You need to Monitor Social Media If..
IF you are responsible for managing your company or client's brand communications,
so that you can demonstrate return on investment from social media marketing to the board.
IF you are a small / medium business owner
and manage all social media activities yourself, you need to measure your own brand value as well as your competitors and track your progress regularly. When you yourself handle your social media accounts, it becomes very easy to get distracted with your regular business activities, and to treat social media as an "extra" activity , something to be done when you have taken care of everything else that is "directly" related to the business. That is exactly why measuring your brand value regularly helps you get your focus back on track whenever you see negative signs.
Why do you need to Monitor your Online Reputation?
You may think you are a ‚ 'social business', but are you really listening to what your customers are saying online? You can create and share all the content you want via social media networks, but if you do not monitor social media activity and online engagement with your brand across the web, you cannot understand or manage its impact.
In the social media age, peer influence is the key to customer confidence in your brand - and most people seek recommendations and reassurance from their peers online.
Without effective social media management and monitoring, you cannot control your online reputation. That is because it is now dependent on what others say about you - and not restricted to what you say about yourself. If you are not part of the conversation - at least by listening in on it - your brand identity will be completely shaped by perceptions that you are not aware of. This means that you don't just need to manage your own social media accounts and networks - you need to monitor the whole social web!
What are the benefits of using a Social Media Monitoring Tool?
How can you listen to everything that is being said about your brand online? You could spend your entire day on social media research and still not cover everything. And even if you did manage to collect all the necessary data, how would you analyse and use it in a meaningful way?
Social media tools can make your life a lot easier by filtering all the relevant data on the web and using metrics to give you an objective view of your brand positioning. Tools like HowSociable make brand management easier by providing a simple way to measure brand impact online using just your brand name. It gives you a 'magnitude score' of 0-10 that indicates the level of activity around your brand in a given week from across the social web, using the 36 most popular social media sites. It even breaks down scores for different social media platforms so that you can see where your brand is most active.
Here is a recent HowSociable 'magnitude score' for Google across the full range of social networks. Unsurprisingly, the brand's impact is very high on its own social network, Google+ but it is not engaging with bookmarking sites like Digg or new platforms like Instagram.
The tool also allows you to see what pages referring to the brand have had the biggest impact and track how scores change over time.
How do you gain Competitive Intelligence and Advantage online?
It is not just your own brand you need to monitor. Social media metrics and scores mean nothing if there is nothing to compare them against.
Tools like HowSociable can be used to compare your brand against those of a similar type and size of yours as well as well-known household brands so that you can take a realistic measurement of your influence and set targets that are in line with your growth strategy. For example, a small law firm could benchmark itself against a massive brand like Google, a local competitor and an international firm in their sector and decide what scores to aim for on different social media platforms. A score of zero may be acceptable on Facebook but not on LinkedIn. They may not think that something like YouTube is relevant for their business development but then realise that competitors are using it successfully to build online influence.
How can you use data from Social Media Monitoring Tools for Brand Evaluation?
Simple metrics produced by social media monitoring tools may not be infallible but they do give you concrete numbers that will resonate with your board by allowing you to benchmark and evaluate not just social media marketing but overall brand marketing activity.
By sticking to a given formula used by a chosen social media monitoring tool, you can start to look at patterns and trends that allow you to make better decisions about your brand strategy. You can set goals, measure improvements and identify your brand's strengths and weaknesses. All of this gives you very valuable management information which will help you get taken seriously at board level.
4 reasons to try HowSociable now
The social web is bigger than you think
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter combined account for less than 20% of the activity on the social web. Having the most likes, views and followers doesn't mean your brand is having the biggest impact. HowSociable calculates brand impact scores using a sample that gives you a view on the parts of the social web where over 60% of the activity takes place.
Measure while you sleep
You could invest an hour or so a day trawling the web to reach the same conclusions as HowSociable. Wouldn't you prefer to be spending that time doing what you do best - engaging with your customers? HowSociable's reports can draw your attention to the parts of the web you might be neglecting and indicate where your efforts have had most success.
Social media monitoring software is notoriously complex; it often has hundreds of features that require you to invest days in setup and training. Wouldn't you prefer to have a tool that just works? We're focused on giving you the information you need as quickly and simply as possible. Start using HowSociable today so you can focus on the one thing that's most important to your business.
Like thousands of others, you'll probably find the free version of HowSociable to be super useful. When you need them there are other options too. We want you to be able to get started and enjoy the benefits of HowSociable immediately, and we've made it so easy you've probably already tried it. Whenever you need more or less coverage you can upgrade or downgrade your account, there are no cancellation fees.
Start measuring your brand’s Social Media Presence today – and make Brand Communications a priority for your organisation.