How To Improve Monitoring and Responding to Conversations on Social Media

By on July 6, 2011
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Social media is all about planning, organizing and reviewing, especially when it comes to monitoring your brand online. But the reason you monitor your brand on social media, is so that you can jump in on conversations already happening – good or bad. There are many ways to do this – and we’re going to explore some of the most efficient ways in this post.

social media responses

Courtesy of kenburbary.com


Monitoring Your Social Media

Monitoring social media involves finding a way to track your brand name and then pouring through the information – sorting and bookmarking it. Using apps to track what is being said about your brand is the easy part. Google Alerts, TwitterSearch, Digg, SocialMention and Backtype are all useful. But what do you do once you’ve found pages and pages of brand mentions?

Not all social mentions are created equal. When you’ve been promoting your brand for a while and the conversations start happening all around you, you need a way to sort through them, categorize them, and systematically reply – according to comment worth. There’s not much in the way of software that will help you do this perfectly just yet, but programs like Radian6 and Scout Labs are a good place to start.

First you need to read each social mention, carefully looking out for questions, or some sort of valuable contribution that you can add to the conversation. Take note of who is speaking about your brand. If they’re an industry authority, you’ll want to get in on that conversation before you tend to any of the others. This will get you more exposure, and will help connect you with thought leaders.

It’s also a good idea to target conversations that have more weight than say – tweets. The more you get to contribute, the better off your effort will be. Targeting blogs, Facebook and video are very valuable for this reason. You should also keep a look out for negative comments about your business. Damage control is far more important than thanking someone for their compliment.


Responding To The Conversation

If you use a program like Radian6, you can respond from the dashboard area. But even this leading social monitoring app, can’t cover all the bases. You will need to supplement it with other ways to find brand mentions and respond. Always keep your responses short, and professional – even when someone is being blatantly abusive.

Now here’s the key – you don’t have to respond to every single brand mention on the internet. That’s why you need to work out a rating system, to get the best possible ROI for your response. Here are some reasons you should respond.

  • If there is an unanswered question or issue about your brand
  • To meet and connect with that specific person
  • If you have an opportunity to improve your online reputation
  • To join in on an interesting discussion about your brand

Many large brands ignore compliments and praise because it won’t add anything of value to the conversation if they thank the fan. You can thank them, but remember that most of your efforts are better spent on the more in-depth conversations. Use these tips to improve the way you monitor, listen and respond to your fans!

Which apps do you use to monitor your social media brand? Tell us why, and let’s see which apps are the most popular!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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