Editor’s note: This post was written by Elizabeth Victor, Brand Advisor for iSentia Media Monitoring. She enjoys sharing tips on social media monitoring and analysis, especially in Asia Pacific. You can find her on G+ and Twitter.
Social media monitoring is important for every business in order to keep tabs on what people are saying about your company; however, it is especially important for Asia-Pacific companies who are very conscious about their brand image. Many Asia-Pacific countries are gun shy when it comes to launching social media campaigns for fear of negativity from customers in addition to abiding by strict guidelines and laws imposed by different countries.
Companies like this who are concerned about what people are saying about their brand online should absolutely be using the tools available to monitor online activity. This allows them to venture into social media marketing, where there might not be as much competition present and still keep close tabs on their brand reputation and image.
As experts in social media monitoring, reporting, and creating connections with key influencers, we understand how important company image is for companies in Asia-Pacific companies including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and China. For as important as social media monitoring can be to companies, it can be incredibly easy, automated, and even free.
Benefits of Social Media Monitoring
Even if you have not established your own social channels, consumers, customers, and employees will be talking about your company and your brand online and in social media. Monitoring these channels allows you to not only know what people are saying, but also react to it.
Setting up your own channels, website, and blog allows you to control the conversation and lay the groundwork online for the types of information that you want current and potential customers to read about you. Social media monitoring tells you when, why and how to get in on the conversation. Beyond just listening to what people are saying about your company, you should actively engage with the people that are talking about you. Finding tools that are easy to use and geared towards your specific market are also vital to ensuring a well-executed media monitoring effort.
Social Monitoring Tools
The next step is known how to listen and discern all of the social chatter online. There are quite a few different tools available that will monitor online activity on certain keywords and even people. Once you set them up, automated information can be sent to your email or your mobile device to ensure immediate alerts and allow for a quick response. Some tools even go beyond just social media and can also alert you activity on your competitor’s websites or blogs. Here are a few free tools to consider using:
- IFTTT stands for If This Then That. On this website, you can make “recipe” combinations that will alert you to different things. There are far reaching capabilities of this tool in addition to social media monitoring. It allows you to set up an RSS feed that scans industry websites you want to keep a close eye on via the feed URL function and have the alerts emailed to you.
- Me on the Web is a free service offered by Google that allows you to search for your own name, but also any other person or keyword and instantly get Google’s results. Google Alerts is the way to automate this feature. You can set up alerts for any keyword or key phrase to be emailed to you. You can also set the frequency as often as you want.
- IceRocket is free and allows you to instantly search social sites for mentions of keywords, phrases, or names you are interested in monitoring. It will search blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. There is a wide range of filtering options of the results so you can narrow down the information you are looking for to very specific parameters.
- Topsy is a very powerful Twitter search tool. This free tool goes beyond Twitter’s search feature and helps you find key influencers in your industry. Identifying influencers not only allows you to see what they are saying but also opens to door to connecting with them to see if they are willing to talk about or review your product or service.
- Social Mention is another tool that helps identify sentiment in social media mentions about your company online on websites as well as social sites. Searches on SocialMention.com are done in real-time and they include sentiment, top keywords, top users, top hashtags, and last mention.
- BuzzNumbers is a social media monitoring service available in Australia and New Zealand that provides an easy way to conduct real-time research and uncover data and insights into what your customers and end users are saying online.
- Social Express is a media monitoring and reporting program that is available in Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. All countries where businesses must keep a close eye on social conversations. The tool provides you with insights and analytical reporting that includes statistics, trends, charts, and more and keeps your team in the know about any trending discussions or reputation management crisis that might be affecting your bottom line.
- SinoPortal is a media monitoring product that is exclusive in China. Businesses in China know that media and social media are quite different. Playing by a different set of rules, this product provides you with fast access to information and returns information for you based on the criteria you filter in the search.
Conclusion and Takeaways for Your Business
Monitoring social media is important all over the world, however it is vital in certain cultures where company image is important and social media is still growing. Different tools are available for different countries. Finding a social monitoring tool that is most compatible with the culture and laws governing your country will make the process easier for your company.
Once you have a media monitoring campaign set up, there are some universal guidelines to go live by.
- Ignoring social media comments (whether they are bad or good) is never a good idea. Interacting and further engaging consumers are the best ways to keep the conversation going, fix any problems as they arise, and create a positive social image for your brand.
- Even if the comments from customers are negative, a quick response and apology shows not just the person posting the complaint but anyone else reading that your company cares and takes the time to address and fix any issues.
- When you are dealing with a particular customer problem on social media, the best thing is to address the issue and take the complaint offline to a more private phone call or email situation instead of listing details right on the social network.
- Reacting quickly and professionally should always govern your interactions. Do not let emotions or anger guide your reaction. Follow customer service best practices on social media just as if you are speaking with a customer or client in person.
- Never ignore a social media problem assuming that it will just “go away”.
- Do not assume that social media does not correlate to sales. A recent study showed that 69 percent of consumers are more likely to patronize a business if they can find them on social media. Therefore, your social media presence not only allows you to monitor and control the conversations about your company, but can increase sales and creates a forum of trust where you can connect with your target audience.
Once you familiarize yourself with the tools that are available to monitor online and media mentions about your business, you will see that you can fully take advantage of growing social media campaign in a market where there is very likely to be less competition. Develop your plan of action and detail a social media and media monitoring strategy. Let your competitors fall into the fears of social media while you succeed and surpass them in reputation and sales as a result.