Social media monitoring tools, tips, and tricks

Our social media consumes most of our lives. We are constantly checking our notifications, messaging friends, and connecting with those around us digitally almost every second of the day. What would it be like if we could offer this kind of attention to our business social media?

The truth is: you should be. And as time consuming as this can become, it can be an extreme benefit to your consumer base. Here’s the whys, hows, and whats that can take your social media monitoring to a whole new (and more simplistic) level.

Why do we monitor?
On top of weeding out spam comments, it’s important that you as a social media professional take time to engage your customers thoughts and actions. By monitoring their responses on posts, responding to messages, or commenting/liking their posts on your page, these interactions build trust, communication, and a foundation for your business’s customer support.

It can also help you “fix” mistakes. Often, people won’t review a business unless they have had a bad experience – not always the case, but often common. Listening to these frustrations from customers and offering to resolve the issue could help improve ratings, customer relations, and maybe even drag that bad comment down off a forum.

In addition, monitoring can help improve your business plan. Listening to what customers love about your business can help you stay on track and keep providing them with what they enjoy. Taking into account what they might not have liked so much will also help you restructure business plans. Customers are great at sharing how they feel about what you are doing – listening to what they are sharing about your business can only make you better.

People want to be talked to and heard. So often today, we feel lost in a sea of oblivion that is the Internet. Engaging your customers personally makes them feel wanted, and if you feel wanted, wouldn’t you want to be spending your time and money at that business? Investing some time up front could have great financial gain in the long haul.

It can even help create brand voice. This is just as important as every element of your brand. People want to recognize a brand like they recognize their neighbor – tangible, reliable, and steadfast. Incorporating a voice to your brand just gives you one more step up on the branding scale.

How can we monitor?
Doing it manually can be extensive and exhausting. Luckily, there are several kinds of monitoring tools that the Internet has to offer that are free or cost a minimal fee to do your monitoring for you. And we are all about the easy way. Here are some of our suggestions:

Mention: Receive email updates the second someone interacts with your company online; allows for response via any platform efficiently, provides analytics, and the option for multiple team members to work on one account.
Buffer: For $50 a month (minimum plan), sign yourself up for managing 25 accounts and up to 15 RSS feeds; allows for custom scheduling, analytics, apps, and mobile management.
Google Alerts: type in your business and receive search results and alerts about your company through email updates.
Klout: helps suggest content that your customers will enjoy; schedule and monitor posts and track the impact through Klout analytics.
Sprout Social: try it free for 30 days and see all it has to offer; post to all your social media all from one place quickly and easily, manage engagement, publishing, and analytics.

What to monitor?
Here’s what the pros suggest:

Don’t make it all about you.
Yes, your business is important and this is your main purpose on monitoring, but paying attention to competitors is just as beneficial to your business. Seeing how competing businesses are performing can help you learn from their mistakes or even interpret a successful online marketing project and make it work for your business.

It’s more than handles and hashtags.
These are easy to find in a search, but don’t forget things like links, blogs, common phrases, location/GPS data, Linkedin Publishing… the internet world is an oyster of information just waiting to be harvested. Leave no stone unturned.

Monitor terms associated with your products and services.
Just like your business is important, so is what you are providing your customers. What do they like about a product or service? Why do they keep coming back? Or why did they stop using the product or service? Keeping a close eye on customers response to products and services can help your marketing strategy online as well as in other areas of a campaign.

Track questions from customers.
Monitoring questions from customers on how to use or modify a product could actually benefit you more than you realize. When a business answers a question on a forum for a user, this shows a customer that the business is paying attention and wants to assist them in finding a sustainable solution. It looks professional, in-the-know, and makes your business appear linked in to what is going on.

ID relevant influencers
Figure out what makes your business tick online. Is it through shares on Facebook? Retweets on Twitter? Reblogs on Tumblr? Pins on Pinterest? Whatever is working best for your company, pay a little more attention to this and how you can directly target those showing an interest in your company online. This could be your next step to success.

What’s the best way to address a customer?
Online, it can be challenging to mean what you say exactly how you said it. Here’s some tips and tricks on how to best tackle the response to a customer professionally and kindly:

1. Introduce yourself: Starting with a polite hello never goes unnoticed. Introducing yourself as a real human being is refreshing in this day-and-age of computer-automated messaging. People like to know they are talking to a tangible person and often can make them more opt to listen to what you are saying.
2. Be casual: Ditch formalities. They can make customers feel too pent up. Instead, focus on talking to them as you would an acquaintance – instill first impression rules and let the conversation flow naturally.
3. Be helpful: Remember your main goal: you are trying to be of service to this customer. Provide them with solutions through text, graphics, GIFs, videos, soundbites, or whatever will work best in the situation. The end result should help them find a solution, no matter the length.
4. Don’t be pushy: As a general business note, remember you are a representation of this company. Don’t take anything too personal and do not get personal with them in comments. Keep it professional, even with a difficult customer online. Do not insult them or their problem. If you need to sell them a solution, make it an option of three so they do not feel obligated to make the “right” choice. A general rule of thumb: keep it classy.
5. Always end on a good note: No matter how the conversation went, always end with a thank you and well wishes. Including some humor helps lighten the mood, too.

Now, you are practically a pro at monitoring social media. If you still are in the dark, contact Maximize today. We can do the work for you.