Do you ever see a timely tweet from a competitor brand and think ‘why didn’t we do that?’. Or an angry request from a customer, made worse by a delayed response? These are just some of the reasons why real-time monitoring is becoming increasingly important for brands who use social platforms such as Twitter.

With the rise of mobile, customers and clients are ‘always on’ and can engage with social channels at any given point throughout the day. Many customers turn to Twitter to ask a question or make a complaint and according to a recent study, 53% of Twitter users expect a response from a tweet to a brand within an hour [Tweet this]. How often does your brand manage to meet that?

It’s unrealistic to expect that a company can dedicate time or resource, solely to monitoring Twitter all day, but with the right tools and strategy this can often be much easier than you think.

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Why Real-Time Twitter Monitoring Matters

Here are just a few of the reasons why real-time Twitter monitoring is essential to building a good online reputation.

Staying Current with Tweets

There’s no secret formula to producing viral content but a good way to start it to provide timely updates which piggyback recent news stories or matters of public interest. Brands are increasingly using real-time monitoring to ‘market in the moment’ and this is a great way to engage followers and attract new ones.

To take the London tube strikes as an example, check out the way food and drink brand Innocent leveraged the opportunity to promote their account and show empathy with London customers:

Example of a good real-time monitoring social media campaign by Innocent

This doesn’t just have to apply to B2C marketers either. This example from Essentia Consulting shows that you don’t always have to use the hard sell to encourage people to engage with your brand:

Essentia Consulting reacts to tubestrike using real-time monitoring

Responding to User Queries on Twitter

At one time, nearly all customer service queries were dealt with over the phone and kept safely between the customer and customer service representative. With the advent of social media and the internet, customers are now much more likely to turn to their smartphones to complain about a product or service.

This puts the customer into a position of power, where a simple tweet or facebook post can tell hundreds, or sometimes even thousands, of other potential customers about their bad experience.

This is one of the reasons why real-time monitoring is so essential to managing your brand’s reputation. According to a study, 8% of customers would feel more negatively about a brand which didn’t respond to their tweet in a timely manner [Tweet this] with 29% going on to say that this would encourage them to tell their family and friends about the experience.

By putting a plan in place to monitor your social media channels, you can turn negative experiences around by letting customers know that you are addressing their concerns.

Minimising the effects of a Twitter social media crisis

The best way to deal with a social media crisis is to minimise the effects early on. As soon as a crisis begins to gain traction, particularly across social media, it can be very difficult to rein in the effects.

Real-time monitoring is essential to avoiding this as it ensures that you are the first to know about any situations which have occurred. Often when a customer is unhappy, a quick response or explanation can be all that is needed to alleviate the situation. Unfortunately, this is hard to do unless you have a system in place which can monitor your feed around the clock.

Which leads us on to…

How to execute Real-Time Tweet Monitoring

To successfully monitor Twitter, even at times when your team is offline, you will need to employ some tools to help.

1. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a free Twitter monitoring tool which allows you to monitor multiple accounts in one window. It has a desktop application, in addition to the browser based version which allow you to filter your streams by user, keyword, list or type of tweet.

Screenshot of the Tweetdeck twitter monitoring dashboard

2. Hootsuite

Hoostuite is a full social media management tool which covers multiple social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and Google+. Hootsuite allows you to create various streams to monitor your Twitter feed for a specific keyword or hashtag which are seperated into individual tabs by Twitter account.

The Hootsuite twitter monitoring dashboard

3. Twilert

If you don’t have the time or resource to regularly check in with your Tweetdeck or Hootsuite account, then Twilert could be the answer.

Twilert is a Twitter monitoring tool which allows you to setup real-time alerts for a specific keyword, hashtag, brand name or combination search. Each time the search terms are mentioned on Twitter, an email is sent to your inbox. Twilert also provides the option to have a daily or hourly summary of your alerts, if you want to skim through mentions at specific points throughout the day.

With the right search alerts setup, Twilert can also pick up mentions where the user may not have tagged your brand name correctly. It could even find you potential new leads to engage with.

 Screenshot of the Twilert real-time twitter monitoring tool

By adopting the tools and methods, essential to monitoring your Twitter presence at all times, you too, can begin to market in the moment and enjoy the benefits of realtime twitter monitoring.

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