Want to create a social media monitoring panel to manage the flow of information? What should we monitor? I find that making a list always helps. Let’s make the list first then, next week, use a tool to pull everything into one screen.
But first, let’s talk about the term “social media”. Back in the 1980s social media was called virtual community management or online community management. By 2005 my courses at the University of Sydney were called Web 2.0 and UGC Marketing: Friendster, MySpace and YouTube.
So, compared to such a clunker of a name, “Social Media’ is fine. Nice and short and tidy. Nothing wrong with social media except the word “social” and the word “media”.
Get business news first
Sign up to SmartCompany’s daily newsletter
Let’s focus on “social”. Social implies party: people on Facebook chatting about what they are doing on the weekend; tweeting about tuna sandwiches for lunch; mucking around online instead of working.
Social is the opposite of Business right? That is wrong in so many ways. For me, Social means Society. Yes, of course social includes friends and family. Mum, dad, kids, grandma, the next door neighbour, the netball team and drinking mates.
But Social also means your business network, your connections and contacts. And that’s where monitoring for business is important – who and what you monitor has to do with your industry. Next week I’ll give you the instructions on what to do with the list, but creating the list is actually the hardest part.
Staff and contractors
We talked about this in the last article Nosey Parkers. Will you monitor your staff on social media? And what will you monitor them for – trolling clients on Facebook on the weekend? I once had to IP block a group of network addresses as they were being downright rude to clients on our forum – only to find out I had blackbanned the customer service centre.
Yes, staff had thought it was a good idea to have a comeback plan with vocal online customers. Are you monitoring ex-staff that may or may not have left on the best of terms? Do you research future employees by keeping an eye on thought leaders on social media?
Competitors and ‘Frenemies’
Do you need to monitor blog posts, Tweets and Facebook updates of competitors? Amusing anecdotes come to me all the time that people have spotted a competitor updating their LinkedIn profile and become very active, encouraging the observer to guess that staffing changes are about to happen and, sure enough, the LinkedIn contact has moved on within a week or two.
Frenemies are Friendly Enemies or competitors that you undertake job sharing with. I was able to contact a competitor who tweeted they were thinking of closing down their operation and take over their contracts. Win, win, win for clients, competitor and me. I include industry organisations in the Frenemy category – pulling the industry organisation jobs and blog posts and conferences into a social media monitoring dashboard is useful.
Vendors and joint ventures
Remember the event planner that was commenting on a conference organisation on Twitter? What if you were to see a vendor badmouthing you, reporting on massive changes in their organisation or speaking to the press on Twitter? Monitor vendors to keep up to date on the verticals in your industry and developments in technology and business practices that impact you down the line.
Clients – past, present and future
Clients are your word-of-mouth testimonials. What clients chat about on Twitter and LinkedIn can have a big impact. Satisfaction, dissatisfaction reflect on the current status of the relationship. Social CRM is a huge growth area – being able to refer to a client’s recent holiday or the birth of their child because Facebook is fully integrated into the contact management system brings a human to human connection that is integral to business relationships. Unravelling a client’s network of connections on LinkedIn or Twitter will often bring more leads.
Finally make a list of key influencers. They include authors that write books on your industry. For example, if you are in real estate, add the authors of books like Pay off your mortgage in 52 weeks. Politicians are also on social media. If they start calling for contributions that affect your industry, or asking for feedback, it might be a good idea to know which way the wind is blowing. Academics may have an interesting report, blog article or infographic that affects your brand. And personally? If I was hiring a celebrity such as Tiger Woods to represent my organisation, I’d want to keep one eye on their tweets and blogs as a defensive brand strategy.
Once you have your monitoring list together, add in some keywords: products and services, brands and taglines. Decide what to monitor – LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, media, Facebook, forums.
So that’s your homework. Next week, we’ll set the social media monitoring panel up but in the meantime, the list itself will keep you busy. Have fun!
Laurel Papworth has been named in the global Top 50 social media influencers by Forbes magazine, and Marketing magazine named her “Head of Industry, Social Media”. You can follow Laurel on Twitter here, visit her blog, or contact her through her business, The Community Crew.