This article was contributed by our partner Swanky.
Feel like your social strategy needs refining? Struggling to keep track of the social conversations that matter most? As your account engagement grows, reacting, and responding promptly and appropriately to social media mentions becomes increasingly important.
If you’re not sure where to start, then fear not, for this is your ultimate guide to social media monitoring!
This post will delve into the tools, best practices, and personal KPIs that content creators can use to improve their social media monitoring strategy and up their influencer game.
Ready? Let’s start by exploring what social media monitoring actually is and why it’s important for you as an influencer.
What is social media monitoring and why is it important for influencers?
Social media monitoring is essentially keeping tabs on all types of engagement across your social and online channels. This reactive strategy involves tracking and responding to things like mentions, tags, questions, and messages, ideally in real-time.
A well-implemented social media monitoring strategy is essential for developing thriving relationships with your followers. It allows you to keep on top of messages and comments, making your audience feel heard and supported (not to mention impressing them with your responsiveness!).
It also helps you to understand wider conversations occurring in your social space, which improves how well you know your audience and enables you to serve tailored content that your followers will connect with.
Social media monitoring is also a great way to keep an eye on the competition, as well as your industry overall. It provides a clear picture of your niche and shows you exactly where you fit in comparison to other influencers.
Being aware of who is saying what about you online and really understanding how your audience reacts to your content is essential when it comes to laying the foundations for brand collaborations as well. As popular lifestyle influencer Zara McDermott alluded to it in a recent Q&A YouTube video, before cementing partnerships or endorsements, brands want to hear about your engagement, the sort of reach you’re getting and exactly who your audience is. A well-rounded social media monitoring strategy will enable you to confidently reel off this sort of information and demonstrate a thorough understanding of your social space.
What should you monitor on social media?
So, now that we’ve covered why social media monitoring is important, let’s explore which things you should be monitoring.
#1 Direct interactions
Here are some of the direct interactions and topics you might want to keep track of:
- Direct messages
- Retweets / Reposts / Shares
- Photo tags
- Your campaign hashtags
- Your slogan
A top tip is to make sure you’re monitoring mentions of you as an individual where you haven’t been specifically @mentioned, including common misspellings and abbreviations of your name.
#2 The wider conversation
As an influencer, your job is to adapt to real-world topics and conversations to suit your audience. Without up-to-date knowledge of topics relevant to your niche or industry-wide conversations, it can quickly seem as though you’re out of touch. Therefore, deciding on a small group of topics relevant to your niche and then monitoring them closely provides a more complete understanding of the social sphere that you sit within.
With this in mind, more than simply monitoring direct interactions that you automatically receive notifications about, this social strategy involves tracking wider conversations, hashtags, and keywords, such as:
- Hashtags and keywords relevant to your niche or industry.
- General industry trends.
- Qualifying keywords like ‘recommended’, ‘best’, ‘improve’.
- Mentions of competitors’ handles.
#3 Social media metrics
The best social media monitoring strategy will not only track your chosen interactions and keywords, but it’ll also monitor key social metrics so that you can identify which content campaigns have had the best impact on your chosen KPIs. You want to be able to measure things like:
- Reach and impressions — so you can see how much of your content is actually being seen by your followers.
- Comments, likes, shares etc. — to perceive the rate at which your content triggers some form of interaction.
- Levels of awareness for you and your content.
- Sentiment around your content (or how your audience feels about your content) — it’s all well and good to receive a high volume of comments and shares on your content, but if the connotations are negative it could be a sign that you are out of touch with your audience.
- Your social share of voice, which is usually measured as a percentage of total mentions within an industry or among a defined group of competitors.
Social media monitoring tools for influencers
Of course, you could manually check each social media network individually for mentions, comments, and hashtags, but this would eat up valuable time that you could be spending creating content.
Fortunately, there is a multitude of tools available that will help you take your social media monitoring to the next level. After all, keeping tabs on everything from direct mentions to the wider social conversation is no small task!
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tools and their best bits. Each of these tools suits different needs and budgets, so be sure to do your research (and make the most of any free trials!) before you commit to a social media monitoring tool.
Twitter Advanced Search
First and foremost, built-in analytics can provide some of the most valuable information to contribute to your social media monitoring strategy.
Twitter’s Advanced Search feature makes it easy to find specific Tweets that might be relevant to you. Monitoring Twitter interactions are often underestimated when it comes to influencers’ social strategies, but it can do wonders for building human connections with your audience. Alike or reply on Twitter can make a follower’s day!
Advanced Search allows you to create searches based on words, phrases, and hashtags in a range of languages. You can apply filters to refine your search based on replies, links, engagement rates, and dates. Plus, you can save up to 25 searches, making monitoring much easier.
There are plenty of options to make sure you’re tracking the most relevant Tweets!
Insights on Instagram
Another built-in tool, Insights is a free feature available to Instagram users who opt for a business or creator profile. It helps you learn about your audience by providing information about how they interact with your content, namely keeping track of metrics like reach, impressions, engagement, followers, and shares.
Just some of the metrics that Instagram Insights shines a light on. (Source: Keyhole)
By enabling you to decipher which posts have performed well in relation to your KPIs and which haven’t, you can produce better, more targeted content, with a higher chance of it being successful with your audience. What’s more, this knowledge leaves you better positioned to collaborate with brands your followers might like.
Alternatively, in order to monitor interactions across the web and keep track of what is being said about you in your wider social space, Google Alerts can be highly beneficial.
The basic premise is that Google Alerts monitors the Internet for your chosen keywords. Then, whenever it discovers something relevant to your search criteria, you’ll receive an email direct to your inbox.
You can set up a Google Alert in just a few simple steps!
A key benefit to look out for is the functionality to specify alerts for regions and languages, which helps you as an influencer determine your content based on conversations within your niche.
If you don’t mind paying for a tool to support your social media monitoring, Influencer Marketing Hub labeled Brand24 as their top social media monitoring tool of 2020.
This tool offers paid plans to fit for small and large scale influencers, ranging from $49/month to $199/month. You can test it out with a 14-day free trial, too!
Brand24 gives you instant access to mentions across social, news, blogs, forums, reviews, and more, organizing them in a dedicated feed. Not only that, one of the key benefits of Brand24 is that it provides insight into the sentiment your audience has for your content, segmenting mentions into those that are positive, negative, and neutral. As well as this, it offers a rather snazzy visual Discussion Volume chart, meaning you can easily see if there are any surges in your mentions.
Track your mentions and keep an eye on key social metrics like reach and interactions. (Source: Brand24)
Hootsuite Insights is another tool that offers customizable pricing for its detailed social monitoring. It analyses your social mentions in real-time, giving you a clear picture of social sentiment. You can also get a helpful visual representation of what people are saying about you online with the cool word cloud feature!
Hootsuite Insights gives a clear visual representation of all the metrics that matter for your social media monitoring strategy! (Source: GetApp)
A key strength to look out for is its ability to filter results to spot trends in audience location, language, and gender. Monitoring isn’t just limited to social channels either — you can access blogs and forums, as well as setting custom alerts. Another benefit is that you can share this data with multiple people — perfect if you’re a larger-scale influencer with a team supporting you.
By now, you should have an understanding of why social media monitoring is so important and how you can introduce it to your social strategy as a content creator. Not only this, but we’ve also explored a number of tools that will help you master the art of monitoring and track how well your content is being received.
So, what are you waiting for? Take our top tips on board and implement your shiny new social media monitoring strategy today!
Swanky is a leading Shopify Plus agency specializing in web design, eCommerce migrations, marketing, and growth strategies. We have years of experience delivering creative digital solutions and innovative customer experiences for ambitious, fast-growing brands all over the globe. To find out how Swanky’s team of experts could transform your eCommerce store, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
About Refersion Marketplace
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About the author
As part of Swanky’s Agency Marketing team, Alana enjoys writing about the exciting world of ecommerce and helping to create engaging content for online retailers. She is particularly focused on social media marketing and the role that influencers play in modern consumer culture.