From shoutouts to suggestions and complaints, social media has become a go-to platform where consumers can speak up and interact with brands.
As a marketer, social mentions should be a key element of your digital marketing campaign. Let's examine social media mentions, why they matter, and how to track them.
What Counts as a Social Media Mention?
Social media mentions are a category of content created to discuss your brand, services, or products.
Unlike branded content, social media mentions are posts or images created and shared by users. These mentions can serve different purposes:
- Some users will write a review to share their experience with other shoppers.
- Others will share a picture of a new purchase to express their excitement.
- Social mentions can be a way to share an idea or suggestion for a new product or experience.
- Your brand might appear in a conversation between two users in the context of a recommendation.
- Tagging a brand is also a popular way to ask a question.
- Lastly, some users will turn to social media and tag your brand if they encounter an issue or want to warn others about a poor experience.
Not all social mentions use the same format. There are different ways of mentioning a brand on social media:
- Some users will use the @ symbol followed by your official handle to tag your brand in a post.
- If a hashtag is associated with your brand, users can add it to their posts.
- You'll also come across mentions where your brand's name appears in plain text.
- Users might also tag your brand in an image.
Why Should Social Media Mentions Be Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Social mentions and subsequent interactions with your audience support your online presence and shape how consumers perceive your brand.
There are many benefits to making tracking social mentions a priority.
Establishing Social Proof
Humans are social creatures. We tend to prefer the things we see others do. This behavior is the cause of fashion trends, viral content, and similar phenomenon.
When a user researches a purchase, branded content can help provide information. However, content created by other shoppers will comfort the user in their decision.
This content shows that others are enjoying the product and suggests the person will also enjoy the purchase. In addition, it removes potential rebuttals, including concerns about the product's quality or the business's legitimacy.
A majority of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase. Therefore, finding positive mentions and reviews from different sources is a positive signal that will support the purchase decision.
The Benefits of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Did you know that 64% of marketers consider word-of-mouth marketing as the most effective marketing method?
Word-of-mouth marketing happens when satisfied customers turn into brand advocates. These advocates will recommend your products or services to others in conversations or via social media.
Building an audience of loyal advocates is a popular goal in marketing since it's one of the best ways of increasing awareness for your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing has an extremely high ROI since there is no direct investment.
Positive social media mentions are integral to word-of-mouth marketing since the user is telling their friends or followers about your brand. Influencers and users with a large following can significantly impact your online presence by mentioning your brand.
Uncovering Unique Insights
Social mentions give you access to qualitative data about what people are saying about your brand.
These posts will support your market research efforts. You might uncover new pain points, understand your audience's expectations better, and better understand what makes your products stand out to your audience.
Plus, you can keep an eye on social mentions to track trends and get real-time feedback, for instance, when you launch a new product.
Using social mentions to develop a thorough understanding of your audience is a step that will bring you closer to achieving brand synergy.
You can also collect social mentions and use analytics to uncover actionable insights. This approach can help you measure your outreach on social media or assess the overall level of satisfaction among customers.
Identifying New Opportunities
You might identify new opportunities as you learn more about your audience and their opinion of your brand.
Social mentions can reveal the need for a new product or service or help you improve an existing offering to better address the unique needs of your audience.
Tracking mentions of your brand will also reveal which users are your greatest fans. You can thank these fans for fostering loyalty or go further by connecting with them and offering to become influencers for your brand.
Looking at the type of content that generates the most interactions can also be an excellent way to learn more about the format or voice your audience enjoys. You can then use your findings to craft engaging content for your social media pages.
Providing an Omnichannel Experience
An omnichannel experience is a reliable way to unlock value for customers. Modern consumers expect an omnichannel experience when interacting with brands, including reaching out to customer service via the channel of their choice.
Tagging a brand on social media is emerging as a quick and easy way to get the attention of a customer service representative, whether the user has a question or needs to report an issue.
By actively monitoring and responding to social mentions, you're making social media part of the omnichannel experience you offer and meeting customers' expectations.
Track Trends in Real Time
Keeping an eye on your social mentions can make you more reactive. You can spot shifts in opinion before they affect your sales numbers.
Social media mentions can provide instant feedback when you make an important announcement or launch a new product.
A sharp increase in negative mentions can alert you to a potential PR situation. You can identify the issue, communicate with your audience, and address it before it spirals out of control.
How to Track Social Media Mentions
Tracking social media mentions will bring you closer to your audience. Here is how you can do it.
Check Your Notifications
The associated account will receive a notification when a user tags your brand in a post. You'll receive further notifications as people interact with the content.
Checking your notification is a simple solution for tracking mentions on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram when users type your official handle.
This method can quickly become overwhelming. There is a risk of missing mentions if you receive hundreds of notifications.
However, it makes sense if you're still growing your social media presence and receiving a manageable number of mentions.
Launch a Brand Hashtag
Using a brand hashtag is a method that works well on Twitter and Instagram.
The benefit of having a brand hashtag is that you can look up this hashtag or click on it to access a feed with your most recent social media mentions.
You can then filter results to see the latest posts or identify the mentions generating the most interactions.
A potential challenge is to get users to use your brand hashtag. However, seeing mentions in a feed-like format is convenient, especially if your goal is to track feedback in real time.
A great way to get people to use your brand hashtag is to repeat it in all your posts. You can also encourage user-generated content by organizing contests or giveaways where users need to tag your brand in a post to participate.
Another benefit of this method is that you can launch more than one hashtag. For example, you can create a general brand hashtag and have additional hashtags for specific products or offers.
Drawbacks are similar to the notification method. It's easy to miss a post if you get many mentions, and you'll have to account for users who misspell your hashtags.
Manual searches encompass tags, hashtags, and mention in text form. Looking up your brand is the best way to find all your mentions, but it can be time-consuming, and you can miss some mentions.
A target audience comfortable with social media will likely prefer using handles and hashtags to identify your brand, making manual searches unnecessary.
However, certain demographics might not be familiar with tagging. If your audience is less comfortable with social media, manual searches should be the primary tracking method you use.
Social Mention Tracking Tools
The best way to track your social media mentions is to use a social media management platform with a built-in social mention tracking tool.
These platforms give you access to a platform where you can explore your mentions, publish content, manage engagement, and more.
There are several benefits:
- You can link several social media accounts to the same dashboard and track mentions across multiple platforms from a single tool.
- You'll get all your mentions in one place. You'll never miss a mention again and can set up email alerts for mentions that look important.
- Social media management platforms typically have tools to track interactions so you never miss a question.
- Some tools have analytics capabilities. You can uncover valuable insights into your outreach or the overall perception of your brand.
Should You Respond to Social Mentions?
One of the main purposes of tracking your social mentions is to turn these posts into opportunities for connecting with your audience.
Do all social mentions need a response? The answer is yes. Even if a mention doesn't ask a question, taking the time to thank the user for letting others know about your brand shows you care.
Every response can bring traffic to your social media page and increase awareness for your brand. It also encourages further mentions since users will see that you care about these messages.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when responding to mentions:
- Respond quickly. Block some time to check your social mentions and respond throughout the day.
- Have a go-to process for referring users to your customer service department.
- Keep your responses short. If a mention warrants a long answer, it's best to continue the conversation privately.
- Develop guidelines to preserve the voice and tone of your brand when responding to social mentions.
- Not every interaction is going to be constructive. If a user is complaining but refuses to cooperate with the customer service team, it's best to stop interacting.
Positive and Neutral Mentions
Responding to positive mentions is easy. Match the positive tone and thank the user for their endorsement. You can go further by sharing a coupon code or making a personalized product recommendation.
If you receive mentions that sound neutral, you can thank the user or ask a few questions to get more information. If the user is asking a question, ask yourself if it's best to answer it publicly or privately. For public responses, consider adding this content to your FAQ since other users might have the same question.
Dealing with negative mentions can be challenging. Your goal is to get more information so you can make things right, but you also have to protect your brand and manage your reputation.
It's best to publicly acknowledge the issue and apologize to the user. It's crucial to adopt a tone that expresses empathy.
Encourage the user to contact your customer service team or, better yet, have a representative reach out to the user to find out more.
Once you have all the facts, offer a solution and confirm that the user is happy with the resolution.
Social media mentions provide valuable insights into what people say about your brand. In addition, these posts provide you with opportunities to connect with users, address issues, and turn customers into loyal fans. Tracking these mentions should be a priority. However, if you're a small business with a limited following on social media, relying on your notifications and manual searches can be sufficient.
As your business grows, the best way to track social mentions is to use a social media management platform with built-in tools for tracking mentions, managing interactions, and uncovering insights.
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