Since social media first became a viable way of businesses and brands reaching customers, a business model was needed to help quantify the results. If you’re tweeting every day, how do you know who you’re reaching, or what effect it may be having on your audience? Brands, businesses and social media managers needed a way to monitor both their results and the people they were trying to help.
Enter social media monitoring.
Social media monitoring is when a brand, social media manager or business owner extracts information from social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to view what their audience is doing and how their brand is being represented.
Social media monitoring might include:
- Tracking Twitter mentions of your brand through a tool like Twilert for customer service purposes
- Using Facebook analytics to see how many likes, clicks and impressions a Facebook post has had
- Monitoring views and clicks on Instagram stories
- Implementing a social listening tool such as Brandwatch which monitors all channels in one
Why is social media monitoring important?
Social media monitoring is used by brands and businesses for a variety of purposes not limited to, measuring return on interest for social media activity, tracking activity and responding to customers more quickly.
Here are some of the benefits:
Measure your activity
Social media monitoring allows you to measure the effect of any work you put into your social media marketing. For example, seeing the reach, engagement and clicks on posts, the amount of products purchased from social media and the type of updates or channels that are most effective for your brand.
Give good customer service
Twitter has become the number one channel of choice for customer service queries and studies show that 71% of Twitter users expect a brand to respond to their query within an hour. Poor response time comes down to bad social media monitoring, so it’s essential that brands have a plan in place to monitor mentions across different channels.
Never miss a message
Good social media monitoring ensures you see all of the conversation happening around your brand online and in a timely fashion. This may include customer service queries and questions, but a lot of the time it will be brand love or feedback. Customer tweets, posts and pictures can be used by brands as user-generated content and testimonials. This also gives brands a chance to interact with their top customers which is essential for long-term brand advocacy.
How does social media monitoring work?
To begin monitoring your brand on social media choose the channels you need to monitor. This is anywhere you, or your customers, are active.
Let’s take Twitter as an example (we kinda know it best).
To get a 360-degree view of your activity on Twitter you need to monitor:
- How well your tweets perform
- Who is tweeting to your brand
- Who is tweeting about your brand
To determine how well your tweets perform, you could employ Twitter’s own analytics platform. Here, you can monitor your top tweets and view interactions such as impressions, engagements and shares.
Next, you need to look at your customer service and what tweets are being sent to your brand, that expect a response. You could use Twitter’s notification feed, as this will list everyone who mentions your brand in conversation.
However, if you think you might miss the notifications or forget to log in, you can use a tool like Twilert, to set up email alerts and digests for each time your brand is mentioned online.
By using Boolean search operators, you can search to:user OR @user which would give you tweets sent both to your handle, and sent about your handle but not as direct replies.
For example, these are all of the tweets sent to the user (to:tesco):
As you can see, most of these tweets are looking for a reply from Tesco. They also won’t be as visible to users as other mentions as Twitter views any tweet with a handle at the start as a direct reply.
Then you have tweets sent about the user (@tesco):
Here, you can see the handle is mentioned in a wider context, but by monitoring what’s being said, Tesco could have a chance to connect with these users.
By monitoring both searches around your handle, you’ll see all of the tweets surrounding your brand. This ensures a full social media monitoring approach where no tweets are left ignored.
These are the basic searches you would run around your Twitter account for good social media monitoring.
For a full social media monitoring plan, a similar process should then be applied to any social accounts where you are active such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Pinterest.
What social media monitoring tools can you employ?
There are hundreds of social media monitoring tools available and you can also achieve some great results simply by creating a schedule for monitoring different platforms yourself.
For seeing the effectiveness of posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all have free analytics tools built-in. If you have an Instagram business profile you can similarly gain access to stats on your posts and stories.
For monitoring social media conversations around your brand, you can use notifications on the platforms themselves or you can adopt a customer service tool like Buffer Reply or a tool such as Twilert which monitors your Twitter accounts for you around the clock.
Social media monitoring is an essential, but often missed, part of any social media strategy. Without it, you’re left sending updates into the noise and not really knowing how or why people interact with your brand.
Want to get started with social media monitoring for Twitter? Try our free 30-day trial of Twilert – no credit card needed.