Social media monitoring means tracking hashtags, keywords, and mentions relevant to your brand to stay informed about your audience and industry.
By monitoring this data, you’re doing research that is both quantitative (metrics and analytics) and qualitative (the inspiration for posts and strategies). You’ll get information that can help you determine things like:
- Social share of voice (i.e. what percentage of the conversation is about you, as opposed to being about your competitors)
- The social sentiment (i.e., what’s the mood of the conversation)
- Social ROI (i.e., how much your dollar investment in social is paying off)
- Relevant hashtags and keywords (i.e., which Instagram hashtags or YouTube keywords you might want to use in the future to expand your reach)
- Trends (i.e., what is your audience talking about, what new ideas, aesthetics, or memes are popping up, are the platforms offering new tools and services, etc.)
For brands, social monitoring is an essential part of being a good social citizen and succeeding on social, period. For instance, you wouldn’t launch into a high-pressure sales pitch (or informative lecture, or for that matter a standup routine) to a new customer who’s just walked in the door. You’d listen first, and at least figure out what they’re looking for or why they’re in your office.
Likewise, on social media, paying attention to what people are saying is necessary to be relevant, engaging, and to prevent yourself from making off-key blunders.