Social media monitoring is becoming less of a question and more of a necessity for businesses. Whether it’s using a combination of free DIY solutions like Google Alerts and Twitter Search or more enterprise-level solutions like Sysomos or Radian6, brands accept that they need the right tools to listen effectively. But the most common reasons for investing include threat tracking and opportunity spotting, but the benefits go deeper than that.
The ability to tap consumer conversations at any given moment gives brands an opportunity to inform what they’re doing and make it better. This plays out most of all through the use of content.
Social media monitoring allows brands to do a couple things:
- Identify conversation whitespace and opportunities to provide information consumers are seeking
- Evaluate the “virality” of brand-generated content for optimization purposes
Identify Conversation Whitespace
Marketers can use a combination of tools to track where relevant conversations are taking place related to their brands, competitors or categories. Consumers turn to social media for information.
What questions are people asking? Is this existing information accurate? Can we do better? Content allows brands to deliver ongoing value to social customers. Fulfilling a need that has been identified makes a brand presence that much stronger.
Looking at what isn’t being said is just as important as evaluating what is. It can inform a brand’s approach to content generation and direct what needs to be created next.
Marketers should absolutely be identifying how original content spreads (virality) and who is spreading it, but these findings can also inform how the brand moves forward.
Let’s be clear “virality” doesn’t mean the same thing as a “viral” video. Virality has to do with how content spreads.
Virality findings can include:
- The channels people are distributing the information to (Does it go/stay on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.?)
- What form of content spreads best (e.g., text, video, photos)
- What type of customer consumes certain types of content (Is there an opportunity to invest more in talking to a different group?)
Monitoring delivers far too many insights to be limited to listening. It can make what a brand is already doing better by helping to develop the right content in the right form for the right audience.