Lately, we’ve discussed the importance of understanding the online landscape prior to building an online communication strategy (see previous posts here and here). This time, let’s dive into the actual campaign, skipping past establishing your digital strategy and creating online assets.
You’re probably aware that once your campaign is in full swing, an essential part of your daily activity should be to monitor its performance and, in particular, what’s being said online. But why? Because individuals around the world are talking about brands, products and other topics of interest every day – and if your campaign is working properly, your brand should be what they are talking about!
Social listening enables you to see your campaign’s performance beyond website statistics and see the social context, so you can quickly adapt your tactics to boost performance. For those who don’t listen, chances are you are missing out on some very valuable learning opportunities. And this is a common occurence, as many organizations think they are hitting the mark on which topics/issues to address, when in fact they should make a U-turn.
Monitoring the social context of your campaign is particularly beneficial to stay on top of things. If there is an event, you can leverage that to create a buzz and really follow the discussions that are taking place and see the impact that your communication has. If a crisis happens, you won’t be in the dark and you’ll be able to effectively manage things.
Overall, online monitoring outcomes are manyfold. It allows you to:
- Measure reach and ROI (of a brand or campaign)
- Identify and explore new topics
- Understand market perceptions
- Identify key players and influencers
- Benchmark yourself against the competition
- Understand and anticipate challenges
Now for some mind reading. Your next question is: “How do I choose the best monitoring tool?” Right? It’s a perfectly valid question as there are plenty of tools out there, each one having its own methodology, algorithm, coverage, depth of analysis, reporting system, and, of course, price. (For a comprehensive comparison on a number of different tools available, check out Goldbach Interactive’s Social Media Monitoring Tool Report 2012.)
However, the market is constantly evolving so, the best advice I can give you is to stay curious and keep experimenting with different tools until you find the one that best suits your needs.
That’s why we’re not attached to any particular technology. Our approach to monitoring is to offer the most relevant solution to every client. But more importantly, to add perspective and meaning to the data we collect from these analytical tools.