Social Media Monitoring: what does the internet say about your brand?
Do you know what people think of you on social networks? Come closer, we do. But we’ll have to explain first how it got to us.
Your brand has a clear identity and a strong presence. It has impact and makes waves as it broadcasts its message to the audience navigating the sea of social networks. Your communication generates leads, sales happen.
But an impressive presence also generates reactions, opinions, comments. We can ignore what users say about our brand or about our competitors, or we can listen carefully and learn from that. That’s when Social Media Monitoring (SMM) starts.
What is SMM?
Social Media Monitoring is the activity of collecting information created by users about your brand, products and services and about your competition, in social networks or other online channels.
The first step is to observe what is happening in your domains, to learn what others think about you, your products and services. There are two listening levels:
- a skin deep level where only the content directly related to the brand’s communication is analyzed: comments on the brand’s website and social media profiles, shares, and users’ direct communication through the company’s official channels.
- It is the simplest way of monitoring an it is limited to a mainly reactive, first instance level.
- a deeper level, where all the content related to your activity is monitored: if you sell gardening products you can monitor websites and forums dedicated to this subject, looking for relevant and revealing information, that shows the needs and problems of the users who bought your – or your competitor’s – product.
- It’s an in depth look on the proactive attitude of the users in creating content, in channels beyond the brand’s control that don’t specifically refer to it.
Ambitious brands will want to take a step further, and move beyond to a comprehensive analysis of their ecosystem. Until now we were just enjoying the treeline and listening to birds singing, but from now on we’re going to study the different relationships between the different species, how they coexist and compete among them, and how your brand can survive and thrive in their midst.
First, we have to analyze brand behaviour:
- what kind of content does your brand create and what works best?
- what’s the reach of your content in the different channels?
- what is the volume and type of reactions you’re getting?
Do tutorial videos on YouTube generate more engagement than Facebook posts? Who do they reach? Is that content being used for its original purpose? Answering to questions like these will help to understand the brand’s stance and the outcome of their communication.
Then, we’ll analyze the competition. This will help us place your tree in the forest. Sorry, your brand in your market’s landscape.
- where are they, what do they publish, how often, in which format?
- what is the outcome?
- how they show off their personality?
- where do they come short, where do they get it right, and why?
More information=Better actions
Now that we know what they know, what are we going to do with that?
The benefits of knowing the consequences of your actions on social networks are immense. SMM is an important and useful strategic tool to transmit the right image of your brand and your products, and act correctly and immediately on any negative reaction, or adjust the course on your communication plan.
A better awareness on how your brand is perceived can help you find new, unthought of, market niches, in demographics and locations neglected in your original strategy.
SMM helps to refine your communication, the formats to be used, and to better allocate your investment for each channel. It’s also important to analyze direct feedback, using the positive reviews in brand promotion and the negative to correct flaws.
By monitoring we can dissect the current communication strategy and forecast the outcome of future investments. From observation we go to prediction, which is to say going from reacting to planning.
And those who are aware in the present will enjoy more in the future. Get in touch, we’re listening.