The Not-So Secret Weapon Behind Your Social Media Metrics

What is the one thing that every business has in common? The answer is data. They are all tracking, recording and analyzing data in one way or another. 

Now, what is the one thing that every successful business has in common? They have learned how to take the same old data and make it stronger. 

Their not-so secret weapon is social listening. This term is not new, but it has become increasingly more advanced with improvements in technology. 

In this day and age, consumers want brand authenticity and transparency, which requires businesses to do more than just analyze data; they must listen closely, respond quickly, and adjust their strategy based on these conversations. Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the social media metrics that define your success. 

What is social listening and how is it different from monitoring social media metrics? 

Simply put, social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves tracking online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 

“Where social media monitoring looks at metrics like engagement rate and number of mentions, social listening looks beyond the numbers to consider the mood behind the data.”

With access to billions of online conversations, social listening has made it easier to gain accurate insights based on our data and improve business strategies. The benefits include social media crises prevention, reputation management, enhanced communication, client relationship building, in-depth social media metrics analysis, honest feedback, and real-time monitoring capabilities.

5 Benefits of Social Listening combined with Social Media Monitoring

How to implement social listening into social media monitoring? 

First, you have to know who you are doing it for.

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Social listening tools such as mentions and keyword tracking will help you in every layer of your marketing campaign. Begin by using these tools to conduct audience research. With the most basic research, you can find out simple demographic data such as age, location, gender, occupation, and languages. Social listening tools allow you to dive even deeper and discover the consumers’ likes and dislikes, motivations, how and where they interact with content, and which influencers they trust, a term referred to as influencer analysis. 

To fully understand your target audience’s interests, you must research the opinion leaders they find popular. Search for highly followed accounts within your audience. Use your social listening tools to spot them with keywords, track conversations, and put together a list of top social media influencers. Finally, take the opportunity to reach out and collaborate with these influencers to gain brand awareness. 

Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation. 

Set up listeners on your:

  • Brand name
  • Website 
  • Industry terms 
  • Branded hashtags 
  • Competitors 

This is where social media metrics meet social listening.

Your Every Day Social Media Metrics Explained Through the Lens of Social Listening

1) Engagement:

Engagement is exactly what it sounds like; the measurement of how engaged your audience is with your content. This umbrella term encompasses interactions such as likes, shares, comments, follows, and direct messages. 

In an effort to gain insights, many brands conduct surveys, polls, and Q&A’s. Although these types of tactics are valuable, keep in mind that they could result in response bias; due to the format of the questions, people may not always respond in a natural way. 

For a more trustworthy way of understanding your engagement numbers, use a social listening tool that monitors mentions and what people are saying about your brand in real-time. If you see a spike in engagement during a campaign, you can dig deeper to understand why. 

2) Response Rate & Time:

Remember, engagement goes both ways. While you’re monitoring this metric, make sure you’re interacting with your audience, a term known as consumer engagement. 

You can gain trust, build relationships, and manage your reputation by simply monitoring the conversation around your brand. For example, if someone writes a negative review, you need tools that catch this so you can put out the fire before it starts. Most consumers go to a brand’s social media page for support, so you need to be prepared to respond quickly. 

How do you know your social media managers are doing their jobs?

You can use tools in your tracking software to monitor how quickly your employees are responding to customers. One example is the Team Report function in Sprout Social.  

According to Sprout Social, “ 45% of consumers will post about a positive interaction if a brand responds well to their complaints on social media. And 37% will share their story with their friends online.”

3) Brand Awareness & Reach:

Discovering the degree to which consumers are able to recognize a brand has always been one of the hardest things to measure, but social listening makes it easier with these tools:

  • Search volume data tells you the number of times a specific search query has been entered into a search engine. You can use Google Adwords, Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track the volume of searches for your brand’s name over time.
  • Monitor your brand mentions with tools such as Brandwatch, BrandMentions or Sprout Social. These tools give you the ability to listen and track organic conversations about your brand across both social and the web. 
  • Share of Voice tells you how much of the online domain your brand is taking part in compared to competitors and helps determine customer satisfaction. Tracking SOV will likely be an ongoing task since you’ll always want to gauge how consumers perceive your brand. Within this category are two social listening performance metrics that further assess awareness. 
  • Volume– The number of mentions about your brand. A high volume of mentions can indicate brand popularity.
  • Sentiment– Along with tracking volume of mentions, you must also determine whether the tone of voice was positive or negative. Sentiment tells you how people feel about your brand by analyzing the emotion behind the text. 

Social listening tools use natural language processing (NLP) to identify whether a social post is negative, positive, or neutral. Discover how people are talking about your brand compared to your competitors. 

 4) ROI- Conversions and Referrals:

These metrics may be more relevant to business owners with websites or eCommerce platforms.

Conversions refer to when a purchase is made and referrals refer to how a user landed on your site.

  • Lead tracking is a social listening tool that looks for potential leads based on specific keywords or conversations. Finding them early gives you the opportunity to engage and possibly turn that lead into a conversion.

Social media monitoring relies on your ability to listen; Without social listening tools, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Your data will be as flat as the numbers on your screen.  One general goal of every brand should be to create an environment that embodies transparency and fosters consumer trust. The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

You can create a brand your consumers will loyally support by combining your social media metrics with your social listening tools. Use this information to better understand your audience, engage with them directly, keep up-to-date with the latest trends in order to improve, monitor your competition, and respond quickly and efficiently to any negative feedback. 

“Real insights come from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. You will only ever get that by truly engaging with customers and listening to their stories,” Graham Kenny of the Harvard Business Review. 

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Key Takeaways:

  •  Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the metrics that define your success. 
  • Social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves monitoring online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 
  • Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation.
  • Understand social media metrics through the lens of social listening to capitalize on data you are already collecting.
  • The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

Want to ensure you are taking competitive advantage of your social media metrics? Contact the DCG team for a free consultation and social media assessment.

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DCG Team DCG Team April 21, 2021 0 Comments

2020 Social Media Marketing Trends

Every year, the advancement of technology gains more momentum than in years previous, and 2020 will be no exception to the phenomenon. As technology evolves to meet our needs, businesses have to stay ahead of social media marketing trends in order to remain relevant in a time when consumers have the world at their fingertips, and due to Coronavirus, are more online than ever. If a company is merely keeping up with trends, then it has already fallen behind. Therefore, our digital marketing team has compiled a list of the top social media trends to help you and your business make the most of 2020.

1. Continued effort to decrease “vanity metrics”

In 2019, Instagram rolled out a new feature that hides the number of “likes” a user gets on his or her posts, so only individual users are able to see the total number of likes that each of their posts receives. The purpose of this change was to encourage users to focus more on the quality of a post rather than the quantity of likes that it could accumulate. We can expect to see this trend continue throughout the year as social networking companies make an effort to combat the negative effects that social media can have on a person’s self-esteem. 

Although Instagram is currently the only company to start hiding likes, other social media sites are attempting to minimize the emphasis put on likes or follower counts in their own ways. Youtube, for instance, is now abbreviating a channel’s follower count, so rather than seeing 12,050 followers on a Youtuber’s page, the number will simply read 12K. While it is only a small change, it is enough to begin drawing eyes away from follower count and refocusing them on the quality of the content that Youtubers are producing.

2. Video content is taking over

Hubspot conducted a marketing survey and discovered that video is currently the most popular form of media used in content strategy, more so than blogs and infographics (hubspot.net). This trend will continue as more marketers catch on to the success other businesses are having with video content as a primary tactic of their marketing campaigns. Those that haven’t utilized videos to market their products or services should integrate this into their marketing strategy as soon as possible to combat a decrease in sales and customer interest. 

There are certain benefits of video marketing that no other medium can properly produce, especially when it comes to demonstrating a particular product or service. Because the marketplace is saturated with similar companies vying for the same customers’ attention, it is more important than ever to communicate what it is that makes your business unique. That uniqueness can come through in a behind-the-scenes style video, a quick thirty-second clip with your tip of the day, a tour of your home office – the possibilities are endless. And it’s important to remember that not everything has to be a big-budget production with an entire camera crew at your disposal. Customers just want another way to connect with the brands that interest them.

How to become a successful remote worker5 1

3. Ecommerce Tools Galore

Instagram is leading the pack when it comes to new features for users to explore. In March 2019, the platform added more eCommerce tools to the mix, most notably the ability for users to make in-app purchases straight from the brand accounts that they follow without ever having to visit the actual company webpage. This is a game-changing feature because it concentrates the user’s experience of a brand within a single app. Customers can find a product on Instagram, learn more about it on the brand’s account, scroll through pictures, videos, and testimonials within the comment section, add the product to their carts, and pay right on the app. Facebook conducted a survey of 21,000 Instagram users to learn how they use the app and for what purpose and these were the results:

  • 83% said they discover new products/services on IG
  • 81% use the app to research a product/service
  • 80% use it to determine whether they will purchase a product/service

Imagine surveying 100 people on your social media performance, and 80 of them are judging you against your competitors on Instagram. This is a huge group of potential customers that are using the app to determine who they give their business to from the moment your account appears on their screens. It is absolutely worth it to invest time in optimizing the way your brand comes across on this platform. 

Instagram has become a popular platform to research and purchase products, but it is not the only app that users flock to for more information about a company and what it has to offer. Facebook is a commonplace for customers to learn more about a business, read reviews and browse photos. Money can also be sent or requested through Facebook, and the Marketplace is perfect to buy or sell just about anything in your area, but neither of those features are as sophisticated and formal as the eCommerce tools utilized by Instagram, nor do they reinforce brand identity. They are actions experienced separately from the brand, while Instagram seeks to immerse its users in a single brand from discovery to purchase. If your business has products for purchase but you’re unsure whether you could benefit from this new Instagram feature, consider speaking with social media experts to determine how to get the most of your online presence.

4. Brand outreach as a form of customer service

Companies are recognizing the importance of having genuine interactions with their customers and how it affects the way they spend their money as well as who they spend it with. It is clear that customers love to see brands responding to comments and questions in their social media feed – it confirms that the brand is not only aware of customer concerns but that the company cares enough about its customers to take the time to reach out to them. By engaging with your customers, you build trust, through trust you enhance your brand’s reputation, and with a good brand reputation you can encourage brand loyalty. 

According to an article on Sprout Social, more than half of consumers will increase their spending with a brand that they feel drawn to, and 76% will end up purchasing a product or service from that brand over a competitor. The experience that a customer has with your brand will absolutely determine how that customer interacts with your business in the future, so in 2020 focus on building strong relationships with consumers and lean into the social aspect of social media. 

5. User-Generated Content is more popular than ever 

User-Generated Content, or “UGC”, is akin to “influencer” marketing in that it is content created by an individual showcasing a brand’s product or service, but rather than relying on a few specific users to share their experience with your brand, UGC gives any social media user the chance to essentially advertise your business for you. When you repost User-Generated Content, you are doing two things at once: filling your social media pipeline with little effort on your part, and encouraging other users to share content pertaining to your brand with the hope that they, too, could be featured on your accounts. The simple truth is that the more you engage with your followers, the more your followers engage with you. It’s a win-win.

MC360 Free Advertising User Generated Content Meme

6. Increase in Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence adoption

Augmented Reality is yet another tool that fosters consumer engagement and enhances customer experience. One example is GlassesUSA, an online eyeglass store, which uses AR to allow users on their website to “try before you buy,” a feature that involves uploading a picture or turning on the computer’s webcam to let the user virtually try on a pair of glasses. We have seen AR used on a number of platforms, especially apps like Snapchat and Instagram, where users can pick different filters that alter their hair, eye color, face shape, and so on. However, we can expect to see AR play a much bigger role in the way people shop as companies begin to invest more time and money into creating virtual mirrors in which to try their products. 

As consumers shy away from brick and mortar businesses to shop online instead, new demands are being met to attract potential customers who require a little more security before making a purchase. AR aids in the buying process, and Artificial Intelligence is gaining popularity as a tool to give consumers a more well-rounded virtual experience. Whether it is a chatbot that sends updates on a customer’s order, or a program that analyzes customer buying patterns to better recommend products or services in the future, AI is changing the way people interact with businesses online, and the technology becomes more advanced every year. 

Conclusion

The landscape is changing quickly, and business owners can struggle to keep up. It is important to invest in your company and make sure you are being strategic with your efforts. Our team at Dolomites Consulting can help you navigate the ever-changing digital and technological landscape so you can not only keep up with the market but stay ahead of it. Don’t just get a marketing person or team that simply goes through the motions, make sure they take the time to understand your business and look ahead to scale your efforts. 

Get a customized action plan for your business. Contact Us to get started today.

Sources:

Instagram Launches ‘Checkout on Instagram’ to Facilitate In-App

ShoppingSocial Media Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Insider Drift Conversational Marketing

#BrandsGetReal: What consumers want from brands in a divided society

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DCG Team DCG Team April 21, 2020 0 Comments

Marketing During a Crisis

As we navigate through uncertain times, many questions run through the minds of not only the nation, but communities around the globe. Cities, states, and countries continue to escalate restrictions, slowing down operations and marketing to a crawl worldwide. We continue to watch the news and social media for updates on the Coronavirus and its impact in order to determine the best course of action for ourselves, our families, and our businesses. No matter where you stand in the political climate or the concern spectrum, there is a widespread need for many businesses and entrepreneurs to continue making strategic decisions on how to best move forward with marketing their business. 

So, how should you market during this crisis or recession? Where do you start?

Here is a quick guide on marketing strategy during emergencies:


1.Pause and evaluate your current marketing efforts. What do you have scheduled or on autopilot on various platforms and mediums? Do you have ads running or email campaigns scheduled to go out? Identify all queues and put a stop to them immediately if it makes sense to do so. It will be much better to delay communication from your brand to evaluate and update it, rather than risk the interest, trust, or even respect of your follower base due to messaging that is not relevant, tone deaf, or in bad taste

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2. Update your customers and followers on what your business is doing. Yes, we see news about it everywhere, but it’s important to let your customers know what to expect during the foreseeable future. Make sure you update your Google listing, website, and social media pages with adjusted changes (i.e. hours and closures). If you are able to assist those in need, be sure to have clear information on how customers or community members can take advantage of your products or services. Even if you are unsure of how you will move forward long term, acknowledging the circumstance and informing your followers with updates goes a long way in keeping your brand relevant

3. Be real and genuine in your efforts. Address your employees, teammates, and consumers with a caring message. No matter what industry or vertical in which you operate, nor the size of your company, people’s lives are being affected. Almost 89% of American consumers say that they are loyal to brands that share their values, so it’s wise to emphasize your core values in your messaging and how you will be handling what the future holds. Communicating empathy reinforces qualities that are human, and offers a chance to reinforce an emotional connection with your audience. Messaging using “we”, “us”, and “together” shows solidarity with your company culture and gives a positive message of resilience.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

– Seth Godin

4. Know your audience to understand and predict consumer behavior. We are seeing first-hand how individuals and groups act in crisis and uncertain situations. A lack of trust in media and news outlets, combined with an overload of information sources, causes confusion, fear, and distrust that drives people to act in ways they normally may not. Economic uncertainty drastically changes financial and buying practices for everyone.

Understanding your audience and their decision-making process allows you to create a strategic marketing plan that aligns with what is most important to them. Focus more on how you can help your consumers and what problems you can solve more-so than simply what your company does. Something like, “Got your hands full? Eliminate the stress of planning meals by ordering online!” will speak to your restaurant audience more than, “We are open and deliver”. Communicate what consumers could miss out on if they wait, let them know about how a product could be helpful during stressful times, and let them know you’ll be there for them whenever they are ready.  Use this time to lay a foundation to build brand loyalty as the economy improves.

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5. Look for other creative ways to connect as consumer values and attitudes shift. If your company hasn’t modernized yet, it’s crucial that you do so now. Adopting videos, webinars, and video chat in communications will allow you to keep connected and top of mind. Find unique ways to reach out with a personal touch like handwritten notes to top clients. Send big supporters a private message on social media and let them know you are there for them. Think about parts of your experience that you can share to relate to your consumers. Our social media feeds will continue to be saturated with stressful information. Sharing a bit of humor on your feed can stand out to your followers and reinforce a positive sentiment, loyalty, and conversions when the time is right. Creating engaging content like polls and asking consumers to share photos is a good example of ways to connect. 

6. Stay focused and update your goals accordingly. While operations are slow, you will naturally have more time for other things. It can be a golden opportunity to PLAN! Make sure you are still paying attention to how you’re spending your time, even with adjusting habits to accommodate work-from-home dynamics. Think critically about projections. The business landscape will shift dramatically, but that doesn’t mean opportunities don’t exist. As competitors cut back, there may be opportunities to take advantage of lower marketing costs to increase market share. 

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Make sure your operations are ready to handle increased interactions digitally. Make sure your website is optimized to be found on google. Take advantage of organic social media tactics to grow and connect with your audience, and provide a high level of customer service. And when you see a good story, pass it along.

If you are looking for customized recommendations for your business, our MC360 team is here to help. Contact us to get started today, or click here to read more on our strategy consulting services. 

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Kathryn Donadio Kathryn Donadio March 28, 2020 0 Comments