Social media listening means monitoring everything that is being said about you and your brand on the web and social media and using the input to know your audience better so you can make needed improvements. There are many reasons why you should keep track of your mentions on social platforms.
First of all, this activity can really help you grow your business by identifying new market opportunities. Listening to conversations taking place online allows you to jump in and engage people in the conversation, do effective online public relations and get market insights in the most cost effective way possible.
Social media listening can be an overwhelming task, though. There are so many different platforms where people post their comments and share their thoughts and opinions that it is practically impossible for a person to keep track of all this activity. Thankfully, as with everything else in social media, there are free tools that you can use to help you monitor the millions of Tweets, Facebook updates, and articles posted every day to look for what the audience is saying about you. Before deciding what tool is the best option for you and your company, try two or three for a period of time to see which one really makes things easier for you and suits your needs best. After checking a few, we came up with a short list of our favorites:
This is an automated service that generates search engine results, based on specific criteria. Results are sent to suscribers by e-mail.
The tool is also free with real-time search and analysis for social media only that you can explore or opt to receive alerts.
A tool that sours the Internet for mentions of your name or keywords of your choice.
A tool created for Pinterest, which notifies you whenever someone pins your content from your website.
There are other, more sophisticated enterprise-level tools available that offer a much higher variety of services and in-depth analysis as well. These tools take social media listening to a higher level but are not cost free. Take your time to research these alternatives always keeping in mind your particular needs and goals.
Once you have a monitoring tool in place, it is time to listen to the conversations, to analyze the data and to put that information to use.
The rewards of having a clear set of objectives, doing your research and establishing an active social listening plan suited to your business can be invaluable. Invest the time and resources to define your social media listening strategy to fully take advantage of one of the most important activities you can engage in for the success of your company.