Today, about 40 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet. Statisticians predict that by the end of 2014, that number will go up to 3 billion people online.
Those may just be astounding numbers to the average individual, but from a business’s perspective, those numbers are people – potential customers; and if they are online, they can be reached more easily via social media, which is where most online users spend their time. According to a study by Business Insider, social is the top activity on the Internet.
What does that mean for you as a brand?
You need to be at the top of your social game. If you want to engage your current customers and expand your client base, then social is where it’s at.
One thing that is paramount to succeeding in social media as a business is social media monitoring. This means several things:
- You actively monitor social media platforms for information about your brand or your competitors’ brands;
- You track what people are saying about your and your competitors’ brands.
Why is social media monitoring important?
— Miles Kahn (@mileskahn) September 11, 2014
- It allows you to know where you stand. Knowing what people are saying about your brand gives you crucial information. It may hurt if you find that people are bashing your products or services – or your brand itself, but at least you can do something about it. Of course, if people are talking positively about you, then you know you are doing something right.
- It gives you the opportunity to take advantage of real-time events. For example, if you are a deli and you see a tweet saying “What I would give to have [your business’s name]’s Pastrami Sandwich right NOW!”, then you can perhaps reply with a tweet offering a discount coupon for his next purchase. That’s only an example, but taking advantage of real-time responses and going the extra mile can give you huge returns.
- It is necessary for damage control or crisis management. As I mentioned earlier, social media monitoring gives you information as to where you stand in the eyes of people. If you see that an issue is getting out of control via monitoring, then you are alerted and you can immediately do something to control the damage or manage the crisis. Whatever you do, make sure that you do not come off as defensive, but instead own up to your mistake (if it indeed is yours). Always be polite, and offer assistance, even if it’s not totally your fault.
- It gives you information about your competitors. Knowledge is power, and even in the offline world, businesses like knowing what they’re up against. Social media monitoring makes it easier for you. By reading tweets and posts about your competitors, you can learn lessons from what they’re doing right or what they’re doing wrong.
These days, building a presence on social media and interacting with your followers is important. However, simply being on social media is not enough if you want to grow and convert your following to sales. Social media monitoring is one of the critical activities that you have to incorporate in your strategy.