It’s no secret that stupid and illegal social media activity can cost people their jobs.
The latest they-did-what? examples feature an automobile repair shop employee using Twitter to find a pot dealer and a daycare employee ridiculing toddlers via Instagram. Both were fired.
What these examples show us is that more companies and their PR partners
could use social media not only for engagement with key audiences, but
to defend and protect brands by identifying potential threats. It can
also assess trends and pounce on strategic opportunities. Tuned-in
organizations realize that social media improves their businesses and
fine-tunes critical customer service, employee relations and operations,
one tweet or snap at a time.
Sure, a media monitoring service for capturing print and online
placements, broadcast segments and general mentions is crucial. But
traditional monitoring only goes so far. You may miss conversations or
shares on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and other sites rich in
everyday conversation, shareable visuals and personal revelations that
could affect your brand. Standard old-style monitoring is valuable, but
it can’t hope to capture insights a more robust system will corral.
Here are a few tips for vigilant monitoring:
Never underestimate manual search. Be creative with
your search terms (product names, company names, facility names) and see
what comes up. Most days the results may be tame. But on the day you
pull up an Etsy link for handmade undergarments crafted from your
company’s logo t-shirt (true story), or Facebook photos of
build-your-own furniture made from your product’s packaging, or an
Instagram video of a company driver shouting obscenities while
transporting your product, you’ll be grateful for the chance to repay
appreciation, express regret, or ensure safety.
Don’t just watch, take action. Track public
conversations about your brand and then categorize these fans
geographically. Make a note of their profile and location for targeted
outreach and engagement. Note dissatisfaction or opportunities for
improvement. Keep a log of customer and consumer feedback for planning
and message nuances.
Don’t just read an article. Digest it! Even with a
traditional monitoring service, more can be done to get better results.
What do influencers write about? What angles have been covered that you
should avoid? Which articles on your industry or product get the highest
visibility and readership? Which visuals go viral? What phrases
resonate with media? What do the comments reveal about the issue or
consumers’ perceptions of it? Digesting and learning from news coverage
gives you the knowledge to supply critical context to clients, adjust
messages, and home in on your next story angle.
A version of this article originally appeared on Fineman PR's blog.