Social networks have become a very important part of our lives today. From young ones to adults, everybody knows what Facebook or Instagram is. It has grown so much that the audience even started to do business there. If brands don’t have a good online presence, they almost do not exist. Some professions have risen to aid owners in carrying out these tasks.
Among these, we can mention the monitoring of social networks, also called listening. Such an activity may seem like a mystery. What does it involve? What type of tasks do pros in this field carry out? Specialists who want to get the answers to these questions should read this guide about social media monitoring in 2021.
Table of Contents
What Is Social Media Monitoring?
It is clear that online life has changed today. It has taken place not only concerning tasks we do every day. Also, it took in our work lives. Many pros today hold this career. But what does it mean? Social media monitoring refers to a person or a tool taking care of these types of social media tools. They keep track of what happens there. It is useful for getting great analytics. These numbers are then analyzed to devise a growth tactic. Apart from driving sales, this activity also sees other things. For example, how followers feel about a certain product.
Why Is Social Media Monitoring Important?
This activity is crucial today. Most companies do business using social media apps today. So, to get to know more about the market, they require workers. Today, it is not enough to have some posts online. Or even to have good traffic.
Those in This Business Have To:
- Truly see that their public desires to have. Knowing their feelings is great. But the most important thing is to do it.
- See how others in the same field are doing. To copy their tactics and to learn from their errors. Trial and error are good. But, true pros cannot put their boss at risk. It’s not a nice attitude to start trying out new things at work. They can avoid errors by just carrying out some monitor here.
- Understand who the influencers are and call their attention. Becoming partners can result in successful events. Even, to sell more and more things.
Why Is It Called like This? Does It Only Involve Networks?
Monitoring was named like this when it started. Back then, social media apps were the only one’s owners had to monitor. Today, most of the tools we mention in this guide are ready to crawl over other sites. Such services can give insights about analytics.
- These include forums, blogs, apps such as Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
- Devices are not always useful in any place. An SMM in this field should take a look at specs of what apps for future use. This way, they can check if these ones support their media or not.
How Does Social Media Monitoring Work?
Monitoring surely has some good perks. Some of them are related to knowing which tactics work best for the competition. In that way, it is possible to improve one’s brand by copying the nicest strategies. Yet, there are some of them that relate to not so pleasant tasks – for example, taking care of the negative image of a company. Let’s talk about the ones that are not so great first.
The role of a person here is to do something about clients writing bad about the brand. This is very common. What should never happen is to ignore such situations. If somebody is saying something negative, customer care should always answer. This means that the brand cares. So, if any other was thinking the same thing, they might give the service another chance. Responding to this is not nice. It takes a lot of patience and skill. It’s not easy to get what to say without losing calm. But it comes with the job. Nice answers can be great to keep the audience.
As with content, companies have to be wary of how they apply images. Most of the content today is visual. Research shows that consumers are keen on posts with pictures a lot more than those with no photos. This means that the pros in this field have to understand how to select suitable visuals to upload. Choosing the wrong ones can be harmful to the brand. Also, they have to be careful with who uses the logo of the brand.
If a customer is making a bad comment on Facebook or Twitter, it is dangerous. But even more so is to leave that text without an answer. Why? Because reputation is crucial for companies today. If they have a bad one, nobody is going to trust them. This translates into fewer sales and less money. Social media monitoring services, then, helps to avoid such events. They can give knowledge to SMMs about where these comments and mentions are. Also, to make smart choices about them. Should they be answered in a private or public manner? It will depend. That is where logic comes into play.
Top 10 Useful Tips for Social Media Monitoring
Starting to do this activity can be daunting. There are many social media apps to choose, and many tasks to carry out. Also, which are the best skills a person should have to be great in this industry? Those who are wondering about this have come to the right place. Keep on reading to find 10 great tips for social media monitoring.
1. Get the Reason Why You Are Doing This
Online jobs are on the rise today. Men and women look forward to working from their homes because it’s comfortable – also since it gives them more hours to spend with their families.
One great option, then, is to work in the field of social media networks. Now, not only persons own accounts on Facebook or Twitter. Brands need to have one there, too. Without a presence in the online world, they are nothing. Yet, big companies have no time or don’t feel how to do this. That is why hiring a manager is great for them (and for you).
Now, monitoring accounts can be daunting. If a business is too big, they might have several channels on varied platforms. Knowing everything that happens in all of them can be tiring. Luckily, tech is here to aid these workers. Yet, they are quite complex, especially for those who are just starting. Managers need to view what they are looking for and how to do it.
Those who want insights into data and emotions should have a specific app for them. So then, the best posts regarding traffic can be revamped, or even reposted with a new picture or a new approach. The manner in which these apps work is simple. They have an algorithm, such as Google. That device monitors the social media networks people tell them to. Finally, they produce a report with useful numbers.
2. Have Social Media Monitoring Tools Great for Your Pocket
There are plenty of options in this respect. But, not all of them are affordable. They might not even be what you are looking for. Let’s look at how they work, first. The function of these tools is to provide owners with insights about what they are doing right. In that manner, they can assess what else to do with the followers and mentions they have already. Analytics is the way to go here. It can give an account of business perception. Also, how much public companies are reaching.
Apart from this, workers should consider reviews. Most consumers use them before deciding to buy a thing or not. This makes up the concept of business reputation. It is truly easy to find reviews of a product or service online. Yet, this is a bit perilous. The comments and mentions posted can be good or bad. Motoring, then, allows for controlling these texts. And to improve reputation if needed.
How to do this? Well, there are different manners. One of them is answering as fast as possible. If clients are really angry, a brand can offer some bonus or discount. All these comments appear easily when using an online device. It locates all of them quickly. This can mean the variation between a terrible experience or a good one. That comes in handy for big corporations.
McDonald’s, for example, cannot afford to lose hundreds of hours reading because they receive millions of comments on a daily basis. What they do, then, is to use algorithms that help them see which are the ones important. Also, they see which ones are just noise.
3. Study as Much as You Can
When applying for this field, it’s not only needed to be a good professional. It’s also necessary to have skills. To monitor social media accounts is an activity in itself. It’s also the first step to have strong management.
For this, there are many courses that a person can take. One example is Udemy. In this platform, there are programs to see at least how to start. Especially if workers don’t know a lot about their clients, some apps to master are YouTube, Craigslist, blogs, forums and more. Content curation is also a big part of the pack. Looking for influencers that can help pros is another step. These tools, then, can be a helping hand – for example, the ROI of each account.
Getting a degree in a related field can make a person stand out from the rest. This means that this man or woman is willing to make an effort. That they strive always to improve. And that they would go the extra mile to ensure the job is well done.
Even those who understand nothing about this can go from zero to hero very quickly. Apart from Udemy, there are also other options. Coursera and Edx are some of them. All of these programs offer a practical approach. Meaning that learners will do things with the theory they study. The good thing about them is that they give official badges. After taking the course, students can display them on their profiles. For example, on LinkedIn. That can be great to attract new employers.
4. Do the Best You Can to Get Great Results
Expect to get out what you put in – Spend the majority of your hours creating the right searches (aka queries). If your queries are wrong, the data you get will be nonsense. Some tips from pros are up for grabs. Rebecca was a student of marketing and design at the college level. Before starting in the digital market, she had worked for traditional companies. She claims that the driving thread is passion. If workers have the knowledge in at least one field, then they can translate it into others.
Alice, another professional in the TV industry, designs tactics for social media networks. In her experience, recruiters search for many skills. Not only experience or samples. So, those who strive to sharpen their writing are on the right track.
Having skills to design (for instance, using Canva or Photoshop) will make them strong as well. Doing their best, for any person, also includes pursuing a degree. Communications seem to be the way to go. Yet, today there is not just one program that will ensure a position here. There are other cases of persons who had no degree at all and still are successful:
Chris used to be an electrician and studied to be an engineer. During his free time, he did some gigs for a catering company. They asked him to create a Facebook account to promote the brad. Voilá! He gained a lot of hands-on experience. Which was later on invaluable to land a job.
5. Don’t Let Visuals Fool You
Numbers can be tricky in this industry. Most workers are sometimes flashed by figures and maths. These may seem impressive. Yet, they might not be the best proof of success. There are stories to tell behind the numbers. And in that place is where persons share how valuable they are.
- Raw amounts of traffic might seem attractive. Though, it says nothing to an experienced pro. Then, an analysis should go beyond that.
- Some metrics to consider are, of course, the number of visits. Also, how much bouncing the site has. That means if after searching for a word, the persons stay on the page or not.
- The rate of conversion is crucial in this marketing field. Its definition is visitors becoming buyers after seeing the site. How much they spend, there is to be taken into account, too. Someone without any experience might think that a space that has a lot of visits is the king of traffic. And even though this might be true, that’s not everything when it comes to this industry.
- The rest of the metrics say a lot more about the performance of a webpage. For example, if bouncing is high, it means that clients are not that happy with the content they find there. Twitter is easy to monitor because devices can crawl it in real minutes.
- Some apps are prone to attract more quality traffic than others. Some examples of these are Quora or LinkedIn. Most of the times, the ones that arrive at those spaces already understand what they are looking for.
6. Track Everything That You Do
One of the most challenging parts of this industry is marking. It is not possible to remember everything. Unless you are working for a very small company. And with just one account. If not then recording the data obtained is key.
In this manner, it will be possible to track progress over the months. To compare statistics with competitors and more. Now, let’s take a look at how tools work. In essence, they crawl pages and index them. So, traffic can visit them and for later use. Keywords are important to remember how to find info. Do not just rely on Google’s metrics. They are not exact, as they do not consider spam messages. Also, it mentions no duplicate content. And dates cannot be filtered.
In the case of selected apps, they provide users with quality info. That is, they will get numbers they are worth their money. Their perks include filtering useless dates and targeting particular terms. Then, it is much more valuable than just using Google. What type of data does it give? Well, most of the times it crawls public information. That is accounts that have decided that all the rest can read or see what they are doing.
This means that the app just puts it all together in an organized fashion, which is key for persons who have loads of tasks at hand. There is no way to access protected info. For example, private Twitter or Facebook accounts, a tweet that is not public, private pins and other.
7. Free Tools Are Not Always Reliable
This is something we should not forget. Free info is not reliable, especially when it comes from apps for free. Google Alerts, for example, only found 1 good result instead of 18 other ones found. That is not enough for a big company. Or even for a person who makes money out of their social media networks.
So, here comes social media monitoring. The collection should always start with questions and not the other way around. Algorithms are strong when finding data to improve. What is dual has no place in this process. One very important aspect of this task is to find influencers. Free of charge tools do not have filters, for example. Paid ones, on the other hand, can have excellent filters and graphs.
When thinking about the Olympic torch of 2012, it was crucial to find influencers. Two places were Oxford and Leeds. If we follow the buzz, they can see it on Twitter. Another one is Reach. It means that the most relevant posts appear using this search. Scores can be more accurate than with companies that do not require payment.
8. Not Everything Is About Marketing
Those who have not mastered marketing skills should not fear it. True, it can be a strong point in this profession. Yet, it is not its core or everything that you can do with it. Workers should always look beyond that aspect. They can help in improving service, doing research, taking care of clients. Also, to assist in a strategy about business in general. Some means to do this are the ones below.
Always consider followers in every network. Specialists in marketing very often believe that they are above these numbers. Yet, they are not about vanity. Of course, followers are not the most important metric. But, to assess engagement, it is crucial to have these numbers. Especially those who have many channels. For example, someone might be trying to have a nice profile in Twitter but has very few followers. This means that they should refine the strategy in this topic.
How much numbers grow. Seeing how many people join after a certain amount of minutes is useful. It proves that the account is getting trendy or not, if it’s going fast or slow. Or if fans are leaving the ship. If it’s a critical metric or not, it will depend on the goals of the company.
Finally, mentions should be assessed. These ones appear only when clients are talking about a company. They can be positive or bad. With mentions into account, pros can make sure of how much engagement fans have. Also, assess when is the best moment of the day to share content on the channel. And if they love what the brand is growing or not. They should include competition in these metrics. Always.
9. Work on Your Critical Thinking
If this was an easy task, then machines would carry it out. To monitor is not a simple operation. It requires persons with sharp thinking. Because they will not only have to watch the products the company is selling. These persons also have to take a look at the competition. And, not so nice words that customers use when talking about the product. To assess it, professionals have to learn to think in a critical manner. Also, to know which aspects to take a look at.
One of the features is sentiment assessment. The term refers to what the public believes about a company on the Internet. Each post they make, each thing they retweet. Also, all the messages they write on forums will appear here.
They can be divided into three parts. Good, bad, or neutral. The ones that brands care more are the negative ones, of course. It will pay off to do so. Since it is not true that businesses are always popular and great.
Another aspect to take care of is Reach. It is quite complex, though it should not stop those in charge. This is not related to tweets, posts or comments. But, such a term is related to the quality of the traffic of a page.
Also, what they do as soon as they enter the page. Do they truly read what you post? Or do they just leave as soon as they see the title? Google Analytics can be of great help here since it tracks downs each click that is done on a particular website.
10. Network All the Time
Last but not least, look for new clients. Networking is a vital part of freelancers’ lives. Those who want to survive in the field should always stay connected. There are a lot of companies that dedicate to this. Today, they want to begin searching for CRM info apps. For example, Salesforce is one that each person should consider. It’s very powerful when getting new opportunities.
Even those who are happy with their position should keep on looking. One never knows when a great option can appear in one’s way. Rookies know their way around these things. Some things that need to be done are the creation of relations. Also, to convey ideas clearly to readers. Finally, it is key to give them the option of answering one’s texts. In this case, listening is as important as talking.
Top 5 Best Social Media Tools
As stated before, it’s not easy to carry out such a profession on one’s own. Reach, engagement, followers, metrics… All of them are aspects to consider. But marketers are not alone in the field. There are many apps, paid or free, that can greatly help in this respect. Read below the most relevant ones for 2020.
1. Hootsuite: Efficient Use of Apps
Hootsuite is one of the most helpful services today. It is in action in more than 170 countries. Also supports more than 30 languages. What’s most impressive is their numbers. Almost 15 million users hire them every year. Apart from that aspect, the platform supports more than 35 social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Other specific nets are also present here.
Users Can Also Connect It to Their Blog or Webpage:
- Some of its functions are posting content on varied apps, review answers.
- Also, analyze metrics. All of this, at the same time. The numbers are specific. This allows persons to take smart decisions about marketing.
- Different plans are available for users. The options vary in their prices. In the free version, there are 3 social media apps and basic metrics. Other alternatives are cheap. They start as low as $9 per month.
2. Sprout Social: Make a Company Bloom
Its feed is complete. It offers different options for management. In general, users can find Messages, Feed, Publish, Reports and other options. This way, they can get organized in a better way when working. What is great about Sprout Social is its section on Customer Care. It allows workers to answer to their clients in an efficient and timely manner. The tool is very user-friendly. You can create content and share it on different spaces at the same moment.
Another of its perks is that customers can leave feedback and queries. These comments can be used later on to improve the business. Apart from customer service, it gives rich data. This is useful for marketers in charge of the analysis of numbers. Plans, though, are not cheap. Starting at $99 per month, they go as up as $249 for Advanced options. The last plan offers all features, of course.
3. Buzzsumo: Fight for Great Content
Buzzsumo provides a blend of high-quality text with nice marketing tactics. It mostly focuses on SEO. This is a great perk today, with the current market needs. Writers need to produce great content, true. But texts have to comply with good practices. That will rank a page up in the search engine. Clients report that this platform has great metrics. As they can spy on competitors, they are able to be updated. Not only about news on the field, but on trends and tactics.
Some features include alerts for crucial events and main keywords. Also, to divide up social media accounts in authors. Reports are top-notch and very detailed – an amazing perk for those who search to make their performance better. Finally, it has a locating gadget that is great for finding influencers. So, people who want to connect with these stars can do it with ease.
4. HubSpot: Expert Solutions
This software focuses more on marketing tasks than on managers. It gives a complete tool. Such a company just goes beyond what is called email automation. Users can choose what they want to do with the platform. The team gives the chance of preparing content in advance, for example. Managing ads is very simple with HubSpot. Owners can design them, schedule them, try them. Finally, they can test their performance and learn for the future.
Some of the perks it includes are static and moving HTML emails. That means they can personalize the messages as much as they want. Also, it has a great SEO Gadget. The device gives research on keywords that are useful to post. So, the audience is segmented and targeted very well. The interface is robust. So, SMMs can get to the right public at the right moment.
5. Brandwatch: Keep on Watching
This tool is wide in its coverage. That means that it can support different sites, like news ones, forums, blogs, websites. And, of course, apps like YouTube, Instagram and so on. The info it crawls is related to customer care, making charts, and knowing how clients feel about a product. Apart from this, it has 90 million sources to draw data from. This is a key spec in relation to other sources.
With this info, owners can produce data charts, trends, geolocation, and metadata. Finally, it can adapt to different needs. It updates very often, once every two weeks. This way, they keep aware of demands and changes that occur in the industry.
What Is Online Media Monitoring?
This social media monitoring is easy to define. It refers to the practice of taking a look at different social media accounts. The idea is to see how well it is doing. Also, to check new ideas and see what opponents implement. Some apps in this field are Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and more.
What Are Social Analytics Tools?
To help SMMs in their job, some software specialists created tools. These apps help to monitor and test how accounts are doing. They analyze data and give reports. Owners can use these metrics and numbers, then, to decide on what to do with their networks. Some of them choose to change the marketing tactic. Others, get to know when is the best time of the day to post content. Also, they give insights into people’s emotions. They can be useful when trying to sell them a product. Managers, then, can know what and when to post to touch their hearts.
What Is Social Listening?
Listening refers to a specific task. When tracking a particular topic, keyword, phrase or company, we are doing this type of listening. This way, people can have insights on the things they are most interested in. Finally, they can create and target content to that successful group.
Why Is Social Listening Important?
- For making horizons broader. Networks serve as boards for getting more loyal clients. Listening can help in discovering what they love. So, owners will have valuable info to target their customers very well.
- For discovering new things. Especially for learning from mistakes. If an error appears, that data can be useful for trying new things afterward.
- Because users love when influencers answer, everybody has engagement when they feel that somebody is listening. That makes the option of buying a service much bigger.
The Final Word
Social media monitoring (or listening), then, can be a very profitable activity. Yet, it can be challenging when done on one’s own. Luckily, there are tools that can help these individuals. It cannot be said that there’s one that tops the others. All the ones we mention in this guide are suitable for different apps. Also, for various needs.
Finally, some Facebook apps or Instagram apps are already giving the option of reading their own metrics. They even give the chance to access their numbers from third-party websites. So, a great alternative could be to combine many of these to satisfy the requirements of the managers’ tasks.
Is the social listening part of your outreach strategy? Share in the comments below why or why not.