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Monitoring: Tips to Becoming a Skilled Social Media Listener

This guest post is by Mischaela Elkins, social media product specialist at Cision.

Social media management is typically a fun, rewarding niche to fill within a company. You are in the forefront, representing your brand to the public and you get to chat with people from all over the world.

However, as fun as it is to create cool campaigns and push out content to your followers, you have to learn to listen to be truly effective. Social listening is a skill, one that everyone in a social media role should master. Here are some tips to becoming a skilled social media listener:

Set goals on what you’d like to learn from social listening.
To truly maximize the value of what you are gathering from social listening, you’ll have to have a road map. Identify  your focus—whether it’s gathering information on your audience, monitoring sentiment toward your brand, or keeping tabs on your competition. Ideally you should be doing all three; start setting goals and charting a daily, weekly and monthly path to reaching your goals.

You can’t listen effectively unless you filter out the noise!
One of the biggest challenges with social media monitoring is refining the incredible amounts of posts that come in and focusing on only those which are the most important or pertinent to your goals. Investing in tools that let you segment and explore posts around certain parameters and keywords are highly beneficial in helping you sort through the noise; you can start finding conversations to contribute to and customers looking for what you have to offer.

Once you’ve filtered out the noise, learn to see the patterns.
After you refine your keywords and parameters to only the posts that matter to you, you can begin to understand the patterns in data. Are you seeing positive posts in response to a recent campaign? Or maybe comments turn negative after your press conferences and announcements? You need to listen to your audience, thank them for their feedback, and acknowledge and reply back to their concerns. Learn to anticipate the patterns in social interaction and you won’t have too many hiccups.

Realize that social listening is customer intelligence gathering.
Social media conversations create huge amounts of unstructured data. While you might be great at making inferences from small data sets, you’ll need help making educated decisions from the huge amounts of data you’re pulling in. Create a program to harvest as much intelligence on your customers as possible and make your CRM social. Keep a record of those you reach out to in your CRM, and implement programs within your organization—whether it’s sales, customer support, or other areas of your company that may use social media to interact with customers—to do the same. You will begin to see a more well-rounded, individual, and accurate picture of who your customers are.

Identify your influencers, because they are the ones everyone is listening to.
Influencers in the social media sphere don’t have to be celebrities, politicians or titans of industry. In the social media world, influencers are people who are fantastic communicators. There are many tools available for identifying social media influencers and potential brand ambassadors.  These experts typically have authentic voices within their industry or vertical, and people value what they have to say.  By creating relationships with these people, you can shape the messaging around your brand more effectively.

How have you implemented social listening for your organization?

Tags : social media

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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