100 Uses of Social Media Monitoring

Companies that are new to social media monitoring and engagement frequently wonder where to begin. This can even be a bigger challenge if nobody is talking about your company or brand. Here are a few examples, okay, well 100 examples, of things that you can listen and monitor for across the social web.

The list is divided into sub categories, so if you are looking for help in a particular category, see if it is listed below.

Brand Monitoring
1. Listen for online mentions of your brand
2. Listen for positive mentions of your brand
3. Listen for negative mentions of your brand
4. Listen for direct and indirect questions from customers
5. Discover brand advocates
6. Discover brand detractors
7. Discover influencers for your brand
8. Learn where customers are talking about your brand
9. Listen for the most popular topics about your brand
10. Monitor public perception of your company
11. Listen for mentions of executive team
12. Listen for mentions of product misuse

Competitive Intelligence
13. Discover online mentions of your top competitors
14. Discover competitors’ latest product releases
15. Discover competitors’ recent company news
16. Listen for customer comments about competitors
17. Monitor competitors’ blogs for company insight
18. Monitor competitors’ employees social profiles
19. Monitor competitors’ content for levels of customer engagement
20. Discover negative mentions of competitors and treat as opportunities

Industry Monitoring
21. Listen to mentions of your industry
22. Listen for mentions of your brand compared to your industry
23. Listen for mentions of your competitors as part of your industry
24. Monitor share of voice in your industry
25. Monitor industry trends
26. Discover industry issues
27. Monitor industry news
28. Discover industry influencers
29. Monitor perception of industry by larger business community
30. Monitor changes in social media adoption in your industry

Thought Leadership
31. Monitor changes in conversation volume around key issues
32. Discover industry posts that require comment by your company’s subject matter experts
33. Monitor spread of company thought leadership blog posts
34. Identify online opportunities to share thought leadership
35. Identify speaking opportunities for subject matter experts
36. Determine perception of company as a thought leader
37. Determine perception of company employees as thought leaders
38. Discover other industry thought leaders
39. Monitor influence of company thought leaders
40. Monitor influence of industry thought leaders

Lead Generation and Sales
41. Monitor for buying indication terms within your product category
42. Monitor for recommendation requests within your product category
43. Monitor for discussions of your product category
44. Monitor target prospect personas to confirm accuracy
45. Monitor questions and conversations about your product category
46. Discover topics for remarkable content
47. Share relevant content with prospects
48. Answer direct questions from prospects
49. Discover competitive insights
50. Expand pool of prospects

Customer Service
51. Identify customer service issues as they emerge
52. Monitor volume of conversation around customer service issues
53. Respond to customer service issues in real-time
54. Determine if customers are willing to take issues offline
55. Gather customer feedback to share with other teams
56. Build relationships with customers
57. Answer customer questions
58. Respond to positive feedback
59. Share helpful company information
60. Monitor ongoing customers concerns

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
61. Discover relevant industry keywords
62. Monitor selected keywords for content ideas
63. Discover influencers using selected keywords
64. Determine which keywords are performing best
65. Determine which keywords are not performing
66. Monitor spread of content to determine better titles
67. Connect with people in industry to enhance social search
68. Discover relevant blogs to consider asking for backlinks
69. Monitor SEO influencers to keep up with search engine changes
70. Monitor search engine social profiles to keep up with changes

Crisis Communication
71. Monitor community news sites around facilities
72. Listen actively to conversations around the crisis
73. Establish a baseline for potential threats
74. Establish a baseline for potential failures
75. Find sites that are critical of your brand
76. Find people that are critical of your brand
77. Look for channels to use for crisis outreach
78. Determine potential issues before they escalate
79. Determine the volume of critical conversations
80. Determine sentiment level changes which could indicate a crisis

Product Development
81. Listen for comments on current products
82. Listen for comments on competitors’ products
83. Discover new uses for existing products
84. Discover opportunities for product offerings
85. Solicit product feedback and monitor comments
86. Conduct beta testing
87. Monitor new industry opportunities
88. Listen for potential new product features
89. Understand how customers are using your product
90. Identify points of difference about your product

Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness
91. Track advertising-specific keyword usage
92. Listen for social response to advertising messages
93. Gauge sentiment toward advertising campaigns
94. Monitor conversations from trade shows
95. Monitor unique URLs on your ads
96. Monitor unique phone numbers on your ads
97. Find sites relevant to your brand for online advertising
98. Learn the language of prospects
99. Monitor campaign or brand specific hashtags
100. Solicit user generated content and monitor results

How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing in 2012

If you haven’t taken the plunge into the world of social media marketing yet, then you need to make it a top priority in 2012. Every additional minute you spend on social media activities can only help your business, and every minute you’re not active in social media is a missed opportunity that your competitors are happy to take.

Think of it this way: Fewer people are using resources like the Yellow Pages to find businesses, products, and services. Instead, they look to their favorite search engines or social media sites for information and recommendations from their friends.

Here are some ways to get started with social media marketing in 2012. Use these ideas to capitalize on the shift in the way companies communicate and market to their customers.

Social media marketing can be extremely overwhelming, but once you dive in, you’ll realize it’s not as intimidating as it seems. Get started by experimenting with popular platforms like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Create personal accounts that aren’t affiliated with your business and learn how the networks function before you create your business profiles. In other words, get beyond the initial learning curve before you debut your business’ social media presence.

This step is particularly important for small business owners who don’t have the budget or manpower to devote to social media marketing activities. If you don’t enjoy the medium you’re using to promote your business via the social web, you won’t be motivated to keep your content fresh.

Consider Your Resources

Do you have employees who can help you with your social media marketing activities? If not, do you have a budget to contract external vendors to help you create content and participate in social media? Your answers to these questions are critical to helping you develop realistic social media marketing goals.

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking your business needs to be represented and active on every social media site. If you don’t have the resources to create quality content and conversations on each social media site, then this type of strategy is likely to set you up for failure.

Successful social media marketing relies on quality content and conversations that are updated frequently and are highly relevant to the target audience. Therefore, it might make more sense for you to focus your efforts on a single destination such as a Facebook Page or Twitter account rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Find Your Audience

Here’s one way social media is different from Field of Dreams: if you build it, they won’t always come. First, you need to find your audience on the sites where they’re already spending time.

Conduct Google searches with the keywords you think your target audience is using when they look for your products and services online. Follow the links and look for social destinations where you can join the conversations already happening between your target audience members. It’s important to build your reputation and relationships before you introduce your products and services.

Create Useful and Meaningful Content

All your social media efforts will be in vain if you’re not creating content that’s useful and meaningful to your target audience. Furthermore, your content should be trustworthy and transparent, not filled with self-promotional messages. No one will follow you, listen to you, share your content, or talk to you if the only content you publish is about yourself.

Instead, your content should be entertaining and interesting. Acknowledge your followers and share their content, too. Remember, social media marketing is a form of “pull marketing” where your audience “pulls” the information they want from you. This is opposed to traditional “push marketing” where advertisers push messages to consumers in the hopes that someone will notice them. Don’t interrupt online activities — enhance them.

Streamline and Integrate Your Efforts

Leverage the many free or affordable tools that are available to help you streamline and integrate your social media marketing efforts. For example, you can use our own social media management applications like Hootsuite  to publish updates to multiple social media profiles, to find new audience members, and to monitor your online reputation.

Also, integrate your online and offline marketing efforts by cross-promoting your social media profiles on your blog, website, email signatures, signage, business cards, ads, and so on.

People like to consume content and interact with businesses in different ways. Therefore, your ultimate social media marketing goal should be to surround consumers with your branded content so they can self-select how they want to interact with your brand and business. By cross-promoting and integrating your varied marketing efforts, you can connect with the largest audience of interested consumers to successfully build your business in 2012 and beyond.

 Happy New Year !