How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day
Monitoring your business’ social media presence is incredibly important. You need to respond to people talking about your brand and understand how people view your company. Social media isn’t this magical fairy dust that makes business leads come rushing in for your company. It’s hard work! It requires time and effort, often across multiple departments and amongst multiple employees.
Why Monitoring Matters
Sometimes we forget that all those little profile avatars whizzing through our social media news feeds are actually humans. We forget that social media is meant to be just that – social. The reason why monitoring is so important is because it puts the social back in social media. Brands and individuals who publish without listening are just screaming through a megaphone with no consideration for others. You have to be sensitive to what people actually want from you or your brand, or else you might head in a direction your target audience actually doesn’t enjoy or can’t relate to.
For example, monitoring is a great outlet for crowdsourcing questions. When you listen into your prospects’ or customers’ thoughts, you’ll be able to craft better marketing campaigns, close more deals, improve your products or services, and foster happier customers.
Social media can’t be ignored. People are talking about your brand, your products or services, your competitors, your industry, and your employees – whether you like it or not. These conversations happen candidly in real life, which turns into threads and discussion groups on social media. Instead of ignoring these conversations, wouldn’t you want to jump in and have a say in where that conversation goes?
Who Should Monitor
There’s a reason why marketing teams have historically owned a brand’s social media accounts. This team needs to think about a brand’s overall image. The brand’s tone, colours, fonts, and relationships might be pre-determined with the help of PR professionals, designers, and writers on your marketing team. Beyond brand image, Marketing needs to think about generating visits, leads, and customers on a daily basis. Growing the top of the funnel and bringing in a new audience on social media month over month helps to hit key numbers throughout the entire funnel.
Your marketing team should create streams that specifically monitor:
- The activity of your different leads based on what product or service they are interested in.
- The activity of thought leaders in your industry when they mention certain terms on Twitter.
- The conversation around the words and phrases that are core to your brand.
According to research from Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues. In addition, socially savvy reps beat their quotas 23% more often. We call this social selling.
Social selling is the process of researching, connecting, and interacting with prospects and customers on social media networks – notably Twitter and LinkedIn, but others certainly fit the bill. Through commenting on, liking, and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility by taking an interest in what they’re interested in.
Your sales people should create streams that specifically monitor:
- Their open leads’ conversations, using the integration with contact lists.
- Their “closed lost” leads’ mentions of certain terms, using the integration with contact lists.
- Their “closed won” leads to check in with them after the sale, using the integration with contact lists.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within one hour. In the same study, 60% of respondents cited negative consequences to the brand if they didn’t receive timely Twitter responses. Twitter is the new phone for customer support, and these stats prove the importance of a quick response when someone has an issue with your brand. Having a brand’s customer support team on the thread is sure to help settle a tricky complaint -after all, these folks are professionals in crisis management.
Your support team should create streams that specifically monitor:
- Questions or concerns people have about your products or services.
- Conversations your customers and leads are having about your products or services.
- Positive and negative feedback for your products or services.
Listening & Responding
When reaching out and responding, you may find the number of mentions overwhelming. You’ve allotted ten minutes a day, which means you can’t respond to everyone, so who do you choose? The trick is to find the influencers — folks who have the greatest potential reach and audience — because their engagement is going to make the greatest ripples. You can determine who is an influencer by looking at the number of followers they have, the amount that they tweet, their Klout score (which rates them based on a number of social factors), and whether they’re a lead, customer, or opportunity.
Sometimes you won’t be able to determine if a person’s an influencer or not, and that’s okay. As you go through and monitor conversations on social media, you’ll notice that some messages require that you simply listen and reflect. Respond… and respond fast! Responding (or not) to these varied scenarios will depend on who the person is, what they said, and what time they said it. The rule here tends to be simply “use good judgment,” but this rule is not always self explanatory or might require a gut check from someone else on your team.
When responding, make sure you:
- Respond promptly and accurately.
- Show gratitude and respect. Never respond in an offensive or defensive way.
- Include facts instead of opinions and link to factual reference materials to support your case.
- Respond in a tone/voice that reflects the company’s culture and values.
- Let the person know how you’re connected to the company.
Setting Your Goals
Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.
In anything you do, it’s important to set a goal for yourself, and monitoring social media should be no different.
Goals are great – they help us prove how effective we are, keep us focused, and push us to be better. The thing is, though, goals are totally useless if they’re not grounded in reality. That’s why it’s critical to set SMART goals. (You’ve just learned that SMART is an acronym, but your goals should still, indeed, be “smart.”)
- Specific – Do set real numbers with real deadlines. Don’t say, “I want more visitors.”
- Measurable – Do make sure that you can track your goal. Don’t hide behind buzzwords like “brand engagement” or “social influence.”
- Attainable – Do work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. Don’t try to take over the world in one night
- Realistic – Do be honest with yourself, because you know what you and your team are capable of. Don’t forget any hurdles you may have to overcome.
- Time-bound – Do give yourself a deadline. Don’t keep pushing towards a goal you might hit “some day.”
Prepping Your New Routine
In order to successfully monitor social media in just 10 minutes a day, you’ll need to have some things prepared in advance. Even visiting each social network’s URL and logging in could take up to 10 minutes a day. We’ll show you a way you can limit that as much as possible by creating a daily plan upfront to help you streamline your process. If you are considering investing in a paid tool to help aid your monitoring, there are a handful that help with social media monitoring, interacting, and marketing strategy.
The great thing about Twitter is that there’s a world of possibility out there for things you can search and discover. However, this can also lead to information overload and monitoring in 10 hours a day instead of 10 minutes. You’ll have to pick and choose exactly what you want to monitor, and if it’s an effective use of your time based on how many mentions that stream gets and if it’s useful for your brand. The following list includes some streams we suggest you start with. These lists could be arranged side by side in TweetDeck or included as immediate email notifications in Social Inbox. No matter which tool you use, make sure you’re testing out frequency and usefulness of these lists for yourself. If one list isn’t getting much action – nix it and save yourself some time!
Facebook! We use it to check out photos of our friends and kids. We use it as a news source for the day’s latest articles. We use it to share our love for brands, engage in online contests organised by various companies, or let a company know when its customer service has failed us. These days, the content on Facebook almost fully mirrors many individuals’ lives. People make their personal profiles their homes for their likes and hates, and businesses can use Facebook Pages as a gateway to interact with people.
Your Facebook Business Page timeline is the ‘home’ where your business’ fans, friends, customers, and critics can all interact directly with your company. They can post questions, comments, feedback, or fan mail. Fellow fans of your business may interact with each other. Many individuals will interact with the content your business has posted itself.
LinkedIn is arguably the most business- focused social media site out there. There are more than 300 million professionals around the world using LinkedIn as of April 2014. Its purpose is for networking, recruiting, social selling, content promoting, and generating thought leadership.
Quora is becoming the new go-to place to ask questions and get answers. The quality of the community is quite high. A person may ask, “Why did company X make Y business decision?” Oftentimes, the most highly voted answer is given by the CEO of the company. For users, it’s a great opportunity to learn collectively from a large group where the best answers rise to the top through voting.
Your primary goal for monitoring Quora, is identifying questions relevant to your business and industry that you should answer. If someone posts a question about your company and there is no representation from your company among a stream of answers, that is a lost opportunity to guide the message (or deflect negative sentiment). Add your company’s name as a Google Alert to find these types of questions and inquiries.
Your 10 Minute Checklist
Now that you have set up a consolidated platform for monitoring your social media presence, you can implement a new habit of opening your social networks and checking your emails first thing in the morning to find relevant information.
Check for Twitter chatter about your company and its competitors. You can do this through TweetDeck, Social Inbox, or through bookmarked or saved streams on Twitter.com.
Log in to Facebook to scan for comments, private messages, and reviews. Keep your company’s Facebook page bookmarked in your web browser and stay logged in to your account to save time.
Read your LinkedIn group digest and scan your Company Page for new comments.
Check your email for Google Alerts for brand mentions and industry-related content via Quora, Google+, blogs, or other sources and publications.
As time goes by and you develop better and more effective social media habits, you should make sure you also have a system in place to measure your success. (After all, you want data to prove those golden ten minutes are paying off, right?)
Reflect on the goal you set in the beginning of this ebook. If your goal was marketing-related, you should use tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or another tool to monitor the amount of traffic, leads, and customers you’re generating through social media channels as a result of your efforts.
If thought leadership was one of your goals, has there been an increase in the volume of blog and news articles written about your company? Has there been an increase in links? Links are a fantastic indication that people are using you as a resource and want to send their readers to your content. (And it’s a double win for SEO!)
No matter what the goal, be sure to monitor your metrics over time. If you decide to begin spending more than just ten minutes into your social media monitoring efforts, your success should correlate with the additional work you’re putting in!