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The fundamentals of a social media listening campaign

September 25, 2014

Social media listening campaign tipsWhat is social media listening? Think of it as a targeted approach to identify and review what is being said about something or someone via social media channels. Marketing professionals are conducting social media listening campaigns to monitor customer feedback, competition and/or to better understand what is being said about their product, company, brand etc… the axiom knowledge = power applies here. However, if you do not know how to listen then you may feel overwhelmed. The good news is you can relatively easily monitor social media channels if you apply a few common sense rules to your social media listening campaign. Here are four suggestions:

Search criteria: Your ability to “listen” will only be productive if you are listening for the right thing so be sure to think about what names, words, phrases or terms are most important for you to track. You can always refine these terms over time and any good social media listening campaign / strategy should continue to be refined.  Note: Use only a few broad terms to start – for example your company name or initials. It is easy to get overwhelmed if you create a long list of terms. You can always add terms as you get more adept.

Find the movers & shakers: Focus on the handles / individuals who are most active and have the largest number of followers / network. You will quickly be able to identify these “Power Users” who leverage social media regularly.  Note: Some of these contacts / handles could likely be competitors and may be worth following more closely for a variety of fairly obvious reasons.

Benchmark your findings: This can be tricky because one can quickly create so many ways to “measure” a social media listening campaign you can make this a nightmare. Things to consider including: the frequency of the subject matter addressed, the nature of the Tweets / Posts (negative, positive, etc…), and timing (is activity following a predictable pattern you can leverage in the future).  Note: There are many tools available to help you capture this information some are free but some have a nominal fee.

Have an end date: While a social media listening campaign can continue without an end date, it is a good idea to put some perimeters around your campaign – much like any other marketing campaign. A defined time frame will vary depending on your goals.  Note: Social listening campaigns can be extended or revived, but without an end date your campaign can become overwhelming.

A successful social media listening campaign should offer insight that you can leverage in your marketing activities (both on and off of social media). Think about the content you are monitoring and how this can be leveraged to help you become more engaged both on and offline.

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