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1.Find out where people talk about the company and not just what is said
Rather than focusing on a few big social networks like Twitter and Facebook, cast a wide net with your social listening program.
Don't just focus on the big boys of Social media, like Facebook or Twitter but also look at the horizon and all the Social Media marketing channels, Linked in for example or Snap-chat, or perhaps there are a lot more comments or interaction on Pinterest.
Having a clear picture of where people are talking and how they differ on on the various Social media platforms will allow you to join the conversation more naturally and grow following organically rather than paid advertising, at least initially.
2. Take a leaf from the competitors!
While you don't want to be a copycat or a 'me too' brand you can get a large insight into what works and what resonates with audiences by listening closely to what followers of competing brands think of your competitors social media activity.
Let’s face it: it’s a lot less painful to learn a hard lesson by watching your competitors make a mistake than by making it yourself.
Easier learn from your competitors past mistakes, just look at United airlines, or learn how Samsung bounced back from exploding batteries.
Grab what you can from the competitors wins, but also learn from their mistakes and incorporate these into your own social media strategy.
3. Work internally: especially @internal communications.
As you can see from our previous blogs on social media listening, it will provide a dearth of information: especially from customers direct posts(responded to promptly, of course), to ideas around interesting content, to new product ideas or even new uses of existing products or new features which your product or service might need.
Share these insights internally with all of the team.
Get their side and their inputs, as well as their questions which you might be able to glean from your social media listening activities.
4.Set your normality.
Once you have established your social media listening you will get a good idea what is the normal or average level of activity about your social media marketing activity: conversations, engagement and so forth.
When you have this level understood, you can go after the numbers, much like a runner who consistently tries to beat his personal best.
Big changes in engagement or positive or negative sentiments are warnings that something has changed: Could the service department run out of parts, are logistics failing? but you need to understand the negative or positive to adapt and of course respond timely ( part of online crises management, see separate blog post coming soon! )
Don't forget to benchmark your figures against your main competitors to find where it is you fit in the social media ladder for your industry.
5. 'See' your data—and take action!
Don't just view the figures, turn data into information by 'seeing' and identifying trends.
Otherwise your just monitoring and not listening!
Social media listening is not just about metrics but getting real life insights in to how the customers feels about your company.
Take the time to analyse over time, don't base any action on a single comment or customer insight as it is the overall customer feelings and sentiment you wish to act upon.
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