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20 February 2023 • Resources

Social monitoring: Definition, benefits, helpful tips, and must-have tools

Social monitoring: Definition, benefits, helpful tips, and must-have tools

Although it’s an integral part of their business, many e-merchants are still not using the full potential of social networks. Often limited to promotion (products, brands, events...), brand messaging on social media is often considered too aggressive and irrelevant to consumers' expectations.

Identifying customer needs, canvassing prospects, being at the forefront of new trends, improving your e-reputation...these are all possible objectives thanks to marketing intelligence and more specifically social monitoring.

What is social monitoring?

Definition and characteristics of social monitoring

Social monitoring, or in other words, social listening, is the collection of all the information present on social media directly or indirectly related to your business.

Listening allows you to speak out in a relevant way in order to reach your customers and reach new targets.

Then, it’ll be a matter of identifying and qualifying this data in order to provide a product or an offer targeted to a specific audience.

Social monitoring allows you to gather essential information for intelligent and relevant decision making.

But how can you be aware of everything that’s being said, everything that’s happening, and still have time to analyze everything? In a world where information is becoming abundant and where everything is going faster and faster?

It's true: social monitoring can seem complicated and unaffordable.

It’s also true that good social monitoring requires the implementation of an effective monitoring strategy accompanied by tools adapted to your needs.

This is an investment that e-merchants don’t make enough... And yet, it’s essential to their business. The ecommerce sector, even more than other sectors, is strongly influenced and subject to public opinion!

Social networks’ place in your strategic monitoring

Whether it’s competitive intelligence to know the offers of your competitors or legal intelligence to be in adequacy with the new standards, as a professional, strategic monitoring is already at the heart of your activity.

It allows you, among other things, to

  • learn about the market: anticipate changes, detect opportunities and threats.
  • learn about competitors through their own initiatives and the resulting customer reviews.
  • learn about yourself, about your reputation, about what people say about your brand, your products...

Social monitoring is therefore a necessity for any company. For their durability and for their growth.

Today, the majority of information transits via social media, which includes sites and applications that allow users to create and share content or participate in social networks.

Spaces to facilitate messaging on the internet are multiplying and taking up more and more space in global communication.

On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn...internet users can now speak spontaneously and immediately. These online conversations are used to provide general information on a subject, deliver a testimony, give an opinion, or even express a specific need.

Why do social monitoring in ecommerce?

Social monitoring is completely integrated into your overall marketing intelligence. It’ll have a positive impact on the following:

  • The product offer, which will be adapted to the real needs of the market and your sector of activity.
  • Competitive intelligence, which will be enriched by the numerous data collected.
  • Customer relations and follow-up: identifying your customers' wishes, questions, and problems allows you to respond to their needs as precisely as possible. This is essential for building customer loyalty and attracting new prospects.
  • Messaging and branded content that’s even more tailored to your audience. As a bonus, the ability to identify influencers in your industry and create fruitful collaborations to increase your visibility on the web.

And it’s in this sense that social monitoring is directly linked to your activity, that it concerns all professionals and can hardly be ignored.

How do you organize effective social monitoring in ecommerce?

The challenge will be to set up a simple and efficient system, allowing you to discover what your audience really thinks of you as quickly and as precisely as possible.

And as you may have come to understand, it’s almost impossible to perform effective monitoring manually...

Don't worry, many kinds of digital marketing tools and monitoring software exist to help you and accompany you in this process!

However, before finding "the right one," it’s important to ask yourself some questions.

Define your objectives to build your dashboard

Taking the time to define clear and accessible objectives is the first step that will allow you to reach the expected result without getting lost.

These objectives will be in line with the marketing objectives stated above.

Improving customer service, knowing how your customers are talking about you, optimizing the content of your website based on the keywords and phrases used by Internet users, knowing your competitors better, evaluating the effectiveness of your campaigns, collaborating with influencers and journalists...are all objectives that can concern you!

Make a list of priority and secondary objectives.

This will allow you to manage your investment and collect the data that really concerns you and will actually be useful.

Collect and analyze information that will be useful for your business

The quantity of data collected will obviously be important, but it’s the quality of the analysis that will be the keystone of good social monitoring.

Based on your social media goals and other objectives for your business, establish a basic methodology and research routine to be conducted on a regular basis:

  • searches associated with your company, brand, and product;
  • your customer reviews, whether they’re negative or positive;
  • direct or indirect competitors;
  • keywords and trends related to your industry;
  • your audience's favorite topics and associated keywords;
  • etc.

And more than the information itself, it’s important to pay special attention to where the information was found.

Where should you do your monitoring?

Again, you can't be everywhere at all times. That's a given.

To answer the "where" question for choosing your social media platforms, ask yourself what your ideal customer profile (buyer persona) looks like. What are the networks and social media they use the most? Where are the most important conversations?

To select the most relevant channels, direct your research based on your audience's habits.

Among the possible channels, you’ll find professional and personal social networks and media, alerts, RSS feeds, search engines, Google alerts...

How often should you do your monitoring?

The question of "when" remains.

Every day, three times a week, once a week... The frequency will depend on the time you can spend on it and the scope of your objectives.

But one thing is sure: for effective monitoring, you need to do it on a regular basis. Monitoring is a task in its own right that should be integrated into your daily organization.

How to do efficient social media monitoring: the main tools

There are different types of monitoring software that are more or less adapted to your needs. Finding the right one can be a difficult task.

The price, subscription mode, customer service, completeness of the monitoring or the sharing of the results will be criteria to take into account when making your decision.

Don't hesitate to test them to determine which ones really suit you.

Social media monitoring, monitoring software, social listening... identify the tools that’ll be useful to you.

A media monitoring system with Mention

Mention is powerful monitoring software that allows you to know, in real time, everything that’s being said about your brand, your company, your managers, your competitors... and this, with millions of sources and in more than 40 languages.

It tracks your online reputation across social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, in addition to news sites, blogs, and other web sources.

Social media management with Hootsuite

This is one of the most well-known and used social media management tools today.

It takes the form of a dashboard and integrates feeds from different social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...

In addition to the networks, it allows you to manage all your social media and campaigns in one place.

From lead generation to customer service, the tool offers many services to accompany you and take you further on social media.

Simplified management of social networks with Swello

In the same line as Hootsuite, you can opt for software created by a French company: Swello.

Swello, available in French and English, allows for simple management of your social networks. From a single platform, you can schedule your content, manage your team, perform analyses, and monitor what’s being said about your brand.

The tool is quite intuitive, ergonomic, and easy to use.

Content curation tools

A process that consists of selecting, sorting, and synthesizing articles or content related to a specific theme.

The goal is to find and share relevant and quality content, likely to interest your audience.

Here’s a selection of content curation tools:

  • Feedly (the best known)
  • Google Trends (the most accessible)
  • Pinterest (the most social

Zoom in on Google Alerts to ensure your e-reputation

This is the star of the monitoring tools, and it’s often where everything starts.

By using Google Alerts, you can be sure to be alerted as soon as the keywords that you’re interested in are mentioned on the internet in order to monitor your e-reputation.

However, because it’s free, this e-reputation tool is limited in terms of analysis.

Monitoring and analyzing competitor websites with Talkwalker

Fill in the terms and keywords in your table, and Talkwalker will take care of the rest of your social monitoring.

It allows you to manage your entire monitoring process: monitoring, e-reputation, web intelligence, social network analysis...

This complete and flexible tool can be adapted to many uses and users.

Tools we use on a daily basis

To conclude, we use free tools such as Google Alerts to monitor what is being said about our brand, our leaders... However, this remains very limited and if you only use this tool, you risk missing out on many strategic elements.

That's why we complement this tool with Mention, which allows us to perform 360° monitoring with daily alerts. We can easily check the tone of a post (positive, negative or neutral). The entire web is analyzed (sites, blogs, forums, social networks, etc.). It's much more complete than Google Alerts.

On Feedly, we list the blogs we follow on a daily basis so that we don't miss any new articles. This saves us from having to visit each blog to check for new content. Everything is concentrated in one place. New publications are notified. It's a definite time saver!

Finally, for the management of our social media, we use Swello. Very practical and functional, with reactive customer support, it also allows us to monitor our brands and to get detailed statistics.

And you, which social monitoring tool(s) do you use? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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