Building an Effective Social Media Monitoring Strategy
When Salesforce acquired a CRM tool called RelateIQ a couple of years ago, it resulted in the company canceling its contracts with a number of international customers. Users unhappy with the change took to social media to complain.
One such user was Pablo Hoffman, the co-founder of the popular web-crawler tool ScrapingHub. Hoffman’s tweet was noticed and replied to by the team at Close.io, a CRM tool that competed with RelateIQ for market share.
This one tweet from Close.io got Hoffman to try the CRM alternative. After a 14-day trial, ScrapingHub signed up with Close.io giving the company a cool $585 more in monthly recurring revenue.
According to Steli Efti, the co-founder and CEO of Close.io, social listening can be a low investment/high payoff strategy that can help businesses with potential sales opportunities. In a blog post on the media monitoring service Mention, Efti writes, “In an industry where it’s not uncommon to spend thousands of dollars to acquire a new customer, $585 MRR from one tweet is a pretty good ROI.”
He further added that none of this would have happened if they had not responded to that one tweet.
So, how exactly do you build an effective social media monitoring strategy?
What Social Networks to Target
The first step in social media monitoring is knowing what media platforms to look at. Facebook and Twitter are certainly two social networks that most businesses would want to monitor by default. Besides this, you may also want to monitor networks like Reddit, Instagram, and Pinterest, depending on your industry.
Social listening, however, does not stop with social media platforms. For an effective monitoring strategy, it is also important to follow news stories, blog posts, forums and even comments on the various blogs and websites in your industry.
Identifying Social Media Posts To Monitor
The next step is identifying the various types of social media posts to monitor. These include:
- Your company brand mentions (includes brand names of your company and products, founder names and other representatives)
- Your competitor brand mentions (includes brand names of all your competitors, their products, names of founders and other representatives)
- News related to your industry
- News related to the industries your customers belong to
Build a List Of Keywords & Users to Monitor
Once you have identified the various types of social media posts to monitor, the next step is generating a list of keywords and users to monitor. For instance, a CRM tool like Close.io would need to monitor keywords like ‘CRM’, ‘Customer relationship software’ along with the names and social media accounts of competitors like Salesforce, NetSuite, Zoho CRM, Insightly and SugarCRM. Besides following the accounts and keywords relating to the names of founders of these various companies, they should also follow news items relating to CRM as well as the industries of their potential targets including healthcare, manufacturing, travel, transportation, and financial services. A potential lead could come from any of these different social media sources.
Categorize Posts Into Sentiments
Monitoring hundreds of keywords, competitors and industry news across multiple social networks can be chaotic. For one, not each tweet or Facebook post is equally valuable and with social media monitoring, the noise-to-signal ratio can be overwhelmingly high. Also, to maintain a healthy ROI from social media monitoring, it is important to reduce the time spent monitoring. This is possible by using third party software tools to automatically categorize the various social media posts being monitored into positive, negative and neutral sentiments. This way, it is possible to only receive alerts for posts that are ROI-worthy and not expend resources on monitoring other posts.
Tweak Your Monitoring Strategy
There is no one correct way to reduce the noise-signal ratio in social media monitoring. Your strategy can only be improved through trial and error. It is hence important to constantly evaluate the noise in your feed and identify ways to reduce them. For instance, you may stop monitoring specific competitors or keywords that are not ROI-worthy and may start monitoring other keywords that may bring generate higher quality leads.
An effective social media monitoring strategy must bring down the number of hours you spend on actually monitoring keywords and increase the revenue you make by engaging with users you identify through your filters. This requires a long-term focus and a filtering system that can only be perfected through continuous improvement.
Does your business monitor social media for leads? What strategies do you use? Share them with us in the comments below.