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Listen in when your audience talks about your company, competitors, and other topics relevant to your business.
On every major social media platform, your customers and prospects are having important conversations about your company. They’re discussing your brands and solutions, and your competitors’, too. They are also talking about industry trends and problems they’re having—problems you may be able to help them solve.
As an SMB, social media monitoring (also known as social listening) is every bit as critical to your marketing efforts as social media outreach. It helps your business connect and engage with customers, provide support, understand and anticipate trends, and even gauge the effectiveness of your social outreach.
These popular social media monitoring tools collect mentions, and track hashtags, keywords, key phrases, and websites that you specifically request. Each one has its own set of capabilities, but they all automate the delivery of this information through easy-to-read interfaces, and some even let you engage through the tool. Essentially, they reduce hours of research to minutes of daily scanning. Each one offers a FREE trial or basic package.
Create custom streams of organized social content for sharing and engagement
Hootsuite is a comprehensive package of social media management tools. Its monitoring tool lets you “listen” to conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, FourSquare, and Google+. You can find conversations by keyword, hashtag, and location. What makes this especially useful for SMBs is that you can assign members of your team to reply to posts and comments immediately after they are reported on the interface.
Get real-time social insights about how your brand is perceived
This real-time monitoring application tracks the major social media platforms, as well as forums, blogs, and other sites where your company, brand, or products may be mentioned. What sets this tool apart is its sentiment analysis AI feature that segments mentions by positive, negative, or neutral mentions. It also has an influencer score feature that enables you to identify and connect with people that exert the most social influence in your sphere.
Real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement for Twitter
This is Twitter’s free management dashboard. There are more extensive analytics tools for monitoring your Twitter mentions and performance, like TweetReach, which measures the impact and implications of social media discussions on Twitter. But this app will help you climb the thought leadership curve for a year or more before you’re really ready for a more elaborate tool. Use TweetDeck to monitor mentions of your company, brands, and products, as well as keywords, hashtags, and accounts. It’s all presented in easy-to-read columns.
See what content is getting attention by topic or competitor
How can you intelligently inform your own content development strategy? Start by discovering what’s already getting attention in the industry. Buzzsumo analyzes the content that is already out there, telling you what’s performing best for a topic or a competitor. This tool also has features that enable you to find key influencers in your industry to promote your content, as well as features that analyze the performance of your Facebook content.
Monitor your online reputation across social platforms
This tool aligns closely with what many social media managers are charged with—monitoring, measuring, and improving social media performance across channels. It breaks down scores for up to 24 social media platforms including many platforms other apps don’t cover, like Meetup and Blogger. Twelve platforms are included with a free account, enabling you to see which work best for you and which ones may need further investments. It provides 36 social site metrics, enabling your business to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and measure improvements. Its Magnitude Score is especially valuable as a weekly indication of the social activity level around a brand.
There are two advisable ways to get started with social monitoring tools. The first is to download two or three applications, explore their features, and discover their capabilities. The second is to decide what goals you are trying to accomplish. This may involve having conversations with multiple leaders within your organization. You may want to improve customer service, or you may want to improve your outreach as thought leaders in your industry. Once you know what you want to accomplish, click through the links above to learn more about the tools that best align with your goals.
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