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Social media has transformed the way businesses market their brand and interact with their consumers. Businesses can now easily target their audience with personalized campaigns based on demographics with the help of social media monitoring tools. Businesses also use social media to provide customer service and it gives them the opportunity to connect with their consumers directly. There's no denying how valuable social media is for brands. 

However, one of the challenges when it comes to delivering great customer service over social media is determining where their customers are most active and understanding the exact nature of their needs. This is where social media monitoring comes in. It helps businesses make smarter decisions on where to invest their marketing efforts and resources. It also helps them gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Here are a few more essential benefits of social media monitoring that your business might be missing out on:

1. Listening vs. Monitoring

Social media listening and monitoring are terms often used interchangeably. It's easy to get them mixed up especially when their goal is quite similar to each other. Recognizing the difference, however, can help businesses understand their social data in a more productive way. Here's what sets them apart:

Social Media Monitoring

It's the process of collecting each and every brand mention, customer message, and group conversation into one organized stream. It allows businesses to engage with their clients in a timely manner and take specific actions when necessary.

Social Media Listening

Social media listening is the process of tracking particular topics or keywords for businesses to analyze and measure their performance online. They also use it to get pertinent information by which they can give their sound decisions. 

Although the two may differ in approach, both strategies should be integrated into every brand's social media strategy for them to enjoy its benefits.

2. Be More Accessible and Sociable to Customers

Being accessible means having a dominating presence online and to achieve that, they need to know where their target market is. Social media monitoring tools allow brands to determine which social media platforms their customers feel they're being heard the most. It's also for the business to know where exactly they should be spending their time and focusing their efforts on. Building a social media presence will profit not only the brand but also their consumers who want to get access to information anytime at their convenience.

While being affable in the social media industry means giving a personalized approach for each client to deliver services that are individualized to their customers' needs. These tools help brands in fulfilling that goal by providing them with data they need to know about their consumers. This can be their interests, behavior, and demographics. The data collected will help tailor the approach needed to make their customers more agreeable with their brand.

3. Never Miss Any Customer Engagement Opportunity

Another benefit of having social media monitoring is it opens up more opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and create more ways to engage with their customers. This tool can track certain keywords and monitor conversations surrounding a specific topic they would like to keep an eye on. It could be in the form of a hashtag. It could also be in the form of brand mention or audience discussion.

Let's take Target's Instagram account as an example.

 

BRB, #weekending. 📷: @yoobi

A post shared by Target (@target) on

 

They get tons of questions in their comments section every single day from potential buyers asking about the products they post on their account. That's good because that would mean they have great social media presence on that platform, however, since they amass hundreds of comments every day, these messages or mentions directed towards the brand might get lost in the sea of questions. How can brands possibly keep track of them all? By using a tool that gives them the ability to see every single comment or message related to their brand. They take advantage of these organic interactions by providing excellent customer service because they know that missed opportunities would equate to lost revenue.

4. Ensure Proper Campaign Tracking

Creating an effective social media campaign can be hard but is achievable with social media monitoring. It evaluates the success of campaigns and also ensures proper engagement tracking for brands. This is especially crucial to those that have a massive following. The ability to collect all messages into one organized stream is a real time-saver. It also helps them respond to their audience conveniently so that important ones won't go unnoticed. All they need to do if they want to track the campaign in an efficient manner is to set up a keyword using a social media monitoring tool. It should be related to the campaign since it will capture all the incoming tweets, hashtags and even brand mentions brought by their campaigns.

Take a look at how Social Report allows its users to build complex monitors that can track hashtags or phrases globally or specifically and combine and exclude keywords into sophisticated queries.

5. Reach Out to Influencers and Brand Advocates

Influencers and brand advocates are two different groups, but with the same set of goals. They do well in promoting products or services, driving traffic as well as increasing the number of engagement through word-of-mouth marketing. This type of marketing has proven to be the most effective as it was able to influence about 74% of consumers in their purchasing decisions. By empowering these influencers and advocates and equipping them with the right social media monitoring tools can help increase loyalty and awareness for brands.

Social media monitoring tools can also locate these top influencers globally or in a specific network. These are people who contribute to a particular topic the most. Brands can easily engage with them with these monitoring tools in place. They can set up a brand advocacy program that will motivate their happiest consumers or employees to promote their products or services. For starters, they can get a list of all those who’ve expressed positive feelings for their brand in the past. Next, they can send them an email asking them to complete an act of advocacy, such as providing referrals or leaving reviews online. Lastly, they can reward them for their efforts. This will keep motivating the advocates to keep singing praises for them on their own will.

6. Correct Misunderstandings and Solve Customer Issues

The way brands engage with their customers can either make or break their business. Social media monitoring helps in correcting misunderstandings between the brand and their customers. A survey was conducted by J.D Power that involved 23,000 online consumers, it was revealed that 67% of them have used a company’s social media channel for customer support. When they do reach out to brands online, they expect a fast response and about 42% of them expect to reply within 60 minutes.

It's possible to win back the hearts of disappointed customers by gracefully replying to their complaints online. If they are upset and has written criticisms about a certain product or service, a response must be on its way even if there's no permanent solution to fix it yet. Brands restore their chances of gaining back their customer's trust this way.

Target has been doing pretty well with social media monitoring.

 

PSA: Here's your sneak peek of our new line #HearthAndHand with Magnolia, coming 11/5.

A post shared by Target (@target) on

 

Many successful companies have integrated social media monitoring as part their marketing strategy and other firms are jumping on the bandwagon as well. They have realized its importance and how crucial it is to monitor any issues related to their brand. It is indeed an information gathering process that provides insights that could prevent them from making social media blunders. Being able to take action on data provided from monitoring is what truly makes a brand social.