Social Monitoring, the Basics
1. Monitor engagement, both inside and outside your communities. By measuring “brand buzz” and monitoring sentiment, you gain a deeper and more accurate understanding of your brand in the marketplace.
2. Get to know the social monitoring tools available. Social networks and communities enable your message to spread faster than ever. But that means managing your message is more difficult because you no longer have complete autonomy over your brand perception. Research and use social monitoring tools that monitor and protect your brand.
3. Think engagement analytics, not web analytics. With the rise of social analytics, we'll see demand for tools to help businesses clearly articulate the return on investment from an engagement metric, not just a page view metric. Engagement gives in-depth insight about customers, including the positive or negative sentiment of their comments and how influential they are.
4. Listen carefully. Measure conversations on external sites to identify shifts in brand popularity and sentiment. By knowing who's saying what, and where they're engaged, you can quickly understand and act on those mentions, correcting inaccuracies, capturing insights or heralding great stories. Monitor communities such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; competitors’ sites; news outlets; and any other source to find mentions of topics and keywords important to you.
5. Analyze internally. Sync up the information you're gathering from external sites with user information from CRM systems and customer management tools. Monitoring your own communities is just as vital. Drilling deep and mining data about your users help you improve customer support efficiencies and prove the value of your online communities.
A successful online community easily can identify underperforming areas. Key performance indicators like time-to-solution, answer rates, most-viewed documentation pages and most popular downloads provide you with actionable insights to deliver on your support commitments.
6. Pay attention to what you don't know. Online conversations can uncover trends about your brand of which you may not even be aware. Peer-to-peer collaboration in online communities also can spur product innovation, shortening time to market for new products and enhancements.