Gaining Insight Through Monitoring Social Media Platforms

Most marketers who use social media are mainly interested in cranking out as much content as possible and getting ‘eyeballs’ for it. People love to quote their vanity metric page views! Smart marketers, however,  know that social networking is not a one-way lecture, but a means of building relationships with your target audience. It is not about eyeballs, but engagement, with website visitors and followers on social media taking the actions you wish them to, whether it be opting into your list, downloading a freebie or buying your products. As part of driving engagement, it can also be about using what you learn while monitoring social media networks to underpin all your marketing and product creation decisions.

Niche marketing

One of the reasons online marketing has been so successful is because it allows unprecedented access to those interested in your niche/industry. Instead of scattershot marketing such as broadcast advertising, which is not very precise, niche marketing can be conducted through topic-related discussion boards, forums, and social site groups.

In this way, you can discover the answers to all-important sales and marketing questions such as:

* What does my target market care about?

* What are the most common ‘pain points’ of those interested in my niche?

* What’s trending in relation to my niche?

* Are there trends that are driving sales?

* Who are my main competitors?

* How do my products compare or differ?

* What social media marketing efforts on their part might be worth imitating?

Engagement, not eyeballs

Niche marketing is like fishing in a well-stocked pond. You know your quarry is in there; you just have to come up with the right bait to get them to nibble. All of your social efforts can be the bait, showing that you have the answers they need and are worth doing business with.

Engagement can take a range of forms. It is up to you to create the opportunities to engage with you and monitor the results. For example, if you want to add more people to your email marketing list, create a special-report or e-course, and then announce it to your list. Monitor how many new subscribers you get.

For info about social media sales, create a special offer for each social media platform’s target audience. Resist the temptation to run the same offer on all platforms during the same time. Track your results for each social media platform. You can easily do this using Google UTM’s.

To get insight about building your brand and increasing your reach, create content that is so compelling that your followers will be willing to share it with other people they know, who are also interested in your niche. If no-one is sharing your content then either you are targeting the wrong people ‘ are in the wrong place or you need to do more research as to what your target audience wants and would motivate them to share.

In terms of advertising, track your click-through rates and engagements in taking the action you are expecting. Facebook and Twitter advertising are a lot more targeted than Google AdWords, yet a lot cheaper too.

Riding the trends

Another important reason to monitor social media sites is to see what is trending. You don’t need to try to be topical in all of your postings, but if there is a chance to tie in your products with breaking news or a hot topic, it might be worth a try. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr will all show you listings of what’s most searched for or engaged with. Join in the conversation in a helpful manner and see how much exposure you and your brand can get.

A small reminder to check why things are trending though. You wouldn’t want to get the wrong end of the stick like the Nintendo intern did. 😂

The power of social search

One of the most important reasons to monitor your social network activity is to discover who is finding you through social search. That is, searches within the network, not via search engines like Google. Social search is important because it will lead to your account and to groups. You have to be active in the network to be discovered, but once you’ve created your account, you will be amazed at how much traffic you can drive through free and paid means.

Monitor not just eyeballs but engagement, and see what a difference it can make to your marketing efforts.

Are you monitoring social media? What tools do you use?

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