To make the most of social media, a strong strategy must be in place. Tweeting and posting to Facebook and Pinterest blindly can be fun, but it will never be as effective as a finely tuned strategy. An important part of any social media strategy must include monitoring.
Social media can be a double edged sword. On the positive side, it allows marketers and brands to broadcast important messages and to engage with their audience in ways that are not possible in discussion forums or comment sections of blogs.
On the negative side, it must be monitored to ensure that opportunities for further engagement are not missed, reputations are effectively managed, and trends are observed.
A few examples are in order to illustrate the importance of social media monitoring, and how marketers may choose to address each example.
The point of social media for many is to interact in a personal way with other people who have the same interests as they do. The main source of traffic for many websites begins with links to the pages on their site. These links act to refer traffic when people click on them, as well as to help boost a page’s rankings in the search engines for important keywords.
When a person finds something that interests them, they may choose to post it to Twitter, pin a picture to Pinterest, or to go to the associated Facebook page and “like” a post or share it with their friends.
Each of these actions serves as a great opportunity for engagement. Marketers and brands can reach out to these individuals to thank them for sharing, or to respond to any comment that accompanies each action.
Doing this helps to put a human face on the brand and also helps to spread the content further with each subsequent interaction. Retweeting and liking a user’s post also helps to spread that post further across the social web and improve visibility.
This both ups the engagement with the person who took the initial action, and may bring others into the interaction who may notice it in their timelines or feeds.
If a business stays open long enough, it will eventually get a complaint or negative review. Many people will not hesitate to tell several people if they have a negative interaction, and social media amplifies this effect. After all, if a person tweets to their followers that may number in the hundreds or thousands about a bad experience, that is quite a few people who have the opportunity to read something bad about that business.
Social media monitoring allows businesses to keep track of any mentions of their brand and react to them. They can apologize, take the chance to rectify the situation, and if all goes well, a large number of people may see that a business is active in addressing concerns, which is only a good thing.
Keeping Up With Trends
The old approach to online marketing focused on targeting high traffic keywords for search engine rankings and paid advertising. The various keyword tools can take several months to update their traffic estimates, paid advertising can be quite expensive, and when all is said and done, the trends may have shifted.
On the other hand, social media is a great place to find trending topics that can then be targeted with new content and associated products.
A sound social media strategy should focus on each social network to best determine the trending topics in a particular niche. There is no use in creating anything that addresses something that is no longer getting a meaningful amount of attention.
Social media has changed the way the internet works. People go to their social networks for breaking news, to decompress, and to find new things that interest them. Having a strategy to maximize this new opportunity is important to the survival of nearly every business on the web.