Social networking & communication has become imperative in the growth process of every organization in the 21st century. When it comes to managing this important factor, the difference between monitoring and listening arises. You know the difference between looking at the flowers & viewing the forest? That is basically the difference between monitoring & listening.
Nowhere is it true than in social media, which is a highly important & integral part of the whole online marketing space. Monitoring basically looks at individual messages coming in across the channels that you are using, while listening gauges the meaning behind the data that are coming in.
Social media monitoring and listening are frequently discussed topics within the digital marketing industry today. But what is surprising is that the two terms are often confused with each other & are often used interchangeably. In fact most brands either lack understanding of these terms or they lack a clear strategy to execute these processes effectively. Social media marketing is not entirely about monitoring and listening but yes without being a good monitor and keen listener, it’s not worth of anything valuable. To understand that we need to know what each of these terms actually mean.
So what is Social Monitoring?
Social media monitoring is all about consistent monitoring and analysis of performance of a campaign based on certain parameters. Key performance indicator/s may vary from one campaign to another, but effective monitoring is not just about keeping a hawk eye on the performance dashboard, rather it’s more about real time analysis to figure out the scopes of improvement. Automation has taken over! But still choosing an ideal monitoring platform involves quite a lot of manual effort.
Trending Over Trends: Battle of Hashtags
Yes, it’s an integral aspect of overall monitoring! Digital Marketing Agencies are not leaving an inch to win over the battle. Real time war of hashtags may last for a week, a day or just for even few hours! Monitoring at real time is what it takes to leave an impact. Hits and misses will always be there, but hawk eyed monitoring is what needed to take over the trend. Nevertheless, real time monitoring involves real brainstorming and absolutely without depending on any automation.
Then what is Social Listening?
Social media listening is the use of a social technology platform in order to investigate what is actually being said in online conversations. Through this process you may learn, question, explore, as well as, get deep insights. It is an extremely proactive practice. You may look at conversations around your brand, as well as, your competitors in order to see how customers categorize them. You can even find conversations around your product category to see what improvements or features that the consumers might really be interested in.
As far the question of automation arises, in the long run automation should take over! But we can’t let a robot to listen to the buzz and keep our earplugs on. So, what it takes to be a good listener:
Here’s a couple of terrible facts about social media-
So in order to carry out effective work in your social media team, you must first centralize all the brand’s social profiles in a single platform. This results in monitoring at large scale. Secondly, do create alert system in order to keep your team on it’s toes. To add to this the community managers must identify the potential entry points, which guides the purchasing decisions.
Monitoring & Listening – a brand needs both
With monitoring large volumes of data start to flow in. In such a scenario, social listening is absolutely necessary. Of course, social listening is much more difficult task than the daily monitoring process. Automation in social listening requires less little
Social listening also leads to pattern recognition, uncovering trends, and calculating share of voice among groups of keywords or queries, which can provide tremendous value. To put it in one line- As monitoring result in increased engagement & listening efforts leads to more strategic decision-making, a brand can get drastic success in the online space.