13 Ways to Use Social Media Monitoring Tools

Social media has become a platform for people to share their thoughts and opinions, especially when it comes to brands and their products.

The insights you can gather about your current customers and prospects through social listening is invaluable. For example, you can use the data to improve customer service, track the progress of your campaigns, and more.

In this article, we discuss 13 ways to use social media monitoring to listen and engage with your audience on social media.

Is there a difference between social monitoring and social listening?

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting the difference between social media monitoring and social listening.

Social media monitoring essentially refers to the tools/ technologies used to collect and notify you about what you’re tracking. On the other hand, social listening refers to how you interpret and respond to the data. You are investigating what’s being said about your brand in online conversations to learn, explore and question insights to be more informed.

What are the benefits of social listening?

Social listening is more than just tracking what’s being said about your brand on social media. What you decide to monitor, whether it be what your competitors are doing, the buzz around your hosting or simply tracking customer feedback depends on your goals and the data you want to capture.

With the correct tools, you can use social listening throughout the school to gather feedback, collect queries, identify opportunities, shape social media strategies and much more.

Now let’s see how you can use social media monitoring and listen to your advantage.

13 Ways to Listen and Engage

Here are 13 ways to monitor and listen to customers on social media, covering the following:

  • How to find relevant brand mentions
  • How to respond to positive and negative comments
  • How to find industry-relevant content

Finding relevant brand mentions

By using social media monitoring to track only mentions of your brand name, you’re missing out on golden opportunities to interact with prospective customers. Here are a few ways you can extend your search.

1. Monitor without the @ symbol

When mentioning brands on Twitter, users can often forget to tag profiles by using the @ symbol. When setting up a keyword monitor on a social media monitoring tool, ensure you are checking for mentions with and without the @ symbol. For example ‘Joe Bloggs and ‘@JoeBloggs’.

2. Check for misspellings

It’s so easy to mistype words, especially with auto-correct! You should be monitoring for misspellings and add these to your social media monitoring tool. For example ‘Flickr’ (correct) and ‘Flicker’ (incorrect).

3. Monitor your domain

This is similar to misspellings in the sense the way your domain is mentioned, with or without www. for example. It’s definitely worth monitoring for both variations. You may also want to check for the suffix too, i.e. ‘.com’, ‘.co.uk’ etc. This is especially beneficial for sites that end in ‘.org’ or ‘.org.uk’.

4. Track mentions of specific hashtags

It’s become common for businesses to have hashtags specific to their brand name, for customers to engage with and use themselves. Monitoring these hashtags can pull through mentions of other users facilitating these hashtags within their own posts. A social media monitoring tool is able to pull through these mentions, where you can engage further with these users. This also works particularly well if you have a catchphrase or slogan associated with your brand.

How to respond to positive and negative mentions with social media monitoring

Although we’d like to think all our mentions are positive, there can be times where we encounter negative mentions. Use a social media monitoring tool to engage with people and provide a complete customer experience based on the sentiment of their feedback.

5. Reward positive mentions

Pull mentions for ‘your brand name’ plus ‘love’ or ‘great’ or ‘fantastic’ to find positive mentions. For example, ‘Shareable+love’ or ‘Shareable+great’. You can use the smiling face ‘:)’ or ‘:-)’ to generate returns.

6. Turn a negative into a positive

Likewise, you should monitor for negative mentions with words such as ‘poor’ or ‘bad’. Sad face emoticons ‘:(‘ or ‘:-(‘ will also pull through. Social media monitoring tools can also pull through mentions with punctuation symbols such as ‘?’ and ‘!’. Tip: remember to separate these when searching i.e. ‘shareable !’.

Generate Leads

Social media monitoring and listening are excellent ways to create new leads for your business. Take a look at these methods.

7. Monitor for searches

Social media has become an avenue for users to ask fellow friends and followers for recommendations. It has been identified that 1 in 3 people on Facebook uses the platform to search for recommendations and reviews. Add qualifying words such as ‘anyone’, ‘recommend’, ‘suggest’ to school searches to see if there are people searching for a particular product or service.

8. Monitor competitors and their customers

It’s good practice to monitor your competitors to see what they’re doing and how they’re performing.  Social media monitoring allows you to see what sort of posts your competitors are generating and the level of engagement they are generating. It’s also worth monitoring competitors to see if they do anything differently that could be adapted to your social media strategy.

9. Monitor locations

It’s highly valuable for businesses to monitor for mentions of where they are based alongside the brand name. For example, an independent plumbing company might monitor for ‘plumber + Hertfordshire’. Jump on potential leads or even engage with events in the local area.

10. Discover social influencers

Find social influencers and thought leaders by monitoring for relevant industry keywords and phrases. As you analyse these results, you’ll notice recurring names of those that talk widely about the industry and its various topics, and these generate a lot of comments and shares.

Connect with them and start to build a relationship, and maybe they’ll mention your brand on their social profiles.

Finding Industry Relevant Content

You can use a social media monitoring tool to discover content related to your industry. Sharing and curating industry-relevant content helps to position and strengthen your brand’s presence.

11. Monitor key phrases and words that are relevant to the industry

Monitor for additional keywords/ phrases related to your brand, products or services. Or, if you’re stuck, we love the Google Suggest Tool to obtain related keywords and phrases.

12. Monitor for frequently used industry hashtags

Tools such as Hashtagify can find the most popular hashtags for the independent school’s sector. For example, using #branding produced the following results:

Another way to find the best hashtags is to check what influencers are using.

13. Find shareable content

Add specific terms such as ‘infographic’ or ‘case study’ to your keyword searches to find shareable content to curate and share with your audience.

Final thoughts

Social media monitoring provides brands with the opportunity to track their online presence, competitors and key industry terms that can help keep them ahead of the game. Applying social listening skills will allow you to respond quickly and effectively to these mentions, adding to your business’s reputation.

Do you currently use a social media monitoring and listening tool? Speak to Shareable today to see how we can help.