The definition of social media monitoring & outreach is: "The process of continuous and immediate discovery of conversations with the purpose of learning, engaging, helping and collaborating." What this means is, based on the keywords you have chosen for your product or service you can monitor what people are saying about you and/or your business in the social network posts and discussions they are having. You must have a social media monitoring & outreach program set up to do this and there are several hundred to choose from. You may be able to find a comprehensive list of all of the programs available sorted into different categories so you do not have to spend a lot of time trying to find the one you need that will work the best for you and your situation. Once you get your program of choice set up, what happens is, it will "watch" for your keywords on the respective social sites and may or may not slot them appropriately for your perusal and/or for any action that needs to be taken. Part of the set up process is that you specify which of the social media you want monitored and then the program "listens", in real-time, and finds the conversations that are relevant to your product or business. The importance of all of this is so you can "hear" what people are saying about you and your products. If someone is looking for your specific product you can "listen in" and, at some point, respond to their request, if you so choose. Monitoring is important, also, to control and/or prevent any negativity about your product from affecting your business. There are some things you need to have in place to help with all of this:
1. Have a clear goal in mind – In other words, WHY do you want or need to do this type of monitoring?
2. Make a plan – Decide where and what you will monitor. Even with a good program you still cannot be everywhere at once so choose wisely.
3. Delegate responsibility – Choosing the right people for the job is paramount. There is a lot of information streaming all the time. You need good people to catch it all and prioritize it appropriately.
4. Study up – When you find the place where an abundance of conversations are centered around the keywords you are using, listen for a while and get to know some things about the people who are conversing. Always listen first before jumping in with both feet and disturbing the waters.
5. Be proactive – Engage in some of these conversations yourself. Actively seek them out and participate before you start promoting your product, service or business. Learn what people are saying and learn about what they want, then find a way to get it to them. Social media monitoring and outreach is all about getting to know your customers and nurturing those relationships. When you get to know who your customers really are you can more easily anticipate their needs and give them what they really want.
Howard Martell is the Owner of http://HomeProfitCoach.com/tb12 . Check us out anytime for marketing tips and a free subscription to our cutting edge newsletter.