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How to Evaluate a Social Media Listening Platform

Data is growing faster than ever before and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. This is largely thanks to people’s passion for creating and sharing online content.

Additionally, 81 percent of the U.S. population had a social media profile as of 2017, and that number is only continuing to rise. Flourishing social media platforms and tried-and-true media outlets and blogs have set us on an upward trajectory in terms of content creation.

Though people are sharing selfies and brunch pictures, they are also increasingly engaging in intelligent, meaningful conversations that brands can harness for strategic social media monitoring. Failure to keep ahead of the social conversations can lead to unengaged prospects and unsatisfied customers.

The volume of conversation may seem intimidating, but with the right strategies and proper media monitoring tools, you can build audience personas, track them along the path to purchase and leverage social data for a more targeted communications strategy that will drive your bottom line.

Understand Your Brand’s Needs

First and foremost, understanding what your company needs in a social listening tool is going to be the most important step. There is a difference between tools that provide social listening capabilities and tools that provide social media management capabilities. Ask yourself — is your team looking to listen to coverage across all media sources, including social, and understand the key topics, trends and messages that resonate with target buyers?  If so, a social listening tool is essential.

Are your teams looking to manage company-owned social media accounts in an attempt to respond to customer support issues or to generate a social following? This is where a social media management platform might be a better fit.

While both of these tools are useful in a multitude of ways, Cision’s focus is on social listening. Cision provides comprehensive social listening across channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. The ability to listen across these mediums in tandem with coverage across online, print and broadcast creates a holistic approach to truly understand the context behind social media mentions and how they resonate with audiences.

Understand the Vision

Understanding a vendor’s vision provides some key insights that can really help you align overall goals and objectives. This reveals the vendor's long-term commitment and gives you an understanding of how their roadmap will evolve with the industry. Secondly, the vendor’s vision provides evidence of its ability to become a proactive partner versus a mere reactive vendor. A strong vision from a vendor provides thought leadership to help navigate the uncertainty of the social media evolution.

Cision continues to expand how PR and communications professionals listen to audiences across the entire earned media landscape. With innovations including Cision Impact and the introduction of Social Influencer Discovery, Cision understands that social is a major part of the communicator’s overall strategy.

Cision will continue to be a leader in the industry through its strategic partnerships, acquisitions and forward-thinking approach to change the way PR measures and proves its impact across all channels, including social.

Customer Success

Comms and PR professionals need insight into the vendor’s customer success team to understand some of the different use cases where vendors have proven the ability to adapt to the client, rather than making the client adapt to the vendor. Tapping into case studies and requesting specific examples of customer success can really help avoid misalignment and get a sense of real-world applications that may resonate with your own business initiatives.

Cision’s case studies range from small business to global enterprises. With over 75,000 customers across the globe, Cision has proven that it can cater to business needs at every given level of operations.

Cision’s primary purpose revolves around the communicator’s end goals and objectives. Through the many partnerships, acquisitions, and product developments made over the last couple years, there is a strong confidence in our organization that if social media listening is important to your brand, the first step in your evaluation should be speaking to a Cision rep, today.

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About Lee Ribeiro

Lee Ribeiro is a Product Marketing Manager at Cision, where he manages content and communication channels between product and sales teams regarding product updates, new features, and positioning towards B2B and B2C audiences.

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