One name that’s synonymous with social media listening is Mention. It’s also among the top free social media listening tools out there. The tool automatically searches major social networking sites and internet resources, and tells you when someone mentions your name, product or niche keywords. So what makes this tool so great?
The way it works is pretty simple: you go to Mention, login, add an account and then start adding friends. You can set up a “feedback” link that allows other members to instantly post their comments after they’ve read your post. The idea is that other users will read the feedback and engage with it; if they have questions or other comments, you’ll be able to easily respond back. Feedback from your contacts is direct, which is great for SEO (search engine optimization) activities. They can also respond to your post in a way that either increases your visibility or asks more questions to spark another discussion within the community.
But how does it work? Well, the main goal behind Mention is two-fold: first is to get people to notice your social profile. This is done by creating content that targets a specific audience and posting those articles within your network. Once people start replying to your posts, you gain the opportunity to track all of their activity – including Twitter activity, Facebook interaction and MySpace interaction. All of this information will allow you to study the factors that drive social engagement and marketing.
With that data in hand, you can fine tune your strategy. For instance, maybe you know that a specific segment of your audience is more likely to be interested in a certain type of offer, but you haven’t identified that segment yet. By using social media tracking, you can find out what types of offers resonate with your target audience. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can then create content and offers that appeal to them – keeping in mind that your social media listening tool is providing valuable feedback to help you identify what’s popular among your target audience.
Monitoring your social platform is another useful strategy. One of the advantages of using a social tool like Mention is the ability to listen in on conversations that are taking place within the network. You can identify key influencers within your niche and determine what conversations are most important to engage with. You can then engage with them via direct messages, follow up with them on Twitter, or even use a variety of other strategies to engage with them. Social monitoring is an essential strategy for staying ahead of the competition.
Social media monitoring also provides valuable insights into your brand. How many mentions do you get on average each week? Is there a spike in mentions when your brand does something significant? What kinds of things are your competitors also focusing on? These are questions that you as a brand need to be asking yourself as well, which is why it’s smart to turn to a social listening tool for answers.
Once you have a good idea of which social listening tools give you the most insight into your target audience, you’ll also want to identify those elements of your marketing that are working to drive traffic to your site. Are you sending emails to encourage signups? Are you using social media sites to publish press releases? These tactics have worked effectively for other businesses, but if they’re not working for yours, you need to focus on how you can incorporate them into your strategy. As you learn more about your competitors, it’s also important to keep track of which techniques are working and which ones aren’t.
Social media management isn’t always the easiest thing to master, so be patient. In the beginning, you might find a tool that gives you an initial boost in awareness. As you continue to use these tools and incorporate them into your overall marketing strategy, you will see a more balanced ecosystem of content that is created across many different platforms. Linking them all back to your website, in a well-thought out and executed media management strategy, is the best way to ensure you get the most from any media management strategy you implement.