How To Monitor Your Business’ Social Media (In 10 Minutes)
#socialmedia #socialmediamonitoring #sociallistening #facebook #twitter #linkedin #instagram
Responding to people talking about your brand on social media is a must. People expect excellent customer service, and social media gives you the perfect platform to provide it. It will change and shape how people perceive and speak about your brand. Social media management isn’t easy. Companies often take a ‘set it and forget it’ approach, but you’ll find that the most successful companies have dedicated social media platform managers. It takes time. But what if you don’t have that time to give?
In this post, I’ll be covering the steps you can take in order to set your own solid routine for monitoring and responding on social media. Learn how to take advantage of the limited time in your day and grow your brand’s social media presence.
Why Does Social Media Management Matter?
Social media is social. Mind blown?
That small, circular profile picture that just left a negative comment or a bad review? It’s easy to forget that they’re an actual person, with friends and family who they will most likely pass their experience on to. Social media, as a term, is second nature to us nowadays. Breaking it down very carefully though, the word ‘social’ is actually in there. Mind blown?
Don’t leave your mother hangin’
It is a two-way conversation between people and people, brands and brands, brands and people. Anyone posting on social media without checking the responses or interacting is just shouting in a noisy crowd with a megaphone.
Listening and talking with people on social media is even more important than the first initial post you put out which sparked the engagement. Would you ever make a statement to your mother, and then walk away without hearing what she had to say?
Give them what they want, not what you think they want
Monitoring your social media daily is a fantastic way of curating questions and ideas for future marketing campaigns. There’s a goldmine of untapped content potential, and it comes straight from your customers’ mouths.
Knowing what your audience likes, dislikes, gets frustrated by, and loves allows you to position yourself as a trusted and reputable voice. It allows you to talk about what they want to talk about, not what you think they want to hear.
Your brand is quickly becoming a joke.
Monitoring also allows you to be reactive to anything that may be affecting your marketing campaigns. Perhaps you made an embarrassing spelling error in your text. People are mocking it in the comments, and your brand is quickly becoming a joke.
With monitoring, you will catch any mistakes like that and rectify them quickly. Better yet, make a joke out of it yourself instead of completely erasing the mistake and pretending it never happened.
Be empathetic. You’re a human, and so are they.
In times like COVID-19, social media monitoring allows you to focus on what matters most in tough times - human empathy and compassion. If your brand can show this to your audience and listen to what they’re going through, it will stand you in good stead in the long run.
Rather than continuing your ‘SALE’ marketing campaign, tailor your messages to the current situation, and how people are feeling about it.
70% of Twitter users expect a response.
Apparently, it will. According to research by Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response from a brand that they’ve interacted with. In fact, 52% expect a response in under an hour. This rises to 72% when they’ve made a complaint.
Steer the conversation to where you want it to go.
Whether you like it or not, social media cannot be ignored. You have no control over it, over what people are saying about you, your brand, your competitors, your industry.
That’s why it’s important to keep up to date with it. Instead of pretending it’s not happening, the best thing to do is to jump in and steer the conversation to where you want it to go.
At the end of the day, social media monitoring matters, and not just for social media managers. In the next section, we’ll take a look at who in your company should be monitoring social media, and what they should be looking out for.
Who Should Monitor Social Media?
The marketing team is responsible for a brand’s outward-facing image. Their messaging and content is absorbed by the public and creates what the public perception of the company is. Recognisable tones, colours, and fonts are all created and pushed out by the marketing team.
In addition, the marketing team needs to think about how to attract new leads, website visits, and customers. By growing the top of the funnel audience, more and more new business is created every day. Marketing needs to monitor social media in order to gather information and data about past, present, and future marketing campaigns, as well as providing ammo to the sales team to close more leads.
The marketing team should monitor social media for:
- Activity of your leads based on what they’re interested in
- Activity of thought leaders and industry experts as they mention certain terms
- Conversations around keywords that are important to you brand
Interestingly, 72% of salespeople who incorporate social media into their sales process actually outperform their colleagues.These people are masters of what we call social selling. Connecting and interacting with prospects on social media leads to familiarity and trust, making the leads that extra bit warmer.
This isn’t seen as a surefire way to close the leads fast, but social selling builds and nurtures relationships. It takes time and effort to build these relationships, but it often pays off in the long term.
The sales team should monitor social media for:
- Open leads’ conversations
- Lost leads mentions of problems and terms
- Won leads to check in with how they’re doing later on
Social media is the new customer support line. People no longer accept waiting on hold - they want instant answers. Twitter is the most real time social media platform there is, and so users take to it to engage. Having your customer support team on hand to quickly engage and interact can avoid any negative experiences from snowballing out of control.
Depending on the size of the follower base, many companies will have two dedicated accounts - one for marketing, and one for support. For example, Hubspot has @HubSpot for marketing, and @HubSpotSupport for support. This separates any crossover and the different kinds of messages and interactions that marketing and support will receive.
The support team should monitor social media for:
- Questions and concerns
- Conversations people are having about you
- Both positive and negative reviews
Setting the groundwork for a new routine is the key to making it successful. Finding it hard to wake up early to go for a job? Sleep in your running gear to eliminate that one extra step each time. The same is true for social media monitoring.
Set yourself up for success in advance by preparing the groundwork to enable you to spend just 10 minutes a day on it. Using tools designed to streamline your process is vital. Let’s dive into a platform breakdown.
As previously mentioned, Twitter is the platform where users expect the most instant replies. It is the most real time social media platform, so monitoring this closely is a must. Monitoring Twitter can easily turn into a full time job, taking 10 hours a day, rather than 10 minutes.
Due to the excess of information available and being communicated on the platform, you will have to pick and choose what information is most valuable to you, and what you think is worth monitoring. Set up ‘streams’ of information, that group the same type of communication into easily digestible chunks. Below are some examples of useful streams that you might want to set up. Free tools like TweetDeck help you to organise and monitor these streams.
Check out Twitter’s own support blog on how to use TweetDeck.
Mentions and Searches
Head over to twitter.com/search. Here you can search for relevant terms, competitor mentions, a specific person’s name and get a sense for what people are talking about. Identify important terms, competitors, industry influencers, or even people within your organisation who are active on Twitter. Set up streams within TweetDeck to monitor these specific terms, so that you can see what’s happening at a glance.
Questions about your company
Once you set up your streams, you can quickly scan and watch for information that is important to engage with. If someone asks a question that is related to you or your product/service, answer them with the most helpful and relevant information that you can.
This may be by pointing them to some helpful content on your website, showing them a product/service that solves their problem, or acknowledging you may not have the perfect solution for them and pointing them to someone that can help them.
Requests for support
Acknowledge when a customer is looking for support or help, whether that’s pre or post sale. Even if you’re in marketing and you see a support question, be sure to send that request to the relevant person for timely feedback.
Always respond to complaints in a fair and timely manner. Acknowledge that the person has a complaint, and try to work out a solution that works for you both. A tactful way of doing this is by sending the person a private message, acknowledging on the public thread that you have done so, and then sorting it out in the privacy of a direct message or email.
Have a look at this blog by Moz.com on how to handle customer complaints.
It’s just as important to respond to compliments as complaints. Countless businesses only respond to bad Google reviews, which ends up looking both defensive and ungrateful. People like to have their compliments and praise accepted, so be sure to respond just as wholeheartedly to the good comments.
What better way to hear what people both like and dislike about your competitors than straight from the horse's mouth? Keep an eye on competitor mentions, and try and leverage the information that comes straight from potential customers.
Friends, family, pictures, news. Facebook, over the last two decades, has been one of the most popular social networking sites for all forms of communication and information. Personal accounts dominate the realm, making it the perfect platform to interact and engage with your target audience. Your business’ Facebook page is the hub for your current customers and prospective customers to interact with, and understand what your business is all about.
Monitoring your Facebook business page is important to respond with people when they’re interacting with you.
People can post to your timeline publicly, so that other people (and you) can respond and converse. You can enable or disable this feature, but having it enabled can instill more trust in your following. Timeline posts are a great way of curating user-generated content through images and videos of customers using your product/service.
Take a look at how page visitors are interacting with a hiking company called Hillwalk Tours. More important, take a look at how Hillwalk Tours are responding to them.
Comments on a post that you have created enable you to gauge what your customers are feeling and thinking. Respond to your customers, even if it’s just with a reaction such as a like or love.
The private message section of your Facebook business page is where people can privately engage with you. People usually do this for one of two reasons:
- They have a question about your product/service
- They have a complaint and aren’t angry enough to post publicly
Use your private messages to address customer concerns and come to a resolution before complaints spiral out of control.
Reviews on Facebook are social proof to others about your company. Visiting a ⅖ star page vs a ⅘ star page makes a big difference. Be sure to encourage reviews from happy customers and respond to their positive comments, while also addressing the negative reviews. This will show everyone, including the unhappy customers, that you are responsive, reasonable, and will lessen the impact of a negative review.
Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform, with people taking to it for inspiration. Show off your best work here, and engage with people in similar circles. This platform is a lot more ‘casual’, so following and conversing with individuals as a business profile is relatively normal and expected.
For B2B, there is no comparable social network to LinkedIn. With over 575 million professionals on the platform, B2B companies especially need to be engaging and growing here. It is purpose built for thought-leadership, content promoting, and networking between business professionals.
How best should you monitor LinkedIn?
The interaction volume on a company page is relatively low, but from time to time you will get some comments. It’s a small job, but a job that shouldn’t go unattended given the selling power that LinkedIn has.
LinkedIn Groups are full of like-minded professionals looking to learn and share information. Engaging in relevant groups with both your company and personal profiles will increase your standing in the circles that are important to you. Answer and ask questions, respond to people about your company and engage with those who will most likely make a difference to your business.
You’ve set yourself up for success - now let’s set up a 10 minute routine. Habits take a while to form, so give yourself the time to get into this habit.
Check Twitter using TweetDeck or another platform that you’re using. Scan for comments, questions, and feedback.
Bookmark your company’s Facebook page. Log in and check the ‘visitor’s posts’ section of your timeline.
Check your company’s page for new comments and interactions, and then quickly scan any LinkedIn groups that you are a member of.
Check Instagram for tags, mentions, and direct messages and respond accordingly.
Over time, your processes will change, improve, and adapt to your goals and style of work. Be sure that your 10 minutes are being used wisely to meet your goals.
Overall, 10 minutes a day can greatly improve the peoples’ opinions of your company, as well as allowing you to form important business and customer relationships.