Social media is a great platform for direct communication with your customers, prospects, and employees. It is one of the best ways for growing your brand visibility and for distributing your content online.
But another important part of leveraging social media is to understand how people view your company and what they are saying about your brand. To take full advantage of social media, manufacturing companies should be monitoring these conversations as well as other industry-related conversations. These conversations will give you important insights into what people actually want from your company, your brand and the direction that your industry is going in the future.
Over time monitoring social media can become a key tactic for aiding the direction and growth of your company.
Why monitoring matters
Social media shouldn’t be ignored. People are talking about your brand, your products, your competitors, your industry and your employees – whether you like it or not. These conversations happen candidly in real life, which turns into threads and discussion groups on social media. Instead of ignoring these conversation you can have a say in where these conversation go.
Listen to social media, be sensitive to what people are saying. When you listen to your prospects’ and customers’ thoughts you will be able to improve your products, close more deals and foster happier customers. It can also be a great way to avoid disaster. If someone complains about your company, you can respond and make sure you can improve in the future.
Once you have learnt how to monitor social media you will be more aware of what prospects and customers actually want from your company. You can then engage more effectively and therefore will be better equipped to build trust in your brand, highlight your expertise and the relevance of your products and services online.
Wondering how social media might benefit you?
Who should monitor social media?
Historically the marketing department owned the company’s social media accounts. Marketers are concerned with the company’s brand and need to generate visitors to the website and then turning those visitors into leads for the sales team. These things are still important and marketers should still be monitoring social media to help create better marketing campaigns by creating streams that specifically monitor:
- The activity of prospects and what products and services they are interested in
- The activity of thought leaders in your industry
- The keywords and phrases that are core to your brand and company
However there are other teams, departments and individuals who can monitor and utilise the power of social media:
Social selling is the process of researching, connecting and interacting with prospects and customers on networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Through commenting on, liking and sharing prospects’ and customers’ posts, salespeople can create relationships with buyers and boost their credibility.
This is not a short term quick win but sales people are willing to put in the time and effort on an ongoing basis this technique can be rewarding. Your salespeople should specifically monitor:
- Their open prospects’ conversations
- Their closed lost prospects’ mentions of key terms
- Their closed won prospects’ to check in with them after the sale
When things go wrong customers often turn to social media to get an immediate response to their problems. Having your customer support team on the thread is going to help settle a tricky complaint. Your company’s support team should monitor:
- Questions or issues that customers are having with your products or services.
- Conversations that leads and customers are having with your products or services.
- Feedback that customers have for your products or services.
Company Owners and Managing Directors
Company owners and managing directors are now expected to have a social media presence. This may seem like an difficult task to fit in every day but it will be time well invested. Company Owners should monitor:
- Conversations that people are having about the company’s senior teams.
- Conversations that customers and leads are having about your products and services as well as those of your competitors.
- The activities of other top executives in your industry
What social channels should you monitor?
Start by monitoring the main channels on a daily basis:
- Check for Twitter chatter about your company and its competitors. You can do this through TweetDeck, Social Inbox, or through bookmarked or saved streams on Twitter.com
- Log in to Facebook to scan for comments and private messages. Keep your company’s Facebook page bookmarked in your browser and stay logged in to your account to save
- Read your LinkedIn group digest and scan your Company Page for new comments.
- Check your email for Google Alerts for brand mentions and industry- related content via Quora, Google+, blogs, or other sources and publications.
Set yourself a routine to do this every day.
Set social media goals
Once you are set up for monitoring social media, like other business activities it is important to set yourself some goals. If you’ve never set a goal for social media monitoring before, start by aligning your monitoring goals with your department’s goals.
For example, if you’re monitoring from the sales department, maybe you should set a goal for yourself to interact with 10 prospects per week on social media. Once you’ve achieved this goal and feel like you can go deeper, attach your goal to a revenue number or see how many deals you can close with social selling per month or per quarter.
Remember to always make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Time-bound (SMART).
Once you have established a process, monitoring social media shouldn’t take too long and will provide great insights to feed into many parts of your business.
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