Why you should invest in social media monitoring

In the face of a global crisis, it’s more important than ever to know how your audience is talking about your organization.  Here are some important tips for staying in the loop.

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In the early days of radio, and subsequently television, the stations had monitors.

These people were hired to view and listen to broadcasts and check on the quality of the video and audio being transmitted. In 2020 and the age of social media, some experts are suggesting that brands incorporate social media monitoring into digital and marketing strategy.

In the current crisis, these efforts have become crucial for monitoring a rapidly changing situation.

What is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring allows brands to track mentions on multiple sources and respond in a timely manner. Some of the areas include reviews, questions and complaints about services or repairs. It’s an immediate and spontaneous strategy which places all search parameters and mentions in one location.

Social media monitoring is sometimes confused with social media listening. The difference is that the latter involves looking at a more comprehensive view of all the data and formulating or changing the brand’s marketing plan. Social media monitoring attempts to be an immediate response while social media listening is passive.

The two are often combined and work well together, but have different end goals in mind.

Why it matters

What causes social media monitoring to stand out is its ability to respond quickly to consumers. Today’s customers, especially the younger generations, expect to not only be heard but also supported. Social analytics company Sprout Social’s 2019 survey revealed several reasons why brands should employ social media monitoring as part of its strategy.

For starters, Sprout reported that the reason many consumers reach out to brands on social media is because they had a good experience and their findings showed that was a factor for 59% of those polled. Conversely, 40% said they did so because of a bad experience. In a separate question, 47% reported using social media to ask a question about a product or service.

Responses to the other questions, though not as high, provide food for thought for brands seeking to possibly expand and improve on their branding. Nearly a third (31%) said they reached out to the brand because they had an idea or a suggestion. No matter how likely it might be that an idea or suggestion is viable or worth pursuing, the fact that consumers took the time to offer them up is worthy of at least a “thank you” response and follow-up.

Plus, outside-the-box thinking can be hugely beneficial for a brand. Who would have thought that Coca Cola was originally invented as a substitute to morphine addiction and to relieve anxiety and treat headaches? Or that Play-Doh was invented as wallpaper cleaner by a soap manufacturer, or that Listerine was first used as a surgical antiseptic?

Your customers might have a better idea of what your product is good for than you do.

Other future opportunities may be out there as well, as 11% of respondents said they didn’t see a product or service they were seeking.

Two other responses, though ranking lower, offer a glimpse into consumer interests, as 29% said they went on social media because they needed help with a service or product, and 27% said they depend on the product or service. Both open tremendous doors to beginning and building long-lasting relationships.

Sprout also discovered that consumers are 21% more likely to purchase from a company that responds to them via social media. If that isn’t convincing enough to initiate social media monitoring, they also report that the vast majority of brands surveyed (78%) responded to consumers within 12 hours.

Ronn Torossian is founder of 5W Public Relations.

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