The last few years have seen the rise of many social networking sites; there are now hundreds of them ranging from the most popular, general sites like Facebook, to the less known or well used sites, such as 43things. This site is dedicated to listing your goal or goals and connecting with others who have the same goal; the purpose is to aid each other to achieve your goals.
It is fair to say there is now a social media site for everyone. This means that your customers and potential customers are already online; the easiest way to reach them is via a media campaign. Of course, it can be difficult to know which sites to target and which approach to take to get the best results.
What is Media Monitoring?
Image by Gerd Altmann
It is the process of tracking your current marketing campaigns to see which ones are successful in reaching their target market and how good the response is. Media monitoring should apply to all forms of advertising, whether online, on the television, radio or even in local newspapers. Of course, as social media has dramatically increased in size and importance, many monitoring techniques focus solely on social media.
It is important to note that the best monitoring practices also use software to establish whenever certain keywords are mentioned, words like your business name or industry sector. These mentions are checked for relevance and you are notified of them.
There are many companies which will help you to develop a campaign and even launch and maintain the campaign for you. The best companies are ones such as Universal-info.com who will not just design a campaign but will also monitor it for you.
Why is it Essential?
There are a variety of reasons as to why media monitoring is such an important tool to business today:
- 1. Targeting Customers
By monitoring the media and knowing when your business or industry is being mentioned you will be able to see which category of people are most interested in your product. This may narrow the field by age, location or simply the site they connect on.
Observing the places where most of the mentions originate from will enable you to understand where your current customer base is, how to target them for future sales and, most importantly, which group and / or website is best to target next. Media monitoring is essential to building new, successful marketing campaigns.
- 2. Gauging response and Successfulness of a Campaign
It is relatively easy to launch a media campaign; it can be as simple as a short post with a link to your website for further information, or a promotional code. However, even the simplest of campaigns may be a waste of time and energy if you have not targeted the market correctly. Monitoring the campaign and the response allows you to evaluate whether it has been successful and a similar tactic should be repeated; possibly on a wider scale.
It also highlights whether you are targeting existing and potential customers properly; if you are not the way you interpret social media responses may need adjusting.
- 3. Understanding Customer Needs
A good monitoring policy will enable you to track customer responses to marketing campaigns and the general chatter concerning your industry and possibly your firm in particular. This can be one of the best ways to learn about your customers and what they really need. Customer reviews will highlight flaws and items missing from your products. Not only will this allow you to improve it for the next campaign, it will also provide you with an excellent marketing angle; proving you listen to your customers!
Your monitoring procedures should also enable you to understand what your competitors are doing differently to you and which of their approaches is going down well with the customers. You can then adapt future campaigns to ensure your product is the best.
- 4. Controlling Reputation
Social media has made it possible for anyone to comment on your product or service and instantly reach a wide audience. It is simply not possible to control what everyone says about you and you will never be able to please everyone all the time. It is also, unfortunately true, that those with negative things to say often shout the loudest. Instead of allowing the rare negative comments to damage your hard earned reputation, you should monitor the media channels and respond quickly and fairly. You can turn any negative comment into a chance to show just how good your customer service is and improve your reputation!
- 5. Keeping Up to Date
Running a successful business is time consuming; it is easy to get bogged down in the day to day issues and fall behind in terms of the latest technological developments; or even social developments which can seriously affect your target market’s approach, views or even affordability. Choosing the right business to monitor the media, means that they will filter the clutter and leave you with the relevant information. This will include what your competition are currently up to and what developments are happening within the industry; if you are not aware of these developments then you will be able to take action to ensure you remain at the top of your game.
- 6. Locate the Most Influential People in your Field
Blogging has become a popular pastime and there are many people who can be seen as experts in their field simply because of the number of followers they have and the influence they, therefore, weld. By monitoring the various social media channels you will be able to locate the most followed bloggers and most popular threads. This will give you the opportunity to, either approach these people and work directly with them or to monitor them and make sure they always have positive things to say about you and your products. Attempting to build relationships with these people can also provide you with an inside edge as to what the industry and your competition are currently doing.
No matter which approach you take, it is essential to monitor the different media channels and react according to the information you receive. Your customers are online, monitoring these channels and reacting to them regardless of where they are in the world; you must ensure they receive the information you want them to read!