If you are not using social media to find out what is being said about you, your brand and your industry, here are three compelling reasons to start:
1) Many stories break on social media first!! Monitoring allows you to REACT quickly.
2) Some complaints are only made indirectly via social media channels rather than directly to you by e-mail or phone. Monitoring allows you to REVIEW such complaints.
3) Monitoring allows you to RESPOND quickly to any customer service issue.
Can you afford to be the last one to know what everyone else knows about you and your brand?
Several statistics (reported from various industry sources in 2011) present a case for establishing a monitoring system for you and your brand. These statistics, which are tracked in a variety of ways, illustrate the importance of finding and reacting to the information that is stored on social media:
- Consumers reported that, before making their buying decisions, they visited social media sites (63%), search engines (72%) and blogs (58%).
- Over 90% of those consumers reported that “natural” search results vs. paid results are trustworthy.
- B2B decision-makers reported that they researched products and services online (69%), specifically looked at comments on social media sites (60%), and posted questions on forums (57%) and blogs (41%).
- Of companies that spend six or more hours on social media, 52% reported an increase in lead generation .
According to the 2011 Social Media Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, and confirmed by other reports such as the Nielson Social Media Report, the top five Web sites that businesses need to monitor are: 1) Facebook – used by 92%, 2) Twitter – used by 84%, 3) LinkedIn – used by 71%, 4) Blogs – used by 68%, and 5) YouTube – used by 56%.
The strategy your business should use to monitor Internet sites will depend on two things: how wide an outreach your company has and the amount you can allocate from your budget. The types of strategies to stay informed about the content shared on social media, and the fees to use those strategies vary greatly:
- Free search engine searches for specific sites such as Google and Yahoo
- RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds, sent to Google or Yahoo readers
- Google alerts, which allows for the scheduling of real-time or daily/weekly reports
- Software aggregation tools, such as Hootsuite or Tweet Deck, with either free or paid functions
- Social media monitoring software, which although pricey, is robust and can be customized for your business needs
Whatever you do, take SOME sort of action. You definitely want to see the same information your customers and prospects see about you and your brand.
If you need assistance with a strategy, let's talk. For more information, send an e-mail message to maria@koreaccess, or visit www.koreaccess.com