A step-by-step guide to effective social media listening

A step-by-step guide to effective social media listening

Social media listening is essential in developing and measuring your social media strategy and making data based decisions. But embarking on a social media listening approach, however, requires one or more good tools. Most tools these days can handle the listening part, as well as giving you some interesting automated reports or metrics you can use in various ways.

Make sure your listening tool can listen to all relevant channels and includes the metrics that your company is interested in. Is it reach, sentiment, conversions, fan-penetration or something else? Confirm that your tool or tools, contain the metrics that are important and relevant to you. Most listening companies today, offer a free or almost free product trial. Ask for at least 2 weeks and benchmark different systems against each other if you can.

Once you’ve chosen a system that works for your needs and budget it is time to start focusing on how to make the most of your tool. Too often, companies purchase an expensive system, set it up to monitor their own brand and products, and just use the automated alerts or daily monitoring mails.

Here’s our 7 tips on how to effectively listen in on social media.

1) Set up one or more search-queries that contain your own brand, your products and possibly also key employees. Make sure you don’t forget to include any common misspellings of your brand and all hashtags that are being used about your brand and product.

2) Is your company mentioned often on social media? If so, it’s always a good idea to complement your general search with one that combines your names with negative words, terms and hashtags such as #fail, “problem” or anything you can think of along those lines. A good social media listening tool contains a decent auto sentiment alert so that you’re notified when your sentiment is negative BUT these are automated alerts and will never get as accurate as a human being looking through the posts. Make sure you don’t miss any negative feedback just because your system’s algorithm didn’t assess THAT important post correctly.

3) Set up search queries for your competitors and the names of the products and services that your competitors provide.

4) Set up an industry search with generic words. Try to think of words (and hashtags) that are being used about the industry that you’re in or the products you have. This industry search can very often provide an excellent source for finding potential leads or finding conversations where you can position yourself as an expert/an industry leader.

5) Think in wider terms than just names for your industry. What needs/problems does your company provide a solution for? Take an example from the pharmaceutical world. The best strategy for a pharmaceutical company is to create a search query that includes the illnesses or health issues their medicine will solve and combine it with more generic words and terms such as “medicine for”, medication, side-effects, pills, pharmacy or equivalents. This will ensure that you get any relevant results out there.

6) Make sure you keep your system updated with the latest terms, hashtags and information. Try to actively logging into your tool at least 2-3 times a week. The automated reports that you get often just scratches the surface of what there is to learn from the data generation in the tool.

7) Once you’ve chosen a tool, you already know what metrics you need. In addition to that – make sure your tool can create reports on the following: sourcetype distribution, influencers and buzzwords. These reports often contain a pool of knowledge.



This article is written from the personal perspective of Jenny Soederman. The opinions and views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Miller Group Advertising.

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