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Digital marketing is one of the most promising fields in marketing and advertising, especially nowadays.
The definition of digital marketing lies in the use of online platforms and technologies such as PCs and mobile phones/tablets to advertise a brand. Of course, this entails email marketing and social media. And since no brand is willing to leave stones unturned, there’s a whole lot of competition in the field of digital tools.
This is the reason behind the rapid development of various free email marketing services that promise to help out with one aspect of your digital marketing; but what about the Facebook marketing and Instagram marketing aspect?
There are plenty of social media and content management tools as well, but are those enough? What about strategies like social media monitoring and social listening? Why are these there and where and how can they help?
Social Media Monitoring vs Social Listening
The graph above shows the exact reasons why each generation uses social media. This is the kind of data that can work to your advantage, but data is just information without the right technique.
So, let me clarify what social media monitoring is and why it’s different from social listening.
Those two terms are usually used interchangeably, but is that correct? The answer is no, and let me tell you why.
Social Media Monitoring: A Definition and Its Use
Social media monitoring is not a concept that is hard to grasp, provided you’ve got the proper tools and training.
Essentially, social media monitoring has to do with the tools and platforms you use and the way you use them to monitor brand references and analyze competitors as a result.
And by monitoring the references that contain your brand’s name around various social media platforms, you can monitor what your brand image is like, not to mention how useful you can prove to be to consumers and prospects worldwide.
But why worldwide?
You see, in this day and age, it’s not uncommon for a brand or a business to experience customer churn in a place that is way too far away from their headquarters.
And since this could be the case, you need to control all mentions on all continents and use them as both an opportunity to better your brand by using positive and negative feedback to your advantage but also, as a real data goldmine.
You see, social media monitoring can give you all the data you need, in order to figure out what will keep your customers happy and how to create a strategy that will benefit both your followers and yourself.
It can also pinpoint the demographics that find your product or service to be most useful, and the different ways they use it, allowing you to figure out what kind of changes your product needs and who would see a real benefit from those.
But it’s not just that.
Reacting in real-time and saving your brand exactly when it needs to be saved by answering to praises and accusations-if any-is one of the major benefits of social media monitoring. It shows a brand that cares and, in the end, builds authority and credibility in your niche.
However, social media monitoring cannot work all on its own.
Social Listening: A Definition and Its Use
Social listening is merely the next step after you’re done monitoring your mentions around the globe.
Essentially, social listening means coming to conclusions as to why and how your brand name is in those mentions you found out about during your social media monitoring ventures. So, as you understand, one wouldn’t exist without the other in the end.
By engaging in social listening, you manage to analyze those mentions and come down to a conclusion when it comes to the things and strategies that would work to your advantage. Always according to the demographics you’ve got at hand, of course.
The use of those two strategies is what enables marketers to tell them apart in the end. By monitoring, a marketer observes; by listening, a marketer uses what they’ve managed to gather, to their brand’s advantage.
Therefore, the use of social listening is pretty much managing to act on the reason why a prospect-or even a competitor-mentioned you somewhere on some social media platform or another.
Brands are entities that need a strong growth mindset in order to reach their full potential. No brand can expect to stop interacting with its prospects and still grow to become a household name.
Now, with social listening, a brand can get extra brownie points for engagement and engagement can lead from making a brand’s name better known to the public, to cultivating trust between prospects in that specific niche.
Not to mention the extremely important and very strong H2H-Human to Human, that is-business model that is all the rage today. You cannot achieve H2H anything without great engagement.
Should You Combine Them?
The short answer would be yes, as there is no point for you to monitor online comments without doing anything about them in the end.
But how exactly can you use social media monitoring and social listening to your advantage? And why is that the only wise choice?
The answer to that is very simple. Social media monitoring tools are great for tracking down the mentions of your brand. What they’re also fantastic at, is tracking mentions of any brand out there.
This means that you can hit two birds with one stone, as you’ll be able to analyze your performance and social media presence, as well as that of your competitors’ with just one tool.
Use the data combined and to your advantage and build a strategy that will contain everything your competitors’ strategies lack.
Let’s assume, for example, that you own a fast-food restaurant. And let’s assume that a competitor’s restaurant doesn’t offer free refills for coffee. Use that to your advantage and offer this yourself.
The same principle applies to each and every brand out there. SaaS platforms with zero free trials? This is your time to shine! Social media monitoring will show you where the gap in the market is.
Social listening, on the other hand, will help you create the posts and content you need, in order to put that effort out there. Your hard work means nothing if it doesn’t pay off somehow, as you know. Therefore you need posts that will bring attention, engagement, and, conversion.
Just listen to your audience’s needs, it will make things a whole lot easier for yourself and your brand, as you’ll know exactly the type of ideas that will work. After all, coming up with something your audience doesn’t need, won’t really help you establish yourself as an authority.
Social media monitoring and social listening are the two most important things your social media strategy needs, in order to help create, determine, and promote content and your brand as a whole.
From saving you in a PR crisis to actually scoring sales, those two techniques can pinpoint all the hows and whys of marketing efforts, content efforts, even new features or offers-for the fellows on eCommerce-that should be underway.
At the end of the day, all brands are using everything they can, in an attempt to increase revenue from their long-term customers.
And these customers, repeaters and loyal ones, need to see a brand that cares enough for them to actually listen and create for them.