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Listening to Social Media

A few weeks ago I was playing with the idea of creating some content on social listening. Then, scrolling down through my Twitter feed I noticed someone I follow inquiring whether a Premiership football game was going to be screened in a particular pub.

The tweeter didn’t @mention the pub in the tweet but did @mention the shopping centre the pub was located near.

I decided to explore further with a few clicks…

Here’s what I found out…

The Good

  • The tweeter was a well-known DJ with almost 40,000 followers
  • A quick look on com showed the tweeter to have made approximately 570,000 impressions for his last 100 tweets
  • The shopping centre where the pub was located had almost 45,000 followers and created 700,000 impressions with its last 100 tweets.
  • The inquiry tweet also used the #hashtag #MUFC
  • The original inquiry tweet got 5 likes and 10 replies, including one from the shopping centre
  • The DJ followed up after the game @mentioning the shopping centre again saying the atmosphere in the pub was brilliant and he’d had a great time with other Manchester United fans.

The pub in question got some very valuable air time on social media from some influential people. AND all the interactions after the first tweet had only good things to say about the pub.

The Bad

The downside to the story… The pub is actually on Twitter but probably doesn’t know this occurred and therefore couldn’t capitalise on everything good that happened… They weren’t listening to social media.

Here’s what they missed out on

  • Engagement from influential tweeters and opportunity to develop a relationship.
  • Positive feedback from their target audience and the opportunity to connect with them to create advocates
  • The opportunity to showcase their pub as a safe haven for sports lovers ‘dragged’ out to the shopping centre
  • Association with the hashtag #MUFC, the most supported Premiership club in Ireland
  • Opportunity to up-sell their other products on offer – ‘come for the game and a drink, enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch at the same time’
  • The ability to reconnect with the principles again in the future

And the Ugly

On further investigation the pub has no website but has a Facebook page. All their twitter posts are pushed directly from Facebook leaving the ugly truncated tweet with an ‘fb.xxxxx’ link to the full post.

Based on the incommunicado the business in question had no knowledge any of this occurred and clearly they don’t monitor their Twitter feed.

Honestly, it’s pointless having a profile on a social network if its not going to be monitored and used. While this conversation was hugely positive it might not be that way all the time.

What if the next Twitter conversation is about poor customer service or some other complaint? With no moderation, input or reply the impact could be detrimental to the business.

The Solution

With a simple process and strategy in place the business in question could have capitalised on this spontaneous piece of advertising. And, once set up it would only take a small amount of time every day to stay on top of.

Had they been involved in the conversation, maybe they would have generated a few extra customers from the exchange.

Social media is playing an increasingly larger roll in customer service.

One myth being peddled is that there are a horde of trolls just waiting to slam your business as soon as you appear on social.

The evidence from Twitter (below)  suggests the complete opposite.

Your audience/leads/customers are more likely to engage with you than the trolls and the majority of conversations are positive and can lead to conversions and sales.

twitter stats for biz

Here are a few pointers on how you can get results from social media for your business.

ONE – The Coffee Shop approach to Social Media

One thing I constantly remind clients is that social media is not rocket science.

By following some simple guidelines and using some common sense etiquette, you can add value to your business through your social networks.

Here is a previous blog post outlining 8 Rules for Social Media success

Click HERE to read it.

TWO – Don’t forget to listen

I think sometimes there is a huge misconception about social media and how ‘easy’ it is to use for your business. You can do lots with automation (more about that later) but there is some effort required.

There are lots of free apps and tools you can use for listening to social media. Once you have them set up the time required to monitor and tweak them is minimal.

There are lots of free options but on some of the more expensive monitoring tools, like Mention.com you can set up instant email notifications , which takes nearly all the effort out. As soon as your search term is used on Twitter you’ll get an email to alert. To justify the cost you’d want to make sure the alerts are going to create leads to convert to sales.

Here are few of the free apps and tools you can try.

1 – Saved Search in Twitter

If you are on Twitter the best place to start is by creating a ‘saved search’. Simply type in your search term (your business name, for example)  into the box on a desktop or laptop. Once the results have been served, in the ‘More Options’ tab you can change your search parameters and also save the search.

twitter saved search

Once your search has been saved you can then recall this on desktop or mobile when you tap into the search box in Twitter.

twitter saved search recall

While this automation only goes so far, you can quite quickly run this search a few times a day to stay on top of any mentions on Twitter even if your @Handle hasn’t been used.

2 – Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a powerful social media dashboard that allows you aggregate lots of your streams into one place.

You can have your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ feeds all on the one screen.

But it offers much more than that too.

Under the free account you can add up to three social profiles but you can have lots of streams for each profile.

Hootsuite feeds

In addition to being able to add other streams like mentions, replies, comments to your dashboard you can also schedule posts to go across multiple platforms at the same time.

You can add search streams but some of them will only appear in the web dashboard and not in the mobile app.

3 – Social Searcher

Social Searcher was originally designed for crawling Facebook but has broadened out to cover more social networks such as Twitter, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion and Vimeo. Free users can also save their searches and set up daily email alerts.

social search dash

In reality automating social listening will save you some time and effort. You should be checking your timelines regularly so you can respond to engagements  as quickly as possible.

THREE – Social media automation will boost your engagement

Social media automation is a must. Not only will you can save hours of your time but you will also boost your engagement with your audience.

It seems counter intuitive to say that by being on ‘autopilot’ makes you more popular… But, its true.

By creating some real simple processes using apps and tools you can insure your profile will be constantly popping up in peoples timeline.

By using the process outlined HERE I have boosted my Twitter following by 50% over the last 3 months. More importantly, from analytics I know social media is driving traffic to my website and the readers have interests in common with the content making them a relevant audience.

Click here to read -> Want to boost your engagement? Use these social media automation tools

Have you anything to add?

Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, it’s easy, you can find my contact details HERE.

Thanks for reading.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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