How to Design Your Social Monitoring Plan

Measuring and recording the analytics of your social media sites is important in providing insights to your overall campaign. Social monitoring goes beyond those numbers inputted for your data records. Measuring is when you use analytical platforms to measure your social progress. Social media monitoring is using a tool to crawl the web and find online users who are mentioning your brand, your products, or your competitors, and then engaging with them.

If you have all of your analytics set up, wonderful! But it’s time to take your social media game up a notch with a monitoring tool. But before we get to speaking about which tools are best for your business, (yes, there are free ones), let’s try to help set up your social monitoring plan.
1. Form objectives. Some of the best goals for a social monitoring strategy include finding people who are talking about your brand online in order to join the conversation. You may have a Facebook and Twitter, but people are still speaking about you OFF of your company page. If you want more feedback on a product or service, social monitoring is something to definitely look into. Trying to improve your customer service initiatives? Monitor the web to find out who needs help and answer them promptly. These objectives will build credibility and trust for your brand.

2. Decide what you want to monitor. Now that you have formed your objectives, it’s time to pick the keywords that you will be monitoring. You always want to include your brand name in your strategy. It’s a good idea to form a list of keywords to follow, such as product names, any company executives, or direct competitors.

3. Decide where to monitor. Choose places where your consumers, or potential consumers, are most likely to hang out. If you’re targeting a middle age female consumer, consider checking out Mommy Blogs. If you’re looking for the social consumer, try different social sites and forums. You want to be looking for conversations that will direct you straight to a customer.

4. Listen to the conversation. Social monitoring should not be used as a lead for you to start spamming a particular online community. Instead, see what people are saying, and if your product or service is relevant, then you should join in on the conversation. If you “eavesdrop” on people just to plug your company, your social monitoring strategy will not get you far.

5. Join in on conversations revolved around your expertise. Don’t be bashful to put your two cents in on a conversation that you can provide useful insights to. Social monitoring does not just involve looking for people speaking about your product; it involves industry related information as well. For example, you are the marketing director of a gym. Try to find conversations and forums about exercise or health, provide your expertise, and slowly lead people to your website. Become their trusted friend before you position yourself as a spammer.

6. Find the right monitoring tool. There are tons of monitoring tools out there that will help you with your defined goals. If you’re looking to see what people are saying about your brand or which content of yours is most liked and shared, a tool like Social Mention is a great option. If Twitter is a big part of your strategy, use a Twitter-based monitoring platform. There are many different options, which you can find in this infographic, so make sure you choose the one that’s best for your own strategy!