So you’ve set up a good social media monitoring system and you’re starting to see all the different kinds of chatter people are making about your brand online. Congratulations… but now you have to figure out what to do with this new knowledge.
There are many ways brands can approach social media monitoring, anything from simply observing the chatter to proactively engaging with the people who mention your brand online. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, as every social media strategy depends on the size and scope of the company.Let’s take a look at just a few of the various approaches different companies take to their social media monitoring.
While it is the most passive approach to social media monitoring, simple observation can be very useful for your brand. In many cases your customers are your best critics, so if your company has rolled out a new product or service and you want to see what people think of it, social media monitoring can provide some great feedback.
If there’s a defect or inefficiency in your product, social media is often the first place people turn to talk about it. Luckily, you don’t have to read every last tweet or Facebook comment to know the general tone of the dialogue taking place. With sentiment analysis technology, you can see the big picture at a glance and know whether the general mood towards your brand is positive or negative. These truly are exciting times we’re living in.
Other companies that have more resources dedicated to social media have chosen to take a more proactive approach to social media monitoring by engaging people who mention their brand in the social space.
Take the shipping company FedEx, for example. FedEx is very active in engaging users who mention them on Twitter. Check out the following Twitter exchange between FedEx and a personal user:
@richelecole Wow, glad that we can be a highlight. Btw, you have interesting recipes on your blog…delicious indeed!
— FedEx (@FedEx) January 4, 2012
This exchange is not only a great way to show attention to a customer, it also provides a human connection between a global brand and one individual. In this day and age, brand loyalty is one of the most sought-after characteristics in a customer, and it is easy to imagine these types of interactions going a long way towards establishing that dynamic.
There’s nothing wrong with free speech, but there are many cases where what people say online can seriously damage the institutions they’re associated with. A good example of this is in the NCAA, where many athletic departments have started to monitor athletes’ and coaches’ social media accounts to make sure they aren’t committing any violations.
For example, it is illegal for NCAA coaches to contact or speak publicly about individual recruits online. Thus, if a coach accidentally violates this policy, the university wants to be the first to know in order to quickly correct the problem internally without the NCAA getting involved and imposing sanctions.
Policing social media can be essential to maintaining the health of large institutions, so if your company could be harmed by errant comments online, social media monitoring is a must.