Why Businesses Have To Take Social Media Monitoring Seriously
For modern business, following the idiom “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”, is a recipe for disaster. Knowing what people are saying about your business through Social Media Monitoring is not just a requirement for improvement, it’s quickly becoming a mandatory business practice.
We all know about the explosion of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the last few years as more and more people are tuning in. In fact according to consumer group ‘Trendwatch‘ the number of people who use at least one social media site in 2012 has gone up by 20% to 1.4 billion. When you consider that there are roughly 7 billion people in the world, that’s a seriously sizeable chunk.
It’s no wonder then that businesses are changing the way that they market to include social media in their strategy. This is key if organisations want to get people talking about their products and services. However just as a good word can spread, a misaligned comment about your product or service could also have disastrous consequences and this is why social media monitoring is so important.
Zero Moment of Truth
In addition to social media interaction, studies have shown that increasing numbers of people research the internet before making that all important buying decision. In fact, further to this, potential buyers will look at an average of eight different forms of data to aid their purchasing decision. They may take into consideration review sites, price comparison sites, blogs and product analysis reports, all of which can help consumers make up their minds before they even see the product face to face.
This process of checking something out online is known to marketers as the ‘zero moment of truth’ and is now an integral part of how we as consumers shop. With this in mind organisations need to be fully aware of what potential buyers see online through Social Media Monitoring, as any incorrect or inflammatory information could be very damaging.
So how can businesses monitor the flood of data on the internet that might be pertaining to their business or that of their competition?
The answer is through Social Media Monitoring Tools. Free applications such as Google Alerts , Google Reader and the social media monitoring tool ‘Social Mention‘ are a great way to do this. In some of these, it is as simply as setting them to target specific keywords and they will alert you every time the keyword or indeed your company is mentioned. In other cases you have to manually review results. Either way you can respond to customer queries or issues in a timely and effective manner.
In addition there are also many paid Social Media Monitoring solutions on the market that offer greater analysis and are more in depth. Tools such as ‘Brand Protect‘, Radian6 or Alterian SM2 are a good example of this.
According to the old saying “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”…. well in company terms, what you don’t know may not physically hurt you, but ultimately it could very quickly put you out of business and for this reason, any company that adopts good social media monitoring practices is far more likely to be in a much better position than those who don’t.
Contact us today for further information or advice on Social Media Monitoring for you business.