At this point in time, marketers everywhere are rapidly embracing social media as a tool to reach and engage current and potential customers. They use various platforms to discuss new products, alert followers to company news and events, and to talk directly to customers. Marketers see the value of social media as a communications tool, but the question remains: are marketers listening on social media as much as they are speaking? Not knowing what people are saying about your brand on the Internet can make a brand come across as tone deaf – and potentially turn people off. As is true of any type of communication, social media is a two way street; you have to listen as much as, if not more, than you speak. By employing social media listening tools, you can see exactly what is being said about your brand on which platform, informing your social media marketing strategies. While it is true that you cannot truly control the conversation about your brand, you can influence it and shape it, if you know what those conversations are.
There are a multitude of free and paid tools that allow you to cut through all of the chatter and see the conversations about your company and brand in real time. Below is our list of some of our favorites:
- Social Mention: Social Mention crawls blogs, blog comments, video sharing sites, and social media platforms and compiles a real-time list of brand mentions and context, such as the sentiment of posts, sources of posts, and top users who mention your brand. Social Mention also has a free service that allows you to set up Social Media Alerts.
- BoardReader:BoardReader scours online forums for brand mentions. This tool is particularly useful because many businesses and tools tend to overlook forums as “legitimate” or “popular” social media platforms; in reality, forums are goldmines of information about companies, products, brands, and businesses.
- Brandwatch:Brandwatch is a social listening and analytics tool that costs $250 a month to use. However, the results garnered by the tool are much more in-depth than those generated by most free tools. Brandwatch offers sentiment analysis, so that you can see not only where people are talking about your brand, but what they are saying. Brandwatch offers sophisticated analysis of these sentiment findings as well, allowing you to see what you issues (or successes) you should address.
- Radian6:Radian6 is the social media listening tool offered by Salesforce, and by far one of the most powerful tools of its kind offered today. The tool features clean dashboards and real-time charts that show the most common words associated with your brand; monitor the highs and lows of your brand’s social mentions, ascertain sentiment of mentions and more. Radian6’s reporting is clear and concise, adept at pulling data and creating compelling, easy-to-understand charts out of the raw numbers.
Still having trouble managing your or your clients’ social media marketing tools, even with listening tools? Our social media marketing practices help brands listen to and engage their target audiences on the platforms that are the most applicable to our clients’ goals. We fully measure all of our efforts, so we know what works and what needs adjusting. Come talk to us about social media marketing; we’re always listening!