By now, you must realize how critical social media is to your business. It helps you to establish credibility, position yourself as a subject matter expert, appear trustworthy to others and come to be regarded as a person of influence.
Hopefully, you are making the most of social media for your business and leveraging all that you can from what social media has to offer. It doesn’t matter whether your business is large or small. It is absolutely critical that you monitor what is being said about your business by others. This applies to your clients, perspective clients and competition. You are definitely not in a silo and what other people think and feel about your business will make or break you.
People will always talk
Once you have decided to monitor what people are saying online, you need to translate that into how it will affect your business. It is very important for you to not only understand that people are speaking about you but also to know exactly what they are saying about you, your brand and your business. Being noticed for your professional accomplishments is extremely positive and extremely important. The reason that it is positive is that you can take what people are saying and use those words in your interactions and discussions online. Even if some of the feedback that you are receiving is conceivably negative, the fact remains that you and your business are being noticed by other people. The worst thing is if nobody is even aware of your existence. You can take the discussions about you and your business and use them to elevate your brand and your offerings. You will need to find out exactly who is talking about you and track what they are saying and where they are saying it.
What are people saying about you?
You have decided that you want to closely watch what others are saying about you and your business. You need to ask yourself exactly what you are trying to accomplish by capturing that information. Basically, you should be concerned with reading everything that is being said about your brand and your offerings. You must stay abreast of every social community with which you are connected. The possible ways that you and your business/brand may be mentioned are:
- Your content being shared on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- Tweets that discuss your brand
- Your brand being mentioned on other people’s blogs and/or websites
- People pinning your content on Pinterest
- Backlinks to your website on other people’s blogs
It is very important to understand that it is not sufficient to just have social media profiles on the various social media channels. You also need to monitor the various social networks and capture what is being said. If you are not certain of how to monitor the various social media channels, the following should help:
If you set up Google Alerts (or another comparable alert tool), you can easily watch your social media presence throughout cyberspace. You will receive updates on a regular basis either through your Email or through an RSS (Real Simple Search) feed. Depending on how you set it up, you will receive alerts in whichever frequency you have chosen. There are several different approaches that you can use regarding which types of information you want to receive.
Searches on specific social networks
When you go to each individual network, you can search for your brand and you can get a good idea about what people are saying. You can search on Twitter, which will let you set up criteria so that you receive exactly the information that you need. You can also search on LinkedIn. You may want to consider the Answers feature in LinkedIn (in Advanced mode). This will allow you to track down all mentions that relate to your niche or industry. Facebook, of course, is another valuable social media channel that will give you a great deal of mileage.
Designating the most important monitoring
Everyone has equal rights when it comes to social media. However, it is safe to say that not everyone has the same influence or the same effect on other people. The stronger and more prevalent your communication skills, the stronger your influence online. There are several ways to determine influence; you should ask the following questions.
- How many online connections do you have?
- How many times have people retweeted your content?
- How many comments have people written about your content?
- How many backlinks lead back to your blog?
- How often do people interact with you?
You need to recognize the human side
It is critical that you realize that anyone with whom you connect online is a human being with human emotions. You need to engage other people and you will begin to build your relationship, which will hopefully eventually be an enduring one. There are several different ways to engage other people, such as asking a question, responding to one of their comments, offer a solution to one (or more) of their problems or give them some sort of incentive.
If you understand how to monitor your brand through social media and you understand why it is so important to do so on a consistent basis, you will be one step ahead of the game. You can’t make any positive changes to your business if you aren’t aware of any of the issues. Even if some of the feedback that you receive is negative, it is important to face it honestly and do your best to make improvements based on that information, which will prove valuable to you in most or all cases. Social media monitoring will ultimately improve your bottom line. It will provide you with insights that you would not be able to acquire elsewhere.
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