Social media has enabled advertisers, marketers, and public/investor relations professionals to engage communities, not audiences, in real-time. Putting down the traditional media bullhorn has enabled social media-savvy businesses to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships than ever before.
Add the glory of social media measurement to the mix, and you have a recipe for going beyond mindless repetitive tactical execution, and establishing a social media data-driven revenue-making machine. Although opportunities are ripe and plentiful if you know where to look, determining and prioritizing actionable insights from an enormous data store of information is a constant challenge.
One of the first things you do as a social media marketing manager is set up alerts related to mentions of your brand, products, partners, or affiliations. Social media is less about who yells loudest, and more about engaging in conversation.
If you’re just starting out, one of your first duties is to assume the identity of “online spokesperson” for your brand. The easiest place to start engaging with your community is on your home turf: speaking about your company.
- Take action: Search engines and free tools such as Google Alerts can help you find brand mentions quite easily, but may not afford you the ability to filter results based on influence, authority, sentiment, or reach. This is where paid social media monitoring tools such as Sysomos or Radian6 come in handy. When dealing with larger brands and thousands of mentions, it helps to begin your outreach with negative sentiment from the highest authorities in social media, and then slowly whittle down the list.
- Example: if I worked for Southwest Airlines, and I wanted to monitor negative (or positive) comments on new routes opened up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I knew I was going after the lucrative young professional crowd competing with youth-oriented carriers like Virgin, my weekly alert filters might look something like this: