Social media monitoring tools bump up your marketing strategy and planning
Nearly all marketing strategy today includes a significant presence in social media. Many people think the most exciting thing about social media is that it's free. A) it's not, and B), that's not even the most exciting part.
What's truly exciting about social media is how much you can learn about your customers and potential customers. Social media activity is by no means an indication that someone will buy from you, but we are beginning to understand that different types of social media engagement offer varying forms of value to a business. Social media engagement can enable your customers to influence other new prospects for you, it can help you foster an online relationship that leads to a purchasing relationship, and it can keep you top-of-mind for additional purchases and visits.
Yesterday we were evaluating the questions that must be asked and answered before you can create an effective marketing strategy. Today, let's look at some of my favorite tools for tracking and analyzing social media engagement. This will give you additional insight necessary to creating a powerful marketing strategy.
How did they find you and how engaged are they?
If you're not asking customers how they heard about you, you are missing an excellent opportunity to refine your marketing. Always ask, and keep records. Social media monitoring tools add depth to this knowledge. Using them, you can assess how engaged your customers are with your brand, how often you are mentioned, and what is being said. This type of oversight in the social media world will help you refine your marketing activities and quickly resolve any negative comments. My favorite tools for online brand monitoring include:
- Google Alerts. This is the easiest and most common form of brand monitoring. Put in your brand name and any other well-known terms associated with your company, and get feedback every time those terms show up in the web.
- Hoot Suite. If you use this as your social media dashboard you get a lot of great features, but one of the features I like most is that you can add a keyword tracking column. This gives you a real-time stream anytime someone mentions your brand in your social media space. Seesmic does this as well, but I really prefer Hoot Suite.
- Social Mention. You can set up alerts to notify you when blogs, comments, images, basically anything on other social media sites mention your name, or a product, or any keyword you want to track.
- TwentyFeet. This aggregates your activity from multiple social media platforms so you can analyze which activities work the best for you. Using insights from TwentyFeet, you can decide which activities to do more of . . . and less of . . . in the year to come.
- Klout. Klout gives you an influence score based on your social media activity. It not only scores you, it also enables you to look at your influences and who you influence. Knowing this will help you refine your social media program. Other tools that do this are HowSociable and Kred.
- PeerIndex. This helps you identify who your online brand advocates are. Once you know that, you can get more creative in reaching out to them - giving them more to advocate with and about.
- Brand Monitor. This helps you focus on conversations that are relevant to you so you can participate.
Does this seem like a lot of monitoring? Of course it is; constant monitoring is an essential element of a successful marketing strategy. You can use an RSS feed reader to aggregate all of your social media engines, to make it easier to keep track, but the truth is it does take some effort and you should spend time every week analyzing your online engagement and tweaking it.