Social Media Monitoring: The B2B Process
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When it comes to B2B marketing, social media can bring so much more to the table than simply posting and sharing content. While social media is an important distribution tool, it's also a window into your audience's behavior and habits.
Whether you're gauging your own social media performance, competitors' or opinion leaders', better monitoring can help you leverage your social marketing activities and optimize your social media strategy to generate MQLs effectively.
Social Media Marketing - The B2B process
Monitoring relevant content across wide ranges of social media channels is invaluable when it comes to identifying trends, tracking competitors, and understanding your customers.
Why You Need the Right Social Media Monitoring Tools
When you’re using social for B2B marketing purposes, monitoring mentions, tracking your progress and gauging the impact on your website traffic, are all important tasks that can be incredibly time-consuming.
To monitor social media activity correctly, you'll need the right tools for gathering demographic data, analyzing your social media presence, identifying negative mentions, and engaging with your audience.
Using the right social media monitoring tools allows marketers to personalize content and tailor it to specific demographics, identify thought leaders and respond to customer feedback.
Four Steps to B2B Social Success
It is essential to identify valuable trends and monitor what is happening in your ecosystem. Be up to date on recent developments in areas that are relevant to you and use insights you derive from that analysis to optimize your B2B social marketing campaigns.
These are increasingly vital steps for B2B marketers that will help you elevate your campaigns from guesswork to social media success. Below we explore each step and share the best tools that can assist you in reaching your goals.
When it comes to social media monitoring, finding the most influential contributors in your industry, commonly used hashtags and keywords is an essential first step.
Power tools such as Keyhole, a search engine focused on real-time services such as Twitter and Instagram, go even further. Keyhole is a freemium service that lets you run relatively basic searches for free. The service’s real value is the ability to unlock rich search and reporting capabilities that is available through one of its paid plans. This goes beyond basic functionality available from Twitter’s, Facebook’s and Instagram’s native search capabilities.
The service enables you to track specific accounts, hashtags, keywords, @mentions and even URLs in real-time. It is a particularly powerful influencer and competitor tracking tool that delivers immediate insights into the conversations your audience is engaged in.
Automated reporting keeps you on top of audience KPIs such as audience growth, engagement and optimal times to share content.
Your next step is keeping up to date on new developments relevant to your ecosystem. Social monitoring is about paying close attention to what competitors, customers and thought leaders in your industry are talking about.
One of the most effective tools to help you do this is Feedly.
Use it to subscribe to just about any content source that has an RSS feed as well as real-time keyword updates through integration with Google Alerts. It also has a number of sharing options so you can share content using your preferred social media services.
It is perfect for data and knowledge-hungry marketers. The paid option unlocks additional features for marketing teams, including the ability to share interesting posts between team members and annotate useful quotes for further analysis.
Analyze and Curate
Now that you have the data about the topics most relevant to your target audience you need to make that data work for you. The key to achieving this is having a tool that can extract engagement insights from the conversations you are tracking and easily follow up on emerging opportunities.
Services such as Hootsuite and digimind are designed to help you do precisely this. Their analytics features highlight noteworthy social activity and enable you to filter audiences and conversations by hashtags, locations, keywords and even sentiment (sentiment analysis is a powerful way to assess an audience’s mood and formulate an appropriate response).
You may find that Facebook works well for some segments of your audience and LinkedIn for others. Twitter may be a perfect way to share ideas with some customers and email for different updates.
These services help you deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time.
These powerful marketing automation platforms help you leverage your insights and analysis to generate better quality leads and build sustainable communities around your products and services.
You Have The Tools, Now Make a Lasting Impact
Whether you’re doing social monitoring with services like Keyhole or collecting competitive intelligence through Feedly; conducting analysis with Hootsuite or digimind or putting all of your insights to work through multi-channel social campaigns, monitoring is the essential first step of the B2B marketing process.
As you already know, understanding your target audience is essential for effective B2B marketing. The tools listed above are a great starting point that will enable you to identify the right audience on the right platform and reach them with the right content at the right time.