In 2012 we published an article Are you listening? On social media that is! The key points are still relevant, but the tools have changed. This article focuses on why to listen on social media and 6 free tools to monitor your social presence.
When listening or monitoring social sites, view your efforts as mining for information: how others view your business and how well you know your clients. Take it one step further, not only listen to your clients but monitor what they are listening to on social media to gain deeper insights. This is an excellent strategy for keeping tabs on your competitors as well. (A little online stalking may reap important insights!)
If you are a supplier in the promotional products industry check out your distributor clients profiles on Commonsku to see what end-user industries they work with. You don’t want to present them with information on fund-raising projects if they have strictly corporate clients.
Follow LinkedIn notifications for job or location changes. If your contact person at an organization leaves, who is now the decision maker? How can you benefit from the new location of your contact?
Is your client physically moving or expanding? What services do you offer to help them promote these changes?
Sign up for blog subscriptions of clients and competitors.
For more ideas on how to listen on social media check out Duct Tape Selling by John Jantsch.
Here are our recommendations for the best free tools for monitoring social media sites. We recommend using them all as they each add a different element to your search. With the exception of Twitter Advanced Search and Pinterest Search, once set up they are practically automatic.
- Hootsuite is a social media monitoring app that works with multiple social networks. It makes it easy to track all of your social media accounts on one dashboard. You can monitor @mentions and track keywords to see what people are saying about your company, brand, and blog. You can watch twitter lists on Hootsuite. Set up a list for your clients and for your competitors. Hootsuite also offers weekly analytic reports, and scheduling options for posts.
- Social Mention monitors over one hundred social media sites. It is probably one of the best free listening tools on the market. It analyses mentions by measuring influence within 4 categories: Strength, Sentiment, Passion and Reach. Great resource for monitoring what is being said about Brands.
- Twitter Advanced Search can be used to piece together a precise and targeted search. With the massive amount of information being posted by tweeters every day, there is a ton of great information available about your brand, industry and your clients. Taylor your search by dates, people, hashtags, topics, and keywords filtered in many ways.
- Pinterest Search. At the Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing World 2015 speakers referred to Pinterest as the new google due to its powerful search function. They went as far to say more users are turning to Pinterest, not Google, as their primary search engine. The Pinterest search bar be used for keyword ideas and customer insights.
- Addictomatic is useful at getting an overall view of a brand. It aggregates sources of news and information on one easy to use dashboard. It covers sites such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, WordPress blogs, search engines such as Bling, Google and Ask.com and social book marking sites like Delicious and Digg. All you need to do is plug in your search topic or brand, click “create” and it aggregates the information for you.
- Feedly – Great place to access RSS feeds of all your favorite blogs. Be sure to set up feeds for your clients and competitor’s blogs.
In case you’re not yet convinced of the need to monitor your online presence here is a closing story:
I was on Hootsuite and checked current notifications on our twitter handle @MapleRidgeFarms. I was aghast to read the following tweets:
This tweeter not only targeted the wrong company, they even had the name incorrect. The attached articles they referenced were about a company called Maple Lodge Farms. Only someone clicking the link would notice this mistake. I quickly replied to the tweets asking them to correct their mistake. Lucky for me this twitter user only has 48 followers and the thread was not picked up by others and sent viral. Case in point monitor! If you have additional suggestions, or stories on why to monitor: your brand, industry, clients or competitors, please comment below.