Social media marketing has become a preferred method of reaching and acquiring new customers for both new and existing businesses. In order to launch increasingly effective social media campaigns, social media monitoring tools and services are essential. Knowing what to look for in social media monitoring tools ensures you are able to collect, organize, and use the data you need to drive web traffic, increase conversion rates, and maximize your online reach.
Define Your Goals and Objectives
Before settling on a social media monitoring tool, define clear goals and objectives for your brand. What questions do you wish to answer most about your business and target audience? Some objectives to keep in mind include:
- How is the overall market that you want to appeal to performing? How does your top competition perform compared to you and why?
- What are your users saying about your brand? How about bloggers? Is it possible to use social media monitoring tools to build a positive online reputation for your business?
- What are the best ways for you to get involved with your industry by putting monitoring solutions to use?
Choosing a social media monitoring tool you feel confident in is much easier once you have a clear understanding of the features you want to utilize. Some of the most important features to consider with social media monitoring solutions include:
- Tracking Demographics. Do you want the ability to hone in on your target audience based on age, gender, and specific interests?
- Multi-Language Solutions: Are you planning to use an English-only service, or do you plan to expand with a multi-language service?
- Location: Is it important to filter by region when tracking the effectiveness of your posts and promotions?
- Automation: How often do you plan to manually monitor your social media analytics? Do you require a solution that is fully-automated?
Not all social media monitoring tools operate in the same way. While some are “self-serve” models (allowing you to manage the tracking yourself), others provide a “full service” solution which is a more hands-off approach. Consider the following while comparing monitoring services:
- Are you willing to manually track social media posts and campaigns on your own?
- Do you have a dedicated team available in-house to assist with the monitoring service you choose?
- Are you able to filter competitor brands and companies to ensure you receive only the most accurate of reports?
- How frequently do you want to see analytic reports and social media stats you have collected?
Test and Compare the UI of Social Media Monitoring Services
Test and compare the UI (user design) of each social media monitoring service you are interested in using. Many social media monitoring tools offer free trials or the ability to “test drive” the software before going live and investing in a package that is right for you.
A proper UI should load fast and without lag, allowing you to quickly access stats and live monitoring tools. Features and navigation should be easily accessible and available within seconds. Flash graphics, animations, and busy design can add to the response time necessary to retrieve the information and data you request. Stick with a social media monitoring service that is robust, yet light and fast when loading your reports.
If you plan to work on-the-go or frequently while using your mobile phone, be sure to verify that the social media monitoring service you are interested in is mobile-friendly and responsive for both Android and iOS devices.
Budget and Scalability
As your brand continues to grow it is important to consider the possibility of scaling and expanding the use of your social media monitoring tools. Before selecting a social media monitoring solution, compare pricing and inquire about the ability to scale if necessary (along with additional costs or fees involved). If possible, take advantage of a free trial to test the current volume of traffic your website and social media pages receive to gain insight into the type of package you require for the most comprehensive reports.
Choosing the right social media monitoring tool can drastically increase your ROI and conversions with accurate analytic reporting tools. With the right social media monitoring tool, learn how to effectively reach and communicate with your audience using creative, unique, and engaging campaigns that drive sales home.