Best Practices in Social Media Monitoring
Chances are you didn’t take Social Media 101 in college—in fact, the term social engagement, for many of us, meant getting dressed up for a fussy, fancy dinner with elderly relatives. Now, of course, you’re eating lunch over your keyboard trying to figure out how to make the new social engagementwork for your company. Check out these three best practices for social media:
1 – Plan
You wouldn’t invest in a pricey ad campaign or top-of-the-line equipment without a plan. Online listening is no different. Who is your audience? What social media platforms does your audience use? How will you measure success? Consider using the S.M.A.R.T. project management concept, which suggests that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
2 – Listen & Engage
As suggested in Entrepreneur’s article “Becoming More Social,” it’s important to listen and contribute to social networks. When you interact with prospective or current customers, you’re helping to build a relationship that not only creates an online influencer, but also the kind of interaction in which the customer is willing to share information.
3 – Transparency
No, transparency in social engagement doesn’t mean you need to post the super-secret recipe for your best-selling chicken. Instead, it means that a company does not hide information, such as conflicts of interest, from its stakeholders. For example, a couple blogged their RV cross-country trip, parking each night in a Wal-Mart parking lot and reporting on their interactions with store employees and customers. When it was revealed the bloggers were being compensated for their stories, Wal-Mart became the subject of intense online criticism.
What does transparency look like? When your company sets up a Facebook page to engage customers, don’t pretend that you don’t want to sell product. Rather state the purpose of the page is to, for example, introduce the latest product line.
Online media and social engagement aren’t rocket science. Social media monitoring services can be a smart investment when it’s time to start planning and implementing your strategy. From search analysis to content distribution, an expert can help your company navigate the Tweets and Diggs and Yelps to create a social engagement strategy that reaches your goals. To learn more about online listening strategies that work, contact Social Strategy1.