Brands and agencies in particular use a plethora of tools meant for various purposes like social media analytics, monitoring, response management, publishing and so on. Whatever tool one may go for, it will not do anything beyond the purpose it is intended for. So it’s reasonable to argue that having the best social media tools is no guarantee for any kind of success. At best, social media tools will make the life of your social media resources easy.
The onus of making social media work for your brand falls on the capabilities of your social media team. If social media tools are compared to clay, depending on the talent pool of your team they might struggle to mold it into a horse or effortlessly create a unicorn out of them. In other words guaranteeing success on social media is all down to using them in the best way possible.
If social media tools are compared to clay, depending on the talent pool of your team they might struggle to mold it into a horse or effortlessly create a unicorn out of them.
Understand the constraints well
Even the best tools fall short of some or the other desired features. This is not always because those features cannot be developed, but simply because those data points are not available. The reason for that maybe because social networks are either protecting (rightly so) user privacy or because users have not made them available.
For example a brand wanting to target Twitter users in certain cities are at the mercy of users who have willingly attached location information to their tweets. A smart way to get round this particular scenario is to come up with city-specific hashtag campaigns like #MumbaiLovesIceCream, #DelhiLovesIceCream etc. Once your tool's constraints are known to you, you will be able to figure out a way around them.
Create data driven strategies
However basic your social media tool might be, it will still give you some relevant data. For example, if you use a publishing tool like Hootsuite it will give you useful analytics to analyze effectiveness of your social media campaign. Also, if you use a social listening tool like Konnect Social you can not only get data pertaining to your own brand but also your competition. You can leverage that data to adopt similar campaign strategies and also target their influencers.
If you are one of those brands who think that presence on social media is mostly useful for responding to conversations, broadcasting marketing communications and engagement, then you need to take a closer look. Data about both you and your competition is publicly available. Any top of the line social listening tool can pull any brand’s social data and give out information that can help the competition. Your competition can use that to piggyback on your strategy or create one that hurts you where it pains. One sucker punch on your brand’s weakest spot will have you scratching your creative grey matter. The idea should be to uncover your brand’s negative aspects and address them immediately.
What good is your presence on social media if you cannot match user expectation for quick response to their concerns? As far as the average user is concerned, everything on social media is slick. Few clicks and screen swipes later an update can be posted on social media. It’s also fast to express appreciation with a Facebook like and hitting the heart button on Instagram. You should therefore have a realistic benchmark for addressing and resolving issues raised by your audience. Because if you don't, they will make negative conversations about you spread that much faster.
Make every response team member accountable
If you want to respond diligently you should be able to track turn-around-time of the team and individual team members. If your social listening tool is equipped with Social CRM then get the most out of it. Make sure that your preferred turn-around-time is fed in the tool, so that any overdue issues are taken care of immediately. The team’s turn-around-time should be monitored as frequently as possible so that team members are on their toes for closing all issues.
Extract actionable intelligence
This is by far the most rewarding bit about monitoring social media conversations. You can discover what your audience wants from brands like you in real time. It is up to you to create appropriate categories for sorting conversations into them. This will help you to qualitative analyze what is expected of you. Intelligence of this kind will serve as fodder for creating new products and marketing strategies.
This will not only boost your efforts to better engage with consumers on social media but also offline. Products created on the back of social data will put your brand ahead of the curve.