Dec 01, 2016 / by James Rubec

Consider social monitoring as a fishing expedition. You set your lines to monitor your campaigns and wait for the results to bite. The results, in this instance, are business insights that highlight something actionable for your business or clients.

What if you could scale up this process and instead of fishing with a hook and line, you use industrial size nets?

Monitoring a whole industry is a natural, and smart expansion of your own brand tracking. Instead of only monitoring for keywords or themes that include your company and its initiatives, track what’s being said about your competitors, suppliers and other associated businesses. There is much more to catch!

Fishing with nets

A fishing trawler works by setting its nets deep under the water, slowing moving forward, collecting everything the net can grab, and later releasing those that aren’t large enough or a species of value.

When you conduct industrial monitoring, you are setting a very deep and large net. You cast it into social media, website forums, online news and traditional media to find the people and conversations that are of value to your brand and industry.

Here’s what you should search for:

1. Dissatisfied customers

Monitoring your industry enables you to find people who aren’t happy with their current supplier. Adding these folks to your lead generational cycle can drive sales activity and quick action can result in new business.

2. Competitive intelligence

Knowing what your competitors are (and aren’t) doing can help steer your own marketing and business activities. For instance, higher levels of media activity in a particular region could indicate an expansion of a team into a new market. This can direct further investigations or warrant investment by your brand in that market.

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3. Conversation trends

Just because a conversation isn’t specifically about your product doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Listening to the needs and interest of your industry can help drive future product requirements or reposition a product your team offers using the terminology that your industry associates with its use case. You can even build your content calendar around what your industry actually talks about!

All of these conversations and contacts are swimming out there waiting to be collected, analyzed and acted upon.

To capture them you need three things in place:

1. Scalable conversation collection

Searching through Twitter manually is next to impossible. You could have a team of 20 people reading tweets 10 hours a day and inputting conversations and contacts in a spreadsheet and still not get through 200,000 tweets a day.

Enterprise social monitoring software makes it possible for you to build a Boolean search that will scour social media for the conversations that are most valuable to you automatically. In our fishing expedition, this is the depth finder to help you find the fish living far below the water’s surface.

2. Filters to segment this data

Having all of this data allows you to segment dissatisfied customers from other consumer insights. With the right filters in place, you can find demographic and psychographic information about those participating in the conversation, arming yourself with specific insights to target these segments.

Build a great search, think about how you want to segment your data, and rig filters to funnel your industrial monitoring into business insights buckets that are easily digestible.

3. Expert analysis

With all of these buckets full, you can then dig in to the data to form contextual insights about your business needs. Your analysis will be as strong as the experts you have managing your data. Ultimately, it is people power that translate these insights into business results.

Building great content is predicated on understanding your audience. With more channels to promote your content and diverse audiences among each of them, if you aren’t listening carefully your messaging will slip between the cracks.

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About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada.