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You’ve heard the horror stories.

Applebee’s, McDonalds, and Amy’s Baking Company are among a long line of brands with firsthand experience in these catastrophic tales.

We’re talking about social media users unleashing their frustration and fury on businesses that have done them—or humanity as a whole—wrong. Although we’d like to think it isn’t true (considering we should learn from the mistakes of others), rarely a week goes by without a big name brand trending on a “hot topics” list for all the wrong reasons.

While there’s an upside to social media in that it generates powerful publicity, there’s also a downside to social media in that it generates powerful publicity. From a lack of service to insensitive faux pas, customers are quick to share their experiences online and others are quick to spread the word. The good news is social media brand monitoring can help you nip potential problems in the bud while capitalizing on opportunities. There’s more to this activity than that, though.

Why should your business invest in brand monitoring ASAP?

Reason 1: Market Research

Market research is critical at almost every phase of campaign planning. Thankfully, social media channels have opened doors to information about target audiences and competitors that were otherwise closed without a large investment in traditional research methods. Now you can investigate and analyze a variety of metrics, characteristics, and other marketing factors with a few relevant keywords and a click on a search button.

Looking to crowdsource product development ideas? You’d be surprised how many people are tweeting what they wish a product like yours can do. Looking for opportunities with enough traction in the social graph to demand attention? Your social media using customers—and in many cases detractors—often see areas for growth or change that you’re completely oblivious to even on a good day. Looking to build relationships with brand advocates? They’d be the ones already touting your awesomeness. Hoping to connect with influencers? Well, you get the picture.

The bottom line: monitor. Monitor. Monitor.

Reason 2: Avoid a PR Crisis

social media brand reputationYou can ignore it all you like, but people are talking about you, your business, your products, your services, and your employees. Whether it’s positive, neutral, or negative conversation depends on their experience with your brand. If it’s an experience they’d soon rather forget, you better hope they don’t use social media to voice their opinion to the world.

A proactive approach to issues management is crucial if you plan to maintain a favorable reputation and dodge negative chatter. Social media brand monitoring tools let you pick up and respond to potential disputes before they become embarrassingly out of control PR nightmares that influence the future of your business. If you haven’t already, it’s time to take the blinders off and earplugs out and start listening to what people are saying about you. When you’re able to turn complaints into positive publicity and show you’re 100% invested in customer satisfaction, you may just have a chance at nailing this social media thing.

Reason 3: Gain Insight for Strategic Decision Making

You’re leveraging social media for a reason. Whatever that goal may be, you’d serve your business well to monitor social sites so you can facilitate and plan the execution of a strategy that combines the right mix of tactics for your brand. Find out where conversations are taking place, which topics are driving conversation, and how people feel about those topics. These insights give you an opportunity to make strategic decisions that will ultimately boost the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Reason 4: Track Your Branding Successsocial media brand monitoring success

How do you know if your messaging is correct, that you’re driving brand perception in the right direction, and that your brand positioning efforts are working? Hopefully, you know the answer by now: social media brand monitoring. Mentions, sentiment, influence, and other key performance indicators can all be tracked through listening tools.

Reason 5: Become Part of Relevant Conversations

If people are talking about you, isn’t that reason enough to join the conversation? Use this opportunity to improve customer relations or obtain high quality feedback from people who are already invested in you or the things you can offer them.

 

Are you actively participating in social media brand monitoring? If you’re a solopreneur, you may even consider it a social media chore. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic so join the conversation below.

About Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher has written 384 post in this blog.


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