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Social media has become a deeply entrenched aspect of our digital lives. We use it as a guide on what to do and to tell us what others are doing. Social media has become an integral aspect of brands’ digital lives too. Companies continue to invest significantly in social media because of its importance to consumers. According to a recent study, 58% B2B marketers are increasing their social media spend in 2014. As brands get more ambitious and expand the scope of their social media campaigns, the volume of social interaction between brands and consumers and also between consumers about the brand, increases. Brands obviously will want to get the most from their investment in social media and mining this data can give them rich insights for further marketing campaigns. Social media analytical tools can help marketers do just this. Following are four kinds of social analytical tools that can help you learn more about your consumers, reach out and engage better:
1. Listening Tools
A brand cannot afford to be ignorant about what’s being said about it on any major social platform. Social media listening tools (also known as social media monitoring tools) can be your digital eyes and ears. They sift through all the chatter and analyze it for positive and negative comments. Depending on their complexity and features, they can give you alerts on where your brand is featured or direct your attention to negative comments and potential trouble creators.
Listening tools provide insights into social data and help formulate informed and effective social marketing strategies. These tools can help brands be proactive either in exploiting opportunities or in defusing controversies before they spiral out of control.
2. Reach Tools
Every brand wants to maximize its reach on social media. With the variety of social media platforms today, this is becoming an increasingly tough task. Each platform has different formats – Slideshare can carry a 100 MB presentation but Twitter restricts at 140 character messages. The growth and diversity of social media offerings makes manual posting across social media platforms tougher with each passing day.
This is where social reach tools come in. Through an automated process they spread your brand’s content across the web, helping you target prospects, engage with existing customers and encourage word of mouth. What’s more, you can use even use these tools to identify influencers (positive and negative) for your brand. As you know, influencer marketing is a great technique to increase reach.
3. Depth Tools
Some products are high involvement products and choosing the right product means a lot to the buyer. It could be a camera for an amateur photographer or a financial software package for a small business owner. The stakes are high for the buyer either emotionally, financially or in terms of effort and impact.
These prospects want in-depth information such as, third party reviews and ratings of your products before they make their purchase decision. Tools that offer social depth help your brand by building rich social content and experiences into your sites. You can even use social depth tools to facilitate comments, third party ratings and reviews on your site.
4. Relationship Tools
Social relationship tools are useful for publishing content on social sites. These tools offer scheduling capabilities, which ensure an enduring online presence. This helps the brand stay in touch regularly with consumers instead of making sporadic appearances.
Additionally, relationship tools can create rich content assets like Twitter Cards and experiences like social contests and polls both of which give texture, prompt interest and involvement in the engagement. There are social CRM tools that help you respond to customer queries and build positive word of mouth amongst consumers. Each tool offers specific benefits, each of which is important to your business. You will have to choose your mix of tools based on your business objectives. These tools work best together, after all what’s the point of ‘listening’ to a problem, if you are not going to address it with your ‘reach’ tools or ‘relationship’ tools. Choose your tools carefully based on your resources and watch the effectiveness of your social media activities surge.
Which tools work best for your business? Tell us…