Why you need to use social media monitoring (Part Two)

By Liam Foy

Here is the second part in our mini series on why brands need to use social media monitoring tools. The first part covered:

1.Gauging Sentiment

2. Recognise Customer Service Opportunities

3. Crisis Management

To read the full post click here. Now for the next few points.


4. Keep an eye on your competitors

People on social media are probably talking about your competition. They may be saying how amazing your competitor is, which means you need to raise your game or they could be saying about what your competition isn’t doing, which presents great opportunities for you. Monitoring your competitors can uncover some incredible insights about how your competitors are using the digital space. They amy be brilliant on Facebook and awful on Twitter or they could be one of the only brands to be making the most out of Google+.

One of the great things you can uncover is if your competitor is about to launch a new product. Usually brand advocates/bloggers might share some inside information that you could pick up on. The big thing for you is “Are your competitors launching a product that doesn’t satisfy the customer needs?” You’ll be able to see feedback on these new products, see a gap in the market and hopefully be able to fulfil the needs of your customers (and possible poach some of your competitors customers).

What you now need to do is set up filters (in a similar fashion to Gauging Sentiment):

  • Company Name
  • Products
  • Nicknames, abbreviations and misspellings

Where I think the real benefit comes from monitoring your competitors customer interactions. As many customer service problems/issues are happening right out in the public but what you need to do, instead of jumping in with both feet, is to sit quietly and observe. The worst thing would be for you to jump in and attempt to poach the customer because you will needlessly be antagonising both the customer and your competitor.

Instead, note recurring customer service issues. These may reveal weaknesses in their products and services. Watch how your competitor deals with their customers complaints. Do they handle them well? Could you be doing a better job of dealing with your customer complaints? Take points of what they do well and what they do poorly and try to improve your customer service on social media.


5. Product Feedback

You always want to know if your product is a success or an absolute flop and social media gives you the platform to find all this information out. Sometimes people don’t even realise that they’re giving away feedback but they are. The ability to tap into negative conversations about your brand or your new product can lead you to detractors. It may be painful reading these negative comments but don’t take them all to heart, remember you can’t please everybody no matter how hard you try. There will always (usually) be an element of truth behind these nay-sayers’ words. Monitoring these conversations gives your brand the ability to understand what people love and hate about company./product and can help you figure out how you can better satisfy your customers needs and prospect customers.

As with most things we have gone through it’s all about setting your keywords up correctly. Search for phrases like:

  • “I wish [product x] had…”
  • [product x] really needs…”
  • “don’t buy [product x]
  • I wouldn’t buy [product x]”

There may be a handful of negative comments that these may pick out, which is fine as I’ve said previously you can’t please everybody. Ten negative comments about a product isn’t the end of the world, if you have 1,000 negative comments then you should start to take this on board and think about how things can be improved. Remember the main things you are looking for are:

  • Comments on current products
  • Product pain points
  • How customers are using your product
  • Differing in opinion about your product


6. Find Influencers

One of the most beneficial things you can do on in social is foster strong connections with those who love your brand.

After all, they are the people who will be vocal about your successes, refer business, buy product, and even defend your brand when criticism arises. Listening carefully means that you’ll know not only where the most active conversations are but who is the most vocal, connected, and enthusiastic about your brand.

Remember influence is relative, and what matters the most is that you are finding the people who are the best advocates for your work. They may not always be the people with the biggest audiences,reach or Klout score (suppose I had to get it in somewhere when we’re on about influencers) but they are the people who are the most passionate about your brand.

In order to find those who are influencing, you have to listen to the distinct social media conversations that take place at the funnel’s different stages. These conversations are what will lead you to brand advocates and detractors.

There will be one final part coming out next week so stay tuned.

Readers: Do you monitor your own brand use monitoring tools?

We are a full service social media agency. Check us out on Twitter and hook up on Facebook. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below…


This post was written by Liam Foy

As Head of Client Services, Liam ensures that all of his clients’ strategies are on track, delivering ROI and coming up with new ideas to drive them forward. Beer makes him tick, reading, learning and drinking it.