Social media platforms are at the forefront of communications, and where most of the leads are being generated. Whenever a small business or enterprise uses social media promotion, it is important for them to be armed with the most sophisticated social media listening services at their fingertips.
SearchTarget defines social media listening, as the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the web.
Top Social Media Monitoring Tools at Your Disposal
Trying to collect these conversations from each channel is one time-consuming task, and that’s where social media monitoring tools come in. Here are the top six tools that will take your social listening to a whole new level.
SentiOne is a user-friendly and effective social media monitoring resource. Not only does it keep tabs on your brands mentions, but you can interact in real-time with your audience. The tool is available in 24 languages, and includes key features from the 12 types of social media listeners. In addition, its capabilities for online reputation management provide comprehensive analytics which can be used to further understand what works, what doesn’t, why, and spot user behavior, patterns, and future trends.
Here is the main problem of today’s Social Web: many brands are still passive. If you, as a consumer, have an urgent need, and wish to reach out to your favorite brand, you do it with the mindset that this present need will not be met right away. In a way, the consumer loses hope of getting an instant response even before sending a message, because most of the times, there is no real-time engagement. If you use the Facebook search graph to identify the pages of your favorite brands in your country, for example, most brand pages will display a response rate of under 75%, and “likely to respond in within a day”.
By offering a real-time engagement solution, tools such as SentiOne manage to create a space of connection for brands and consumers. This helps enterprises in staying connected with their audiences independent of region, country, industry – which is the basis of a functional, healthy community.
#2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is another easy-to-use tool. You have important functions like integrated analytics. The ability to schedule and queue posts from the different social networks enables users to really target their message, and save time in the process. What could be added down the road to the software is being able to get a consolidated report.
When coordinating multiple teams (marketing, local marketing group, dealerships and supporting agencies), Falcon.io makes collaboration simple, and ensures a consistent brand message. It means the incorporated functionality allows the targeting of their messages to be similar across different locations.
The social media monitoring tool options from Oktopost offer in-depth reporting. It is a fantastic data-driven marketing software since you can track conversions dollar-for-dollar. No need for previous experience, or a dedicated social media person or team. What some users have reported missing is the integrated customer service function within the tool. But the tool offers plenty of advantages in terms of ROI. This article explains more.
Hootsuite has been around for many years. The software allows you to monitor keywords, manage multiple social media accounts and schedule posts. You can view all your social networks within a single place. Aside from the comprehensive functionality and reporting, the cost compared to the rest of the competition makes one wonder why it is not more affordable.
One issue to look out for though is the scheduling part: if not setup accordingly, you can wake up one morning to find your Twitter filled with “monologues” of text without any actual links or images. Happened to many!
The AgoraPulse tool can be characterized as a social media marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite. A lot of ease in scheduling, managing, and publishing posts across different social media platforms. The only functionality to be addressed is you cannot group social media channels per brand along with the scheduled publications in a brand group.
Social Media Care and The Importance of Social Media Monitoring
The use of social media care, social media customer service, is the process of answering questions from users about your products and services in a specific time frame. According to Socialbakers, “Using social listening to generate leads means tracking conversation around your own company and your competition in order to discover interested prospects.”
Another important aspect is it allows businesses and organizations to leverage their online reputation. Answering within a reasonable time frame to posts by users shows the brand is listening, and makes interactions more meaningful since you are responding to concerns.
Compiling these top social listening tools was the result of examining reviews and references via G2Crowd. All these tools stood out from tens of apps and software solutions available worldwide, each offering unique features to their respective markets.
Beyond social media listening, it is clear just how much of an impact social media marketing has on our daily lives. Not just as brands, but also as consumers. Brands can no longer rely solely on pushing sales pitches. It’s time to upgrade: they must resort on effective story-telling, and addressing questions from potential customers.
Just like Gary Vee said in one of his LinkedIn video stories, discussing why ToysRUs disappeared, “If you don’t upgrade, you die” – a bit harsh, but it’s the truth. If you’re not following the consumers and their path, you won’t ever meet them half way.
Man, social media is getting complicated, isn’t it? The attention to detail is extreme, and it is pretty much becoming mandatory for any brand to work as a team to accomplish their social goals. A little effort doesn’t go a long way anymore. Now it is all about the full scale social strategies if you want visibility and lead generation.
So, when you have to have an entire team working on your social media, what do you do to stay organized? A good collaboration tool – or more than one – is your best bet. It will let the manager of the team stay on top of things, and give everyone involved in social marketing a firm grasp of their role. That means fewer mistakes, and more productive engagement.
These are the eight I would personally recommend. Having maybe two or three of them for different purposes will give you and your social media team exactly what you need.
Google Drive is the most obvious on this list. I personally like it more for cloud storage of past blog posts, and as a database for strategies and data. It is a great tool for tying together all of your content, not just the social, so your team is always up to date and can go back and find something they need off of your main site.
Plus it’s free, and nearly everyone alive has a Google account these days. So it is a very convenient and efficient tool.
Coschedule is, to me, a hit and miss tool for the social aspect. On one hand, it does have a social planner and will auto-update your attached accounts. But on the other it isn’t exactly a social dashboard.
I would recommend it more as a tool for integrating social and content planning, so everyone is on the same page. It is a very good editorial calendar, with a hint of a social element. So worth getting, especially given how cheap it is. And it integrates with WordPress, right there into the dashboard. So it is easy to use for anyone.
I am going to come out and say this right now: I love Trello. Out of everything on this list, this is going to be the tool that I gush about the most. It is super easy, visual, versatile, and budget friendly.
Your team can use it with pretty much no instruction, since it is all pretty straight forward. I use it for team collaboration, personal project management, group project management, personal life planning, and I have even created Feature Roadmaps and Launch Timelines for startups. If you want to go a step further, allow anyone to contribute so they can offer suggestions for improvements.
With Basecamp, it can be hard to say whether it is a good tool or not. Features-wise, it is fantastic collaboration and project management option for both teams, and freelancers with an active client base.
But it starts at $29 per month, and is as much as $79 per month. Which means it is a bit of a steep price for a lot of startups and smaller businesses with a tight budget. Still, if you have the cash it is an undeniably helpful app.
I have never been a huge fan of Evernote, but I know so many people who use it that I had to put it on the list. Collaborate with others, curate content, save links, and put it all in one place.
I would say the best thing about Evernote is that it is a major application, and so it integrates with just about everything. Making it a pretty useful tool if you need to go from one program to another, as well as across multiple devices.
I like Slack for its community building. You can create channels with multiple hashtag run sections for people to join. So you can actually create an account, and then make different areas for different projects.
It is very helpful it you need to communicate with multiple team combinations, especially since you can invite and lock out as necessary.
You have probably come across Skype at least once in your life. I know I use it on a regular basis, in spite of other tools coming around to take its place.
In fact, many clients prefer it as a method of communication, and so a lot of freelancers and teams for small businesses or startups already have it installed. It can be an easy way to hold meetings and keep on top of one another.
Want to streamline your team collaboration? This is an app that promises to do that for you, creating a high performance team of members that pretty much run themselves.
I have never used Redbooth, but I know several people who have and that swear by it. It starts at only $5 per month for small teams, and as low as $15 a month for businesses, so definitely not a bad choice.
Do you have a tool to go on this list? Let us know in the comments!
With so many businesses now using social media marketing, those who haven’t yet caught on run the risk of being overlooked in an increasingly fast-moving culture of interconnectivity.
It is clear that social media is crucial for businesses, but using it successfully is a fine art – there are a distinct number of things you should avoid doing at all costs.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen mistakes that can turn an otherwise solid social media marketing campaign pear-shaped.
1. Only sticking to FacebookFacebook is often the first social media platform that springs to mind, and, yes, you should definitely be using it. However, to fully maximise your audience, you need to diversify.
While Facebook is usually the most significant outlet for social media marketing, it’s far from the only place which will benefit your business.
There are a number of social media platforms that may be suited to your brand, such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.
2. Using too many networks at onceAlthough you should be on platforms other than Facebook, having too many networks can be just as dicey.
You aren’t going to help increase traffic to your website by creating accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and SnapChat, only to let them gather dust because you’re not regularly managing them (and how are you actually going to find time to manage them all anyway?).
Instead, work out where your target market spends most of their time, and ensure that the platforms you use are industry-appropriate.
A pivotal thing to remember when fine-tuning your business’s approach to social media marketing is that not every social media platform will be suited to every type of business.
For example, a highly visual platform like Instagram is not going to be appropriate for a business that doesn’t provide visually oriented products or services – it won’t, for example, be suitable for an accounting firm.
Social media marketing is a delicate business, and effective use is not as easy as it looks. One inappropriately worded post can be actively detrimental to your business.
If you lack marketing expertise yourself, get in touch with a social media professional.
3. Not thinking before postingThis has to be one of the biggest mistakes businesses make on social media, and can be hugely damaging.
The sense of immediacy and rapidity that comes with having a social media presence can be immensely beneficial to your business and the way you are able to connect with customers, but this can also result in the communication of poorly worded content and inappropriate messages.
This can be disastrous. And even if a bad post is soon deleted, chances are, someone has already seen it.
Avoid this by reading and then re-reading every potential post, and asking yourself whether the material is truly fitting with your brand and beneficial to your business.
4. Forgetting to spell-checkPoor spelling and grammar can look sloppy and unprofessional, and will drastically reduce the impact of otherwise great content.
Take care to read over and spell-check content before posting.
Fine details – and your ability to spot them – reflect heavily on you as a brand, and while they might seem like they’re not a hugely big deal, these are elements which people online love to point out.
5. Responding unprofessionallyAt some point, you will almost certainly encounter angry or upset people, because that’s simply what happens on social media.
However, it’s vital that you always engage in a respectful and polite manner. Even if you are being attacked, your responses should reflect the professionalism and integrity of your business.
Again, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back – a single unsuitable comment can be hugely damaging.
6. Being too casualOne of the most effective ways in which social media enables you to connect with your audience is the easy, conversational forms of communication it fosters.
Engaging with customers in a casual, relaxed way is great for personalising and humanising your brand – social media marketing isn’t about stuffy formality.
However, there is such a thing as too casual. Avoid text-speak abbreviations – don’t use “u” instead of “you”, for example. Don’t swear. Don’t voice personal opinions about contentious subjects (religion or politics, for instance).
What you put out there can be fun and relaxed – and can certainly be a personalised reflection of the ways in which your business is unique – but ensure that you still maintain a sense of professionalism.
7. Leaving comments unattendedIt only takes one negative comment for things to start spinning wildly out of control. Don’t leave your comments unattended.
People tend to feel invalidated and unappreciated when they’re ignored, and trolls and hecklers who are left to their own devices will only become more and more difficult to handle.
It’s important to reply to all comments and complaints in a timely, professional manner.
8. Posting in a hurryDon’t be tempted by the ease with which news can be broken on social media.
Before you post, take a deep breath and think for a moment.
Is the message appropriate, given your brand, your target audience, and the kinds of goals you associate with your presence on social media (such as strengthening customer relationships and increasing your brand’s authenticity)?
If you are posting a link to a piece of news, is the source trustworthy?
Is the material actually legal to share?
Is it likely someone will be offended by it?
9. Cross-postingWhat may work in a medium like Facebook may not also work on Twitter, and vice versa.
And, put frankly, cross-posting also just has a tendency to look lazy, as though you simply could not be bothered tailoring the material accordingly. This reduces the impact of the content itself.
Ensure that you customise the content you post across each platform, and consider its compatibility with the platform itself.
10. Hiding from negative commentsIf a customer posts a negative comment on your Facebook wall, don’t just delete it. And don’t simply refuse to engage with negative or controversial comments.
Firstly, you should value the criticism, because it could be a reflection of suboptimal business practices, and also of what other followers might be thinking.
Secondly, responding to comments like these is a valuable way in which you can provide transparent and effective customer service. Showing your audience that you are able to handle negative feedback or difficult situations when you are put on the spot is one of the many ways in which social media enables you, as a business, to take control over the way your brand is perceived.
11. Not using imagesMultiple studies have indicated that content that is accompanied by images or video is accepted at significantly higher engagement rates.
Social media is a highly interactive, visual medium, and it is very likely that your audience does not want to read content that consists solely of text.
Posts and tweets that have compelling, engaging image-based components will generate more “likes” than those without, and are far more likely to grab the attention of your audience.
Images are crucial to both promoting your website, and in cultivating your brand itself. They provide customers with evocative, vivid forms of what your products and services are all about.
12. Don’t neglect itA neglected profile is like a kiss of death for social media marketing.
Your updates should be regular and consistent. If you, say, post at a particular time of day, every day (or once a week – how frequently will depend on your following and the nature of your business), your followers will start to expect this, and will invest more trust in your brand as an industry leader. This kind of confidence won’t be inspired by sporadic updates.
13. Not taking ownershipIf your business is at fault, apologise. If someone has left a negative comment, reply to it – don’t avoid it.
Not only is this best practice in terms of successfully running your business, it will also serve to create a sense of brand confidence and trust, and offers up a form of transparent communication.
If situations that involve conflict of some sort are handled diplomatically and politely, and with a sense of responsibility, potential customers will see this as a display of integrity, not weakness.
14. Sharing too much informationYou want to be giving your audience enough to whet their appetites, but no more than that.
The content you post should therefore leave some questions unanswered, and should prompt a call to action.
Providing too much content can be as harmful as not providing enough – the right amount will titillate your followers, and leave them wanting more.
15. Being inexperiencedBecause social media tends to be the province of younger generations, those more experienced, senior members of your team may have less social networking expertise.
Furthermore, where these younger members of your workplace may have a stronger grip on social media practices, they might lack the professionalism that comes with decades of industry experience.
Ultimately, you should find a way to combine this tech-savvy freshness with more polished professionalism by ensuring that everyone on your team is on the same page in terms of social media marketing strategy, and in relation to the overall vision and values of your brand.
It is also worth considering hiring a professional who lives and breathes social media marketing – if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you can do your business more harm than good with just one poorly timed slip-up.