Social media monitoring is one of the most significant, yet often overlooked benefits of the medium, with the capacity to tune in, and get a feel for what people are saying about your brand, providing a wealth of marketing benefits that were simply not available in times past.
But where do you go to get the most insight, and which platforms provide the most benefit in social media monitoring?
We sought to find out where marketers are paying attention in our first research report of the year, conducted in partnership with Meltwater. We gathered feedback from more than 650 professionals, across a range of industries, in order to learn where marketers are tuning in, and what they’re finding with their social listening efforts.
This summary is part of our larger State of Social Listening report, which you can download in full here, while you can also check out part one of our report summary here.
Part II – Platforms of Focus
As part of our survey, we sought to hone in on the specific platforms that brands are using to track mentions, and glean value for their research efforts.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter leads the way here, with the open, real-time nature of the platform better lending itself to social listening. Over the years, Meta has gone to significant effort to limit data tracking via third party tools, a push which ramped up in the wake of the 2016 US Presidential Election, following revelations that user data was improperly used to target certain ads and initiatives.
Still, both Instagram and Facebook came in at second and third place in our response data, and with both apps seeing such significant usage and interest, it makes sense for brands to tune into chatter on both where they can. It’s more challenging, and limited than Twitter is in this regard, but there is still opportunity to glean insight from Meta’s apps.
Though it is also worth noting the way in which people use each platform to connect with brands. Again, the more open nature of Twitter better lends itself to brand outreach, and with most tweets shared in public, it also provides the opportunity for users to ‘call out’ brands, and use that pressure to get a faster, more favorable response. Given this, it logically makes the most sense to track Twitter mentions above others anyway, and with tools like TweetDeck, along with various third-party tracking dashboards offering keyword alerts and other options, Twitter’s also the easiest platform to monitor for brand keywords and mentions.
Which is the key element of focus for most:
Almost 80% of brands are looking to track brand mentions, with industry keywords and hashtags the next most common elements. Fewer businesses are tracking relevant thought leaders in their space, or mentions of employees – which likely indicates that most businesses don’t look to showcase their own thought leaders externally, which would invariably put more emphasis on this aspect.
That could be a missed opportunity, and a potential shift in thinking for marketers. With social media putting more emphasis on the individual, and connecting with a real person, as opposed to a brand, the data here could suggest that more businesses could get more out of establishing a thought leadership program for their staff, in order to help showcase their individual expertise as another brand growth element.
Some businesses are hesitant to promote individuals over the main brands, for fear of losing them, and any credibility that they may have gained, but statistics show that brands that do look to showcase their internal experts are far better at getting the attention of relevant decision makers online.
The combined data here also highlights potential in monitoring more platforms – particularly YouTube and Reddit, and TikTok as well given its meteoric rise – which could offer new avenues of insight, and may uncover new opportunities that you didn’t realize existed. Again, automating such can be a challenge, though there are alert programs that cover YouTube and Reddit, and even Pinterest too, and TikTok will no doubt soon develop similar to help brands make the most of their efforts (TikTok’s Ads Library offers the capacity to search for the best brand campaigns by sector)
The opportunities highlighted here won’t be universal, but the data does suggest that there are brand insights potentially being missed in the current state.
You can download our full State of Social Listening Report, in partnership with Meltwater, here.