to be sure to include phrases and keywords that relate to:
- Your brand name
- Your products and services
- Specific campaigns you may be running
- Targeted inquiries
- The names of key players within your corporation
- Common misspellings for all of the above
- And more
Discussions about your competition
Monitoring the discussions related to your competition definitely presents you with some unique advantages. From being on the ball and knowing what types of complaints and compliments they’re receiving, to being aware of when they may be headed for a social media crisis – and having the unique opportunity to use their crisis to your advantage. (Be careful when doing this though. It’s a tricky technique that needs to be executed correctly, if you don’t want to wake up and find yourself in your own social media crisis!)
To monitor the activity and discussions taking place around your competitors’ brands, you’ll want to set your listening posts up with the same types of keywords and phrases that we saw above. To really take full advantage of this strategy, be sure to assess:
- What their share of voice is
- What their share of sentiment is
- What issues, complaints and compliments they face that could potentially define an opportunity for your brand
Monitoring the discussions that take place around your industry allow you to stay focused and current on trending industry topics, as they happen. Here you can choose to jump in and become part of the discussion, helping you be seen as a thought-leader within the industry, or you can choose to sit back and quietly listen and learn. The keywords that you should keep track of here are:
- Industry related terms
- Individual thought-leaders and authorities within your industry
- Products and services
- Terms and categories for which you would like to be found and associated with
No mention is too big or too small
Whether you get one, or 10,000 mentions about your brand per week, keeping your ears open and your finger on the pulse will provide your brand with invaluable insights and opportunities.
- Determine the type of listener you want to be
- Make a list of keywords and phrases you want to begin to regularly monitor online
Tomorrow we’re going to walk through the different social media monitoring tools that will help you get started on becoming a strong social media monitor!
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Do you currently monitor the social media discussions around your brand? If so, what keywords and phrases prove themselves to be the most accurate and consistent for you?