3 Strategies That Will Help Make Sense of Social Media Listening

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Everyone has heard of social media marketing, but have you heard of social media listening? It’s one of the trendsshaping the social media marketplace in 2014. Social media listening is about knowing what is being said about your brand, product, and industry in the social media sphere.

It can seem daunting to imagine keeping up with what’s being said on one social media platform, much less multiple ones. However, there are tools and strategies available to help you stay on top of your brand’s reputation online. Here are three that will help you make sense of social media listening.

Social Media ListeningUse the Right Tools

Every marketer needs a variety of tools to help them get a job done, and social media listening is no exception. There not enough staff hours in the day to read everything on every site, and the rightsocial media monitoring tools will help you focus on what’s most important.

Tools like Hootsuite allow you to set up feeds that show you what is being said about certain terms and hashtags. This can allow you to filter out the noise and see only what you need to. In addition, since Hootsuite allows multiple feeds side by side, you can track multiple terms related to your company and industry all in one place. Best of all, Hootsuite is free.

Social Mention is another great asset in your social media campaign. Another free program, Social Mention collects data across multiple platforms and uses basic analytics to help you understand the tone of what is being said. You can also see what sources are most active and what sites mention you most often. This can help you target your social media marketing efforts most effectively.

Set Goals

As with any initiative, your company needs to know what it is trying to accomplish through social media listening. There will be a lot of information and interesting tidbits out there, and it’s easy to lose sight of the forest because of the trees.

With all goal setting, it’s important to make sure thegoals are SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. What exactly are you trying to do? How will you measure it? Is it achievable? How relevant is the goal to you corporate mission and objectives? How long will you have to achieve your goal?

With these specific goals in place, you will be able to tailor your social media listening program, staff it effectively, and know what results you are getting for your investment.

Build Relationships

Social media listening isn’t just about damage control. Knowing what others are saying about your brand, industry, and product helps you engage with them. By knowing what social media platforms your customers are using and what sites are most active for your industry, you can craft campaigns to reach out and spread your message in a more targeted way.

Listening is the beginning of all relationships, because it shows the other person that you care what they have to say. When you show customers your care and interest, you open a door that allows you to follow up with your expertise and solutions in a much more positive way.

Social Media Listening

Social media listening is an important part of every company’s social media campaign. Although the amount of data on social media sites is overwhelming, the right tools can help you find just the relevant information you need. Setting goals for your listening campaign will help direct your efforts and keep you from getting lost in minutiae. Finally, be sure to remember that listening is about relationships, not just damage control. With these three strategies, social media listening will help you understand your customers and craft effective outreach for the future.