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Not all data is created equal – that’s why social media monitoring requires a human touch. Without an understanding of what data is worth monitoring, the insights you find won’t help your brand at all.

Forget the Fluff

Counting your blessings is a great exercise to keep you grounded in gratitude as a person. But there’s not a lot to be gained from counting alone when it comes to social analytics.

What do a million mentions mean to your brand? The most you can assume is people are talking – but what exactly are they saying? And is the conversation helping or harming your brand?

Even if you know certain metrics are positive – say, loves versus likes in Facebook Reactions – you still don’t know what’s driving the sentiment.

Without that knowledge, you can’t replicate whatever inspired the positive consumer response. Even worse, you can’t intentionally avoid inspiring a negative one.

Vanity metrics are useless. You need to access the root of every like, comment, retweet, etc. before you can form a strategy for your brand.

Fall in Love with Love

Sentiment is the foundation of all social action. Emotion is what moves consumers to interact, and it’s what brands must analyze to inform their actions as well.

For example, it’s not enough to know your audience likes your snarky Twitter posts. You’ve got to know what about your brand makes such posts appealing – and how to use this knowledge for maximum impact.

The key is to know your audience – entirely separately from your brand. Whatever they care about should matter to you – so you can talk to them about it. And not just in a small talk kind of way – in a deep, meaningful, “OMG, we’re OBSESSED with The Crown, too!” kind of way.

What sentiment reveals is where your time is best spent – since you can’t act on every single post topic out there. The ones you focus on should be the most intensely passionate – for good or bad, as both demand action.

Positive passion – love, obsession, need, desire, craving, can’t live without – is how you bond with your audience. But negative passion – hate, awful, the worst, never again – offers opportunities as well:

  1. To forge a renewed bond with customers whose problems you solve
  2. To build new relationships by solving the problems of competitors’ customers
  3. To keep your brand safe from the mal intent of internet trolls and troublemakers

And when you use sentiment to segment your audience by interests and passions, you can go even further.

The Power of Personalization

Segmenting lets you engage your audience in ways that feel as personal as a one-on-one conversation. And make no mistake – you’ve got to engage your audience.

They won’t stick around if you just throw promotional content at them all the time. And without their presence and input, you won’t have any data to analyze.

To keep them interested, you’ve got to make it about them – always. For starters, it delights your target audience – not least because many brands are still pretty bad at making it personal.

More importantly, the customer experience is everything now – and that starts from the moment you connect on social. Even consumers who’ve never shopped your brand see how you treat customers on your social channels. Be sure you’re controlling that story.

Social-Forward Customer Care

More and more consumers use social to make brand complaints, so you have to prioritize social as a customer care channel.

The longer a complaint goes unanswered on social media, the more time other consumers have to catch wind of it and chime in with their own horror stories. Wait too long and you’ll end up with a viral mess on your hands.

Instead, let customer care on social be part of your brand’s “show” – just another way to wow consumers into favoring your brand over others.

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Speaking of others, remember to include competitors in your social media monitoring efforts. Here again, don’t stop at monitoring – that’s just step one. Take the insights you uncover and use them to fuel brand plans for the next week, month, year, and beyond.

Maybe your analytics will showcase a weak link in their product line – one you can get your R&D department focused on improving quickly.

Or maybe you’ll see competitors having success with new technology you didn’t think your audience cared about. Let them be the guinea pigs – then learn from their experience and apply whatever works to your own brand.

Whatever you do, follow though. Knowledge is power – so wield it! Otherwise, you might know a lot, but you won’t have any customers to show for it.

How do our social media monitoring tools inspire brand actions? Get in touch and we’ll walk you through the use cases that matter to you!