Deciding to start using social media monitoring, or even just researching it, can easily uncover a large, confusing landscape. It is best to start simple. What can it really do for your business? Let’s begin by outlining where you should be looking first.
For most companies, the journey starts in the marketing department and then ventures outside into the jungles of customer service, sales, or PR. Focus on these 5 areas and consider where monitoring can positively impact your specific business.
1. Public Relations
I’ll start with a big one. PR. Monitoring can help your PR efforts out in many ways, starting with seeing how far your press releases spread (as well as who is doing the spreading, and when they’re sharing), all the way to helping to manage a crisis.
In addition, active monitoring can help spot issues before they blow up into a crisis. Notice a shift in how people are taking about you? Perhaps a certain subject pops up more frequently now than ever before? Monitoring can help you identify and prepare much more quickly than rely on traditional communication channels could.
2. Customer Service
Everyone loves those automated phone trees, right? Wrong. A lot of companies are jumping on the monitoring for customer service train, and it’s moving fast! Most companies have heard of Comcast’s customer service, but what about people like Bank of America, Time Warner Cable, or Best Buy?
Monitoring for customer issues or complaints can help reduce call volume to your call centers, potentially saving thousands in employee costs.
3. Product Development
Wonder what’s on your customer’s minds? Monitoring can help you find out. Nothing beats a solid product roadmap, but incorporating customer (and industry) feedback and perspectives into your feature planning and design can still have a very positive impact.
Monitoring can uncover feature requests that are being shared socially, as well as feedback on releases. Just updated your UI? You can turn to the social web to see how your customers like it almost instantly these days.
4. Lead Generation
Yes, I said it. Lead generation. There are a ton of comments, tweets and blog posts created every day that reference a need. Beyond listening for mentions of your brand, why not listen for phrases, such as “buy product x” or “researching product y”? What are some of the keywords your prospects use when they either come to your website, or take a phone call from a sales rep? How would they use these if they were doing some research or asking for opinions online? Mashable featured a great post in June that covers this very topic.
I saved the most common use for last – brand management. Monitoring can help you discover what people are saying about your company and its products and services, what language they’re using to describe you, and how they’re speaking about you in terms of tone.
From a communications perspective, monitoring can help uncover if your messaging is being picked up on by your target audience, as well as identify new key phrases and terms that your consumers are using. The days of pushing out a piece of collateral or a direct marketing campaign are over, as you now have a feedback loop to see what people are saying as they’re saying it.
What uses for social media monitoring has your business discovered? ]]>