Why Media Monitoring is Important for Small Businesses

In one of our previous post from the Marketing Series we’ve talked about customer development and how understanding challenges, success stories and pain points of your users can help you improve your products or services. Apart from actively surveying and interviewing them though, you should also simply listen and engage with your power users. There IS a conversation about your brand happening out there, the only question is what are you doing about it?

In collaboration with Elizabeth Victor, Brand Advisor for Isentia Media Analytics Software, we gathered some tips on how to monitor and jump into your social media conversation.

Why media monitoring is so important

In recent years, social media monitoring has become a major form of business intelligence, providing important insights on how to understand and learn from consumer behavior. Social media is where crucial business success conversations take place.

An important yet seldom practiced part of a good conversation is listening. It is important to know what your customers are saying about you so that you can interact in a way that fosters a good and positive perception of your brand. Social media monitoring allows you to track conversations, identify leads, buyers and influencers and build relationships and a community around your company, brand and products.

Media monitoring and other PR related services are not exclusively reserved for large corporations with huge PR budgets anymore. With the tools and services available to small businesses today, media monitoring can be achieved and is, in fact, well within your reach.

Tools for media monitoring

There are many different media monitoring tools at your disposal and ones that fit every budget. And while it is true that each social media channel serves different needs and should be approached separately, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to manage several tabs in your browser. Thankfully, there are tools that allow for multiple social media accounts to be synced in one integrated dashboard.

Paid tools will offer a more robust set of features than free options will, but all tools will certainly help alert you to monitor online, social media, and other media mentions of your brand or the keywords you are monitoring in online and offline mediums.

Also, remember that it is important to take into consideration some monitoring companies focus on specific countries or regions around the world. Finding the right media monitoring company or tools can help you find where and how your target audience spends their time online and then focus your efforts on those types of media your target audience uses more.

When looking for media monitoring tools you should: see if it fits your budget, realize that paid tools are more robust and feature-rich, look at regional and offline compatibility and find a tool that will fit your needs in line with the type engagement you want with your audience.

Tools we use at Piktochart

At Piktochart we like to listen and we train ourselves to be better listeners every day. Apart from our customer delight team spread across all the timezones which actively interacts with customers through live chats, calls and tickets, we constantly observe and engage with our users via various social media channels and blogs.

When your user base grows, so does the number of mentions, comments and complaints.  With limited resources, it’s vital to be able to handle those efficiently. These are some of the tools that help us get organized with our social engagement:

  1. Hootsuite
    Hootsuite is one of our favourite social media management tools and the one we use the most. It allows you to monitor and manage multiple networks and profiles from one web-based dashboard. It is a great tool for post scheduling, tracking your social media outreach, listening to your audience and engaging with them as well as executing campaigns across several channels and measuring results.
  2. Iconosquare
    If Instagram is a part of your social marketing mix, Iconosquare is a useful tool that can help you manage your account and draw analytics from it. We have been using it to optimize photo contests that we run on Instagram. The tools provides you with rolling monthly analysis of content, engagement and follower stats and allows you to measure growth and engage with your community more effectively.
  3. Google Alerts
    Google Alerts is an entry-level tool for content monitoring in the larger spectrum of things. It allows you to key in several keywords you find relevant such as your brand name and main terms important to your business and industry (e.g. Piktochart, infographics, infographic creation tool). Every time an article is posted including those phrases, you are informed about it by email (you get to choose the frequency). That way you always keep yourself informed about what’s being posted out there about you, your business or even your competitors. An old-school and baseline tool, but still highly effective.
  4. Social Mention
    Social Mention is a free tool that doesn’t require a registration and presents you with aggregated mentions from the variety of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Photobucket and YouTube among others. Apart from tracking your mentions, it also tells you about your brand’s strength (how often you’re being mentioned), sentiment (ratio of positive to negative mentions), passion (how likely people will repeatedly talk about you) and reach. It also indicates the top contributors which gives you a great indication about who your brand ambassadors might be.

Building reputation from day one

It is without a doubt that, social media networks have become strong communication channels for brands. It’s natural that consumers use these platforms as a first avenue to voice out their concerns and complaints. Our advice in engaging them would be to always stay honest, understanding and generous towards your customers.  Listen and take those lessons in as valuable and constructive feedback to make things better.

Also, try to build your reputation from day one by:

  • Not only maintaining social media channels and feeding them with valuable content your target audience wants to read but also being engaged with fans and followers, sharing their content, congratulating them for their achievements and being there when they need your help
  • Encouraging online reviews of your company. As long as you are focused on delighting your customers with the best product or service, the bulk of your reviews will be positive and help spread the word about your company to other networks and new customers.
  • The key is to be positive, consistent, and respond quickly to any engagement!

Social media as a tool for positive engagement

Apart from addressing concerns of your consumers, having media monitoring tools allows for small businesses to see good things that consumers have to say about their brand or service. It provides great insights and learning opportunities that could lead to improvements and future developments. Some key aspects of looking out for the positives are;

  • taking advantage of the dialogue that is happening among users to look at opportunities for development and growth
  • actively responding to and collecting positive feedback that fosters a sense of community which is essential for any growing business
  • building a sense of brand affection. Your engagement style allows users to gain a sense of what your brand represents, so it’s important that you set the right ‘personality’ for your engagement strategy.

Your small business can grow abundantly if you pay attention to the right things. If you listen to what your consumers have to say by implementing changes and adding features, it will potentially put you on the map as a user-centric brand.

Is media monitoring  important in your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear about your favorite channels to listen to the online conversion.
This post is part of Piktochart’s Marketing Series. Stay updated with new and relevant posts about all your infographing needs and more by subscribing to our blog. Don’t forget to comment, like and share this post with your peers.

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