10 Social Media Listening Best Practices

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Salesforce has shared 50 Best Practices for Social Media. Best Practices for Social Media is a guideline for Brands to steer their content successfully and at the same time optimally deliver on their campaigns. The Best Practices are compiled to provide an overview of your brand’s social media strategy. Listen to the brand’s conversation on Social media channels to glean insights on your brand. Here are the ten social media listening best practices.

  1. Research where people are talking about you. The first step in the social listening game plan is tuning your antenna to the right channels. You probably already know that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are smart places to start listening. But depending on your
    industry and customers, you may find that forums, Snapchat, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or other sites are just as important.
  2. Identify the industry influencers. When you first start listening, you may feel that no one’s talking about your brand and there’s not much to listen for. This can ring especially true
    for B2B brands. That means it’s time to identify the primary influencers in your space. You can bet that trusted influencers are out there creating great content for just about every topic under the
    sun. So find the influencers first and see what they’re talking about.
  3. Listen for social selling opportunities. Social selling doesn’t always mean conversion directly as a result of social. Usually, it’s about social media managers getting the assist from their
    sales teams. For example, someone might tweet that she’s thinking about buying a new BMW,and the local BMW dealership chimes in with a useful video. Look for these kinds of opportunities
    — and also times when someone may not be so happy with your #1 competitor. Social selling opportunities are everywhere once you start looking.
  4. Keep an eye out for nondirect brand mentions. People don’t always mention you by your correct brand name when talking about you. They may spell your name wrong, use an abbreviation, or simply talk about your industry without specifically calling you out. Put together a list of words people may use to describe you, your industry, and your competitors, and track conversation around those keywords across the social web.
  5. Connect social to the broader business. In Salesforce’s fourth annual “State of Marketing” research report, Salesforce found that the highest-performing marketers integrate social media activity into other business functions. For example, 88% of high-performing marketers collaborate with their service department to respond to social inquiries and concerns — versus just 37% of underperformers. Social also helps your sales teams discover new leads and your community managers identify brand advocates.
  6. Create categories to organize mentions. Hopefully as your social listening plan matures, you’ll start tracking many topics and keywords. You’ll likely find this information flows
    into your stream in one large, unstructured mass. By assigning categories and moving content (either manually or automatically) into categories, you’ll have a far easier time understanding
    and taking action on what people say about you. Keep your categories flexible to account for any changes that arise in your audience’s opinions.
  7. Draft analytics reports to help shape future marketing endeavors.
    Social media listening puts you in an enviable position: You’ll start sitting on a mountain of data. But more data doesn’t always create more action — you have to be intentional. So create
    consistent reports that cover:
    • Sentiment analysis
    • Total mentions
    • Most active networks
    • Pain points
    To put it all into context for your fellow marketers, answer questions like “Are mentions going up or down over time?” and “Is positive sentiment increasing?” Doing this on a weekly,
    biweekly, or monthly basis will help shape current and future campaigns and the way you talk to your customers
  8. Help your customers become experts. You’ve accumulated a ton of knowledge about your industry, products, and services. Share what you’ve learned with your customers and community and help them become experts in their own right. Here are a few approaches:
    • Pay attention to the questions your customers ask most and put them on the FAQ section of your website. A robust FAQ library is a great way to assist your service team and show customers that you know their biggest concerns.
    • Answer every question and provide resources for further reading.
    • Lead by example. Conduct research, post case studies, and share learning moments on your blog.
    You don’t always have to have all the answers. Just be helpful.
  9. Engage intelligently with positive feedback. When you get positive feedback on social, tie a bow on that interaction so the customer is likely to say nice things about you again.
    Humans are highly influenced by others’ opinions, so when customers openly express their love of your brand, it’s valuable indeed. Always thank them first. Then you can look for ways to
    integrate them further into your community. You may take note of their latest blog post and share it with your network, add them as a guest contributor, or invite them to a customer forum.
  10. Deal with negative feedback swiftly and skillfully. When someone has negative things to say about your company, respond quickly and don’t delete the post from your page if it’s on a network like Instagram or Facebook where comments can be deleted. Your customers may view deletion as a sign your brand is dishonest and trying to hide the truth. And don’t feed the trolls — stay focused on constructive criticism. If someone is clearly out to tarnish your name, it’s best not to play into their game on social media. Instead, send them your customer service email address or phone number and ask them to contact you directly.
Source: Salesforce.com

Reimagine Content

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“The pandemic has changed consumer behaviors, some permanently. We have seen a consolidation of shopping trips: in China, for example, the number of transactions in grocery declined by 30 percent during the pandemic, while the average value per transaction increased by 69 percent. In the United States, e-commerce availability and hygiene considerations are increasing store switching behavior, with 17 percent of consumers shifting away from their primary store. Many customers have also tried new omnichannel models: buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) grew 28 percent year-over-year in February compared with 18 percent in January, and grocery delivery is up by 57 percent. More important, many of these new engagement models are here to stay. Consumers report high intention to continue using models such as BOPIS (56 percent) and grocery delivery (45 percent) after the pandemic.”

With Omnichannel and Digital first approaches, it’s imperative for brands to reimagine content across channels to offer a seamless experience.

Some of the content trends that are emerging to make the customers experience across touch points seamless are:

Personalization

Customers expect personalized messaging from brands to stay connected with brands during these troubled times. Conquer personalization with these five steps:

Collect Data on your customers

Build Personas

Use Dynamic Content

Choose your channel

Use personalized messaging

Gamify your Content

Engage audiences with gamified content. Offer content that increases user engagement. An example of this is Virtual workout offered by Nike China. Nike China activated its digital community by offering virtual workouts and saw an 80 percent increase in weekly active users of its app.

Use Video Conferencing

Businesses can make greater use of video conferencing to bring the in-store experience online. Customers expect to get individual attention and bringing in store experience online is a great way to keep the customers engaged.

Use Innovative techniques

Make use of new technologies to engage users with content that is innovative. Jewelry brand Kendra Scott is tackling that problem by launching a new platform, Virtual Try-On, which uses augmented-reality (AR), machine-learning, and computer-vision techniques.

Create Content for Bots

The use of Chat bots has gone up during the pandemic and brands need to connect with audiences via the bots. Publish content that meets the customers needs requires insights for their top most concerns. Listening to your customers can help understand their fears that can be addressed via chat bots. Additionally product queries can be better answered with a product inquiry bot.

 

Five Key Components of Effective Content Marketing

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Designing content that is likely to be referred and shared, for Content marketing that brings results, here are the Five Key Components.

Content Marketing Objective

Define your Content Marketing objective and  understand the reasons your audiences are likely to share your content. Create a check-list for each content marketing effort to understand the purpose of your content. A simple checklist can help you understand the content and the reason it is likely to be shared. An easy way to decide on your content marketing is to see where your content resides among the following key reasons; usefulness, discovery or reliving experiences.
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Content Marketing Strategy Framework

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Content Marketing Strategy Framework that enables brands build scalable operation and  serve the right content at the right time involves a five-step process. The questions that your Content Marketing Strategy needs to answer are:

The five steps in Content Marketing Strategy framework are

Purpose & Goals – Defining the purpose for your content. The question you need to answer is ” How we can create Business value from the creation of an engaged audience”
Audience – Defining the target group for your content and how they derive value from your content
Story – What are the unique ideas for your content for each stage of the buyer journey
Process – Process lays down the format for activating your plans
Measurement – Measurement includes gauging your performance and optimizing your efforts.

framework

With the Content Marketing Strategy framework, marketers are able to work out Content Marketing Strategy Statement that is aimed at a cohesive approach for Content Marketing efforts. Here is an easy template to help you work out your Content Marketing strategy statement.

content-mktg-strategy-statement
Use the Content Marketing Strategy statement to choose topics and add the same to your editorial checklist.

Purpose and Goals

content-purpose

Purpose and Goals answer the reason for Content Marketing that could range from Increasing revenue to  boosting sales or deepening Customer loyalty to raising awareness. Content Marketing Purpose centers around the value proposition that your content brings with a view to creating value from an engaged audience and answers the question “Why are we creating the content in First place?’

Audience

audience

Define who your audience are and whom you are targeting with your content to turn them into subscribers. Some of the questions that you need to answer to get a clear picture pertain to understanding the needs, behaviors, current user state and any other defining characteristics.

Story

story

The story is a unique idea that lets you monetize audiences that gather around it. The story focuses on Why it happened. A story is a selling tool that is intended to deliver business value. With a story you can deliver unique business value by building customer relationships. With an effective story, brands can build thriving customer communities. At the heart of the story, is Value Creation and purpose. It does not necessarily have a beginning or an end. The story is a way to build a rapport and earn Trust of customers to turn them into loyal fans and supporters.

Process

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The Process is an operational plan that will enable your business to meet the Content Marketing requirement. The operational plan lays down the steps involved in publishing content and the order in which they should be executed. The process is a step-by-step plan that spells out the owner of each task for the team involved.

The Process also covers modus operandi for producing different content format and the best practices that should be followed. The Process also lists stakeholders (Creators/ Contributors and Distributors). The level of support, resources required and timelines form the Process for Content Marketing. It includes Site Navigation, standard routing process and work-flow, required Team and Skill set,  Editorial Style and communication guidelines, Channel Plan and required tools and systems for optimal production and creativity.

Measurement 

measurement

Measurement comprises of Key Performance Indicators and Metrics that help you ascertain your achievement of goals within a timeline. Determine the goals that are required to be achieved to eventually deliver on Key Performance indicators. E.g. if you are required to get to a rich audience database prior to generating qualified leads, you need to measure your performance for the goal of a rich audience database.