How to Monitor Social Media for Marketing, Sales, Support and Executives

Steve Eveleigh
14/09/18 15:39

In this article we'll look at how to optimise your social media monitoring. Approximately 67% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision (Source: Nielsen), and 78% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour (Source: HubSpot). In both B2C and B2B markets, social media provides an excellent opportunity for you to reach out to potential customers, but should you be expected to monitor around the clock?

Monitoring your business’ social media presence is incredibly important. You need to respond to people talking about your brand and understand how people view your company. Social media isn’t, much like any other channel, a magic source of business leads. It’s hard work! It requires time and effort, often across multiple departments and amongst multiple employees.

This article will help you formulate a plan whereby in ten minutes a day, you can monitor the social media information you need within a tight, streamlined strategy. How can you best take advantage of the limited time you have in a day to get the best results possible? After reading this article, you will be able to develop your own, solid routine that works for you.

Why it matters?

Sometimes we forget that all, well most of, those profiles whizzing through our social media news feeds are actually humans. We forget that social media is meant to be just that - social. The reason why monitoring is so important is because it puts the social back in social media. Brands and individuals who publish without listening are just screaming through a megaphone with no consideration for others. You have to be sensitive to what people actually want from you or your brand, or else you might head in a direction your target audience actually doesn’t enjoy or can’t relate to.

For example, monitoring is a great outlet for crowd sourcing questions. When you listen into your prospects’ or customers’ thoughts, you’ll be able to craft better marketing campaigns, close more deals, improve your products or services, and foster happier customers. Monitoring is also a great way to avoid disaster. If a local, national, or worldwide tragedy occurs, you’ll want to be the first to know so you can pause all marketing messages and offer up actual human emotions. Your fan base will usually point something out before you even have time to realise it, and your level of empathy and response time will either confirm or renounce a person’s feelings about your brand.

As it turns out, people also have some pretty high standards when it comes to response time. Especially when they’ve got a bone to pick with your brand. According to research published by Marketing Land, 71% of all complaints on social media are actually posted on Facebook, and of those users, 53% want a response in under an hour. In fact, the percentage of people who expect a response within the hour increases to 72% when they’re issuing a complaint.

Social media can’t be ignored. People are talking about you, your brand, your products or services, your competitors, your industry, and your employees - whether you like it or not. These conversations happen candidly in real life, which turns into threads and discussion groups on social media. Instead of ignoring these conversations, wouldn’t you want to jump in and have a say in where that conversation goes? If someone complains about your brand, wouldn’t you want to know why so you can improve in the future? The bottom line is that monitoring matters, and it matters for more than just PR and social media managers. In a minute, we’ll jump into who exactly should be monitoring social media within your company, what they should be monitoring, and why.

Who should monitor your social media?

Marketing should monitor social media

There’s a reason why marketing teams have historically owned a brand’s social media accounts. This team needs to think about a brand’s overall image. The brand’s tone, colours, fonts, messaging and relationships might be pre-determined with the help of PR professionals, designers, and writers on your marketing team. Beyond brand image, marketing needs to think about generating visits, leads, and customers on a daily basis. Growing the top of the funnel and bringing in a new audience on social media month over month helps to hit key numbers throughout the entire funnel.

However, social media doesn’t just belong to marketing anymore. Actions taken by a social media manager can seriously impact all other departments such as sales and support, and it’s something to keep in mind when monitoring. Marketers should collect information from social media to help create better marketing campaigns, enable sales teams close more deals, and delight customers. Social media managers on a marketing team should see themselves as the point-person for multiple departments’ different goals.

Your marketing team should create streams that specifically monitor:

  • The activity of your different leads based on what product or service they are interested in.
  • The activity of thought leaders in your industry when they mention certain terms on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms.
  • The conversation around the words and phrases that are core to your brand.

Sales should monitor social media

According to research from Social Centered Selling and ASalesGuy, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process out performed their colleagues. In addition, socially savvy reps beat their quotas 23% more often.

Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks - notably Twitter and LinkedIn, but others certainly fit the bill. Through commenting on, liking, and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility by taking an interest in what they’re interested in.

Instead of a hard closing tactic, social selling more closely resembles lead nurturing. Therefore, social selling isn’t for reps seeking quick wins or a silver bullet. Salespeople have to be willing to put in the time and effort to engage with their target buyers on an ongoing basis, and even then, there’s no guarantee that their efforts will payoff.

Your salespeople should create streams that specifically monitor:

  • Their open leads’ conversations, using an integration with contact lists.
  • Their “closed lost” leads’ mentions of certain terms, using an integration with contact lists.
  • Their “closed won” leads to check in with them after the sale, using an integration with contact lists.

Support should monitor social media

As mentioned in the previous chapter, 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within one hour. In the same study, 60% of respondents cited negative consequences to the brand if they didn’t receive timely Twitter responses. Twitter has replaced the phone for customer support, and these stats prove the importance of a quick response when someone has an issue with your brand. Having a brand’s customer support team on the thread is sure to help settle a tricky complaint - after all, these folks are professionals in crisis management.

Often times a brand will have designated social media accounts for technical support-related issues or questions. Having two separate accounts owned by two separate teams helps to provide customers with the immediate help and attention they deserve. A support team can focus on product-related topics from customers, while Marketing can monitor for interactions from newcomers, leads, and inquiries from customers that are non-support related.

Your support team should create streams that specifically monitor:

  • Questions or concerns people have about your products or services.
  • Conversations your customers and leads are having about your products or services.
  • Positive and negative feedback for your products or services.

 

Executives should monitor social media

The days where chief executives could hide behind the boardroom doors are gone. There is a growing expectation from consumers and employees alike that the leaders of companies, large and small, should embody the brands they represent - and demonstrate that commitment by being visible and accessible on social media.

In fact, a new study released by BRANDfog suggests that social CEOs are better leaders who can strengthen brands, build trust in products and services, demonstrate brand values, and communicate accountability - all by simply being on a social network.

Top social CEOs not only use social media as yet another platform for communication, but also leverage social networks like Twitter as an unfiltered news source. Being able to see and hear the conversation happening in real time is invaluable. Additionally, even though social media may still feel optional for CEOs today, it won’t be optional in a few years. As millennials start to be the majority in the workforce and consumer market, the expectation of transparency will only go up - leaving CEOs to play significant catch-up.

Executives should create streams that specifically monitor:

  • Conversations people are having about you and your executive team.
  • Conversations your customers and leads are having about your products or services vs. competitors’products or services.
  • The activity of other executives in your industry when they mention certain terms on Twitter

In Summary

As you develop better and more effective social media habits, you should make sure you also have a system in place to measure your success. After all, you want data to prove that your time invested is paying off. Reflect on the goal you set in the beginning of this article. If your goal was marketing-related, you should use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, Reputology, Crowd Analyzer, Hootsuite or another tool to monitor the amount of traffic, leads, and customers you’re generating through social media channels as a result of your efforts.

If thought leadership was one of your goals, has there been an increase in the volume of blog and news articles written about your company? Has there been an increase in links? Links are a fantastic indication that people are using you as a resource and want to send their readers to your content. And it’s a double win for SEO.

No matter what the goal, be sure to monitor your metrics over time. If you decide to begin spending more than just ten minutes on your social media monitoring efforts, your success should correlate with the additional work you’re putting in.

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