Social Media Monitoring is a weapon of choice for your brand
The web in general, and social media in particular, generate a constant flow of content and data. This frenzy provides an inexhaustible source of information, which, if used sensibly, provides a significant strategic advantage for brands. Here is the challenge social media monitoring is tackling.
What is social media monitoring?
Social media monitoring can be defined as an application of the principles of business intelligence to the social web. This consists of identifying sources of information 2.0 relevant to the business, then collecting, storing and analyzing the data in order to translate it into usable KPIs. Put another way, social media monitoring transforms big data into insights. IBM has superbly illustrated this process through its campaign “Welcome to the era of the Chief Executive Customer.“
What are the strategic challenges of social media monitoring for your brand?
- Understand the habits of your target audience.
Social media monitoring allows the study of your audience’s behavior when they connect and interact on social media sites, forums and blogs. From this mine of data, your company can draw essential information such as the frequency, the time spent, and the times of connection of your target audience in order to maximize the opportunity to interact with them. For example, you can discover that your B2B purchasers are particularly active on Thursday mornings on LinkedIn on their work desktop computer, whereas your final customers are more receptive on Sunday evenings on Facebook on their tablet or smartphone – an insight which will guide your choices relating to format and style of digital communication.
- Measure the effectiveness of social communication channels.
Social media monitoring links social medias, the site of your business and, eventually, those of your partners, all together.
It provides you with the opportunity to measure the efficiency of each channel of communication in terms of visibility, traffic generated and even clients acquired. You could learn, hypothetically, that Twitter is an excellent means of communication in terms of branding, but that Instagram generates more sales. This insight would be useful to you for future ad buying.
- Learn how people feel about your brand.
Beyond quantitative data, such as the number of ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’, social media monitoring provides qualitative data thanks to a semantic analysis of messages published on social media. This is what we call the “sentiment”. This sentiment, which can be positive, negative or even neutral, corresponds to a detailed study of the interactions generated between internet users. It does not involve the collection of actual individual verbatim reports, but it identifies the general mood of the community. This is an insight that will point you towards the values and benefits your target audience expects from your brand.
- Detect risks.
Through weighted algorithms, social media monitoring identifies influencers and gives more credit to what they say. It is, therefore, possible to detect early signs of risks (products, service, customer service) and the sources (social networks, forums, blogs) that represent a risk for your brand. You can then design a suitable response and prevent any crisis before it arises. This is a crucial insight in terms of operational priority management.
- Identify new opportunities.
Social media monitoring can be considered as a very large focus group, where new opportunities can appear: a need not identified by your business, a market segment you have not addressed, an idea your company has not exploited. So much data suddenly available (potentially with no bias) for your industry, your audience, your target clients – those who you aim to satisfy. Herein lies an insight which can help you make the right strategic decisions.
Of course, social media monitoring is not a panacea that substitutes for other tools which help you make business decisions. However, it is an efficient technological tool, and it is particularly useful to complement the more traditional market studies, business intelligence and CRM processes. It is, in fact, a strategic weapon for 2.0 businesses and brands.