By Social2B Analytics Unit
Before social media was “social”, brands relied on traditional marketing techniques to reach their target audiences and strengthen their foundations. Today, in an age of thriving social media interaction, businesses are able to harness online tools that allow them to sift through perspectives that connect customers to their products and services. Brands are utilizing social media to drive traffic to company websites and increase leads for business development. But to be truly effective in social media, it is your job as a brand to learn how to listen to your customers, provide topics of interest to a diverse population and distribute information freely and wisely. Here’s how it’s done.
Are You Listening?
Use your social media platforms to identify people who might be interested in your product or service, then monitor and interpret their conversations. We personally like SocialReport (www.socialreport.com) for their ability to ‘actively listen’, which means that the platform can not only monitor the conversation, but also can convert it and act on it. And since reading and monitoring every tweet, facebook post, status update, tag and comment is nearly impossible, SocialReport does a great job of aggregating social media marketing activity into a number of manageable dashboards, with unique capabilities to do more.
SocialReport’s process is involving semantic analysis of every social media message you get and extracting useful information, such as:
- City (i.e. Sacramento, New York, Cairo)
- Company (i.e. Dow Jones & Company, Inc., Apple, Google)
- Country (i.e. Canada, United States, Egypt)
- Entertainment, Award or Event (i.e. the Oscars, Sundance)
- Holiday (i.e. Memorial Day)
- Market Index (i.e. S&P)
- Medical Condition (i.e. pancreatic cancer)
- Medical Treatment (i.e. acupuncture)
- Movie (Iron Monkey)
- and many others……
SocialReport is a unified social and web analytics dashboard, integrating many of your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, YouTube, and many others) and blog posts with ease.
SocialReport takes the art of ‘social listening’ a step further, tracking not only followers, but immediately giving you statistics on daily increase in following, direct messages per day, campaign results (we will mention these later), and overall activity behavior. You can also see where the response is originating from globally.
Pay close attention for mentions of your brand, and pay attention to what people are saying about your competitors brand as well as what is going on in your industry. Social media not only provides an open door to audiences of all types, but also an in-depth way to which you can interact with people. If you listen to what your audience is saying and listen to customers at their point of need, you can begin informing and engaging customers about your brand.
Join the Conversation
Once you are ready to join the conversation, you have the ability to do so by not only creating content and posting it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MeetUp, and other social media network profiles, but you can do so via Campaigns, which are measurable and justifiable.
In the example of SocialReport, you can setup a Campaign and even assign the cost of the conversion to better track ROI of your social media activity – down to the ‘tweet’ level.
Clearly, marketers and product managers need to know the value of each transaction and cost associated with it.
Naturally, you have to reach people where their attention is focused and inspire them to take an action. You have to gain an understanding of what your customers are looking for and collaborate to answer questions, give advice or make changes to existing problems, even before they buy or have intentions to do so. A customer who loves, or hates, your brand has the ability to broadcast your qualities to the world and you can track that via tools, such as SocialReport.
Close the Deal, Not Your Relationship
Knowledgeable buyers usually base much of their decision making processes on proposals presented by the quality of care and type interaction they receive from a brand. It is important to create and maintain a good relationship with each customer, prospect and buyer you encounter to ensure that your brand is topic for future mentions and referrals.
More and more people are using social media as their primary information source and many people are using social media to express their feelings, get opinions and look for answers. Brands that are connected to customers by listening, engaging and maintaining relationships through social media are on the right track to expanding their clientele and improving their image.
Converting from positive sentiment has always been a primary goal of many marketers and online sellers. Doing it through social media engagement, while measuring and building your relationship is the next frontier in social media marketing.