8 common social media monitoring mistakes

Alina Gorbatch
by Alina Gorbatch on October 3, 2019

Truth be told, social media monitoring may be one of the easiest marketing tasks out there. There isn’t much room for mistakes: all you have to do is set up a social media monitoring tool, create an alert for whatever it is that you’re monitoring, and engage with the mentions the tool finds for you. Or just look through the mentions and appreciate people talking about your brand - it’s your choice. 

However, getting the correct results - the feed of mentions that you’ll value - can still be a little tricky in some cases. If you set up the alert incorrectly, the tool might not find any mentions or flood your feed with irrelevant mentions.

So, in this post, we’ll go through the mistakes people make most often. Pay attention and don’t repeat any of these at home!

1. Not using filters

Filters exist in almost every social media monitoring tool. They help you cut through the Internet noise and get relevant mentions.

However, people tend to ignore filters while creating an alert. They tend to rush through the process and end up with a quick and imperfect search query.

Don’t be like that; choose to only receive mentions from the locations, languages, and sources that are important to you. To do that in Awario, click More Options when creating a new alert. 

You'll see a field with filters that let you choose countries, languages, and sources of your mentions. 

Note! Very important! Reddit and Instagram don't disclose the locations of their users. So to receive mentions from Reddit and Instagram, you'll have to choose the countries you're interested in plus Unknown countries.

Another field you can see here is Negative keywords. This is a filter that might just save you from tons and tons of irrelevant mentions. It's made for brands that are common words and are doomed to be mentioned a lot on social media. You can easily recall brand names like that: Apple, Orange (mobile network), Forever 21, Amazon, Tiffany. If your brand has a name like that, add negative keywords - they will signal which words to ignore. For example, for Apple or Orange negative keywords would be juice, pie, recipe, food, etc.

Also, there is a date range that you can specify. If you're not interested in mentions from a long time ago, use the date range filter.

2. Forgetting to specify social accounts and other brand name alternatives

Brands often have more than one name (abbreviations, for example) and they often have social account names that are different from their official names. You have to specify all of those as keywords, otherwise, the tool will miss tons of relevant stuff. So, your field with keywords should look something like this: 

3. Ignoring Boolean search

Let me be clear - Boolean search isn't for every brand or for every case. In most situations, you'll get satisfactory monitoring results without having to switch to Boolean search. However, if you've done everything we've discussed above and the mentions are still wrong (e.g., not of your brand), it's time for Boolean. 

Boolean search enables users to create very specific queries. You can restrict or broaden your search expression in any way you like using Boolean operators. Not only that, but it gives you other opportunities for what you can do with a social media monitoring tool besides monitoring. For example, link building, lead generation, headhunting, etc. Setting up a Boolean search query may look confusing at first, but we guarantee that the process is actually pretty simple. Although, when completed, it makes you feel like a programmer :) 

You can find the full, super user-friendly guide to Boolean search here

4. Failing to block irrelevant accounts

In most tools, you'll get the opportunity to block the accounts you're not interested in. I highly recommend blocking your own social media accounts as soon as you set up an alert. This will save mentions' limits and won't distract you with mentions you already know about. Similarly, block any other accounts you're not interested in. In Awario, the general prohibition sign is used to Blacklist the mention's author.

5. Ignoring social selling opportunities

For most marketers, social media monitoring is just about customer service, analytics, and influencer marketing. While these are the primary goals of social listening, it's no use to ignore the social listening features that have so much potential to increase your ROI.

Social selling is one of the most underrated social media monitoring features. It lets you find people who are interested in your product or service online by finding phrases such as "Can anyone recommend a good X", "alternative to Y", etc. You can engage with these queries as a company representative or as a random Internet user that happens to love this brand.

In Awario, you get Awario Leads - it's a module that exists in every plan made specifically for social selling. For it to work, you have to fill out the product description and specify your competitors. Like here:

The tool will look for people who've expressed the interest in your product and for people that are unhappy with your competitors. You can then choose a social media account using which you want to engage with the person. 

6. Not having a plan for reacting to mentions

The world online is often a cruel world. Sure, you'll find praise, answer questions, and read enough of neutral comments about your brand and your products. However, you also have to know what to do when you're faced with negative comments, criticism, and trolling. You also have to know how to react in case of a social media crisis. So here're some things that are useful to remember:

a. React quickly.

One of the greatest benefits of social listening is that you get the information in real time (or close enough). This enables you to respond straight away to any complaints and questions which increases your chances to leave the customer satisfied (even if the problem isn't solved) and prevent a possible social media crisis. It shows that you care about your customers and do your best to provide perfect customer service.

b. Know who's responsible.

Most social media monitoring tools, including Awario, are made for teams. However, you still have to know who's responsible in case there's a fire that has to be put out straight away. And a raising social media crisis can be just that. 

c. Know what to say.

Draft possibilities of what kinds of crises you might experience in your brand's lifetime. Decide on your reaction to each kind. Keep in mind that getting defensive, deleting comments, taking too long to take responsibility are all methods that usually end up being harmful to the brand. 

7. Not monitoring competitors

Competitive research is one of the most challenging marketing goals. Yet, when getting into social media monitoring, many people fail to see its relevance to competitive research. This is a huge mistake: monitoring your rivals on social media, news, and blogs can be extremely beneficial. It lets you find out their influencers, discover pain points and especially successful features of their products, see the results of their marketing campaigns. It also helps you to benchmark your success against theirs. 

8. Ignoring the powers of analytics

For some users, social analytics remains unclear. At best, they look at the growth of positive and negative mentions over time. However, the real power of analytics comes when you connect it to other marketing activities.

For example, it's important to see the social media's reaction to campaigns and product launches; detect the most active sources, languages, and locations. Seeing the big picture of your mentions allows you to decide when to post on social media and when to release new products; shows you what kinds of topics circle around your brand; shows you your share of voice - the percentage of buzz your brand compared to your competitors. In Awario, you have to simply go to Reports to see all of the analytics.

Ready to create a perfect alert and monitor the hell out of your brand? :) 

Got any questions? Comment below and I'll do my best to answer them. 

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