8 Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Social Media Monitoring Efforts

Social media has become a vital aspect of marketing and communication strategies for almost all organizations. It has provided unparalleled opportunities for connection and interaction between business and their customers.

However, it is crucial to recognize that social media also comes with its fair share of risks, especially if it is not appropriately managed. This is where social media monitoring comes into play.

Social media monitoring has become essential to any company’s digital marketing strategy. It involves using specialized software tools to monitor brand mentions, hashtags, keywords, and other relevant metrics, to gather insights and data about a brand’s online reputation, customer feedback, and overall social media presence. 

Social media monitoring is important for businesses and organizations to better understand their audience, improve customer engagement, identify emerging trends, and stay ahead of competitors.

However, even with the best intentions, many companies make mistakes that can undermine the effectiveness of their social media monitoring efforts. 

Whether you are a business owner or a social media manager at a large corporation, understanding these mistakes and learning how to avoid them can help you get the most out of your social media strategy.

Here are eight mistakes that are ruining your social media monitoring efforts:

1. Not making use of filters to narrow down a search

Social media platforms are vast and filled with a large amount of information, including irrelevant and outdated data. This is why one of the biggest mistakes that can interfere with the effectiveness of social media monitoring is not utilizing filters to narrow down your searches and remove unwanted results.

With filters, you can specify keywords, language, location, time frames, types of platforms, and even more. All of this helps to refine your search results, avoid irrelevant or outdated information, and focus on the most crucial information you need to make informed decisions. 

Let’s use Apple Inc. as an example. When you search for “Apple” as a keyword, it can show you results ranging from the fruit to Apple Inc.

To get search results that are only related to Apple Inc., you should add a filter for negative words to be ignored. In this case, some good examples of negative words would be fruit, recipe, food, juice, and pie.

Using negative keywords guarantees that these words will not appear in the search results. As you can see below, the results only show Reddit posts that mention Apple Inc and its products.

Failing to use filters to narrow down your social media search can lead to missed opportunities and a lack of critical insights into your brand’s performance. 

With so much information available on social media, it is essential to make good use of them and stay informed about what people are saying about your brand. By utilizing filters, you can make social media monitoring a much more efficient and effective tool for your business.

2. Failing to include all possible alternatives for a brand name in a query

Failing to include all possible alternatives for a brand name in a social media monitoring query is a common mistake that can hinder your efforts. Many brands have multiple variations of their name, including abbreviations, acronyms, or misspellings. 

Think McDonald’s. There are many different ways people call the popular fast-food franchise around the world. In Australia, they call it Maccas; while in the Philippines, they know it as McDo. Apart from those, McDs is also a common abbreviation used for McDonald’s.

By including all possible variations in your query, you can ensure that you are capturing all mentions and conversations related to your brand, providing a more comprehensive view of your online presence.

In addition, including all brand name alternatives in your query can help you identify potential brand confusion or brand hijacking. Some companies may have a similar name or acronym to yours, leading to confusion among consumers.

One of the most well-known trademark disputes was between Apple Corps and Apple Computer

By monitoring for these alternative names and correcting any misinformation, you can protect your brand’s trademark and reputation, and avoid losing customers.

3. Failing to keep track of your competitor’s social media activity

As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle. Social media itself contains a treasure trove of information that you could capitalize on and up your game.

By monitoring and analyzing your competitors’ social media activity, you can learn from their mistakes or successes, and uncover important insights such as their marketing strategies, product offerings, complaints they receive, types of content that resonate with your shared target audience, as well as important industry developments.

BigEvo, a digital marketing agency based in Jakarta, helped their client, a renowned Japanese manufacturer, by tracking their competitors’ major ongoing campaigns while the client promoted theirs.

Based on the data, BigEvo was able to tell and compare the percentage of their client’s share of voice across various social media platforms as compared to their competitors. This data gives the client a good picture of how they are performing and what they can do to improve if they were falling back.

Here is another great case study of what keeping a close eye on your competitors’ social media accounts can do. In 2017, restaurant chain iHOP confidently tweeted that they were the original pancake house. When their rival, Denny’s, noticed the attention iHOP was receiving for their tweet, they decided to turn the tide with a shady clap back. A plus for effort!

All of this information presents excellent opportunities for you to find out what captures your customers’ attention, better understand their preferences, differentiate your brand, and stay informed about key industry trends and developments.

You can even incorporate some of the successful elements in your own social media strategy to improve, boost revenue, and stay ahead of your competition.

4. Not researching your target audience

Without a deep understanding of your audience, creating content that can resonate with them and meet their needs will be challenging. 

Social media monitoring allows businesses to gather valuable data about their audience, including their demographics, interests, and behaviors. Make use of this data to create content that is tailored to your audience’s preferences and engage with them more effectively.

Netflix is at the top of the game when it comes to understanding its target audience, the millennials. By social listening to their target audience, their marketing team learned that they appreciate a good sense of humor, self-irony, and even some fun sarcasm. The goal is not to act like a boring corporate but to become every Internet user’s best friend. Relatability is key.

In Netflix’s own words for the 8th Annual Shorty Awards:

  • We don’t just provide the world with movies and TV shows, we talk about them on social media just like any other obsessed, stream freak super-fan.
  • When we aren’t posting, we’re listening, looking for the new trends igniting the entertainment world.

Netflix identifies trends that its consumers are interested in and put out content inspired by them. This gave birth to some of the most unconventional but viral content pieces that bring in high levels of user engagement. 

Have a look at one of their most recent posts on Instagram where they created a carousel post of property listings featuring notable houses from their shows (from We Have a Ghost to Stranger Things and The Haunting of Bly Manor). In less than 12 hours, the post received over 90.2K likes. 

Another excellent example is the carousel post of memes Netflix’s marketing team created for Squid Game. Apart from promoting Squid Game, they reeled in audiences from other fan-favorite shows like The Office to respond in the comments too. The post accumulated over 1.5 million likes.

Netflix’s success is proven by the fact that its social media following keeps growing. As of today, Netflix has over 32.4 million followers on just Instagram alone, while its competitors like Disney+ and Amazon Prime only have a combined following of 8.3 million.

5. Failing to utilize social media monitoring analytics effectively

Many businesses invest in social media monitoring tools but fail to fully understand how to interpret the data they collect. Simply collecting this data is not enough. With effective analysis and interpretation of your data, it can be used to spot issues at the right time, allowing you to react swiftly and thus, empowering your social media growth.

If your social media ads are not performing as expected, the answer may lie within your analytics. It might be due to bad timing, wrong targeted location, or even poor optimization goal. 

Let’s use Facebook Ads as an example, and see what happens when you select a poor optimization goal. 

An optimization goal allows Facebook to understand the action you want your audience to take after seeing your advertisement, and it helps them target your audience better.

If your aim is to optimize your advertisement for conversions, it tells Facebook that they should target your advertisement to people who are more likely to buy your products based on how they had previously interacted with similar advertisements.

This is a great feature to have, but choosing the wrong optimization goal may lead to unfavorable results. This is because if your advertisements do not end up converting into sales, it will appear as though people are not interested in your advertisements, and there is a chance Facebook may stop promoting them completely. 

This is where analytics come into play. 

When you review your post analytics, you might find that people are interested in what you have to offer, just that you are getting more link clicks than immediate conversions.

To fix this, all you have to do is simply switch your optimization goal from conversions to link clicks. With that, Facebook will be able to promote your ads to reach the best group of audience.

Eventually, when you start seeing more conversions happen, you can revert your optimization goal to conversions. It is a continuous cycle: post, review, and improve.

By effectively utilizing social media monitoring analytics, businesses can make the most out of their marketing campaigns, better understand their audience and engage with them more effectively, and ultimately drive meaningful business results.

6. Not taking advantage of social media monitoring to identify relevant trends

Social media platforms are full of user-generated content, including discussions and conversations about trends related to your industry.

By monitoring social media conversations and trends, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and identify emerging trends that may impact or boost their industry. This can be valuable in forming product development and marketing strategies

The interest in podcasts has grown steadily over the past few years. This year, it is expected to increase to 464.7 million listeners worldwide, and in fact, experts forecast that the value of the industry will hit $94.9 billion by 2028

Spotify, one of the leading audio streaming platforms in the world, decided to tap into the craze by adding podcasts to their application in 2018.

Since then, they have continued observing trends, reviewing feedback, and ideating on new ways to improve their listeners’ experience – from video podcasts to Q&As and polls, and even podcast chapters and timestamps.

By analyzing social media data, businesses can identify patterns and trends in consumer behavior, as well as opinions around products or services. This information can be used to improve products or services, as well as to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with consumers. 

7. Not giving sufficient attention to potential sales opportunities on social media

Social media platforms offer an opportunity to engage with customers in a way that traditional advertising methods cannot. By neglecting to pay attention to potential sales opportunities, businesses miss out on the chance to convert social media engagement into sales.

This may include failing to promote products or services on social media, overlooking direct inquiries from customers, or not responding to customer feedback promptly. 

This is where social media monitoring comes in to fill the gap, as they can easily capture feedback and complaints from your customers in one place.

Look at how Nike raised expectations with their response to this customer’s query on Twitter.

The customer service representative from Nike could have just said the item was out of stock or even ignored it. Not only did they respond on the same day, but they also went above and beyond and offered to help the customer track down an available pair.

The lesson to be learned here? Social media monitoring provides a unique opportunity for businesses to identify potential sales opportunities, engage with a new group of customers online, and ultimately drive revenue.

By actively monitoring social media channels, companies can identify customers looking for their products or services, respond to inquiries quickly, and create a positive online reputation that can attract new customers.

In this day and age, where there is a plethora of offerings online, speed, quality, and staying atop trends is the key to bringing home the deal.

8. Failing to address negative reviews about your company promptly

Social media has given consumers an incredibly powerful voice, and a negative review can spread rapidly, potentially reaching millions of people. Businesses risk losing credibility and customer trust by not addressing negative reviews promptly. 

Customers want to know that their concerns are being heard and addressed, and a lack of response can be interpreted as indifference or incompetence. Social media monitoring provides businesses with an opportunity to identify negative reviews and address them quickly and appropriately. 

By responding to negative reviews promptly, businesses can show customers that their concerns are being taken seriously and may even be able to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Look at how Skyscanner cleverly responded to a customer when he posted on Facebook about the travel site suggesting he take a 413,786-hour and 25-minute long layover on a trip from Christchurch to London. 

Instead of writing it off as a technical glitch with the website, Skyscanner decided to go with a comedic approach by offering some suggestions on how he can kill time during his extended layover in Bangkok while offering to look into the mistake at the same time. 

Their hilarious response went viral in no time and led to a spike in user engagement as they were impressed by the company’s sense of humor. Some were even convinced to use Skyscanner the next time they travel!

Final thoughts

By now, I think we can all agree that social media monitoring is a critical component of any effective social media strategy. However, one needs to be careful to avoid the common mistakes shared above, as those can undermine the effectiveness of your social media monitoring efforts.

There are several excellent tools like Keyhole that are not only intuitive to use but can also help you better navigate the world of social media monitoring.

Keyhole, for example, is packed with a myriad of features. Predict rising trends, schedule unlimited posts and optimize your social media presence apart from tracking your overall performance, growth, and engagement of your accounts and campaigns.

The great news is you can get as free trial to check out the benefits your business can potentially reap from the help of Keyhole.

When all of this is done right, you will find yourself with a long list of valuable insights that can enable you to:

  • Learn and stay informed about what is being said about your brand and competitors
  • Protect and enhance your brand’s online reputation
  • Better understand your target audience
  • Be in a better position to respond to your customer’s needs and preferences
  • Forecast industry trends
  • Inform product development and marketing strategies

In summary, it is vital for businesses to continually assess their social media monitoring strategies and adapt them as needed to gain a competitive edge and stay ahead in today’s digital landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is social media monitoring?

It is the practice of tracking and analyzing hashtags, keywords, and mentions of a brand, product, or topic. Social media monitoring helps to manage a brand's reputation, engage with their customers better, provide insights into their competitors and see how they can improve their own strategy, help minimize the impact of the crisis, and allows businesses to track the success of their social media campaigns.

How to conduct your first social media monitoring?

Here's how to conduct your first social media monitoring:
1. Determine your goals and objectives.
2. Identify the social media platforms that are relevant to your brand or topic.
3. Use social media monitoring tools to track mentions of a brand or topic.
4. Set up alerts and notifications to ensure you are immediately alerted when a mention occurs.
5. Monitor hashtags related to your brand or topic to track what people say about your brand.
6. Analyze and respond to comments or concerns in a timely manner to help create better engagement and reputation.
7. Track your metrics to measure the success of social media monitoring efforts and make necessary adjustments to optimize your strategy.

How to improve your social media monitoring strategy?

Here are some ways to improve your social media monitoring strategy:
1. Identify the most relevant keywords and hashtags related to your brand or topic.
2. Monitor and track your competitors and gain a competitive advantage.
3. Stay up to date with social media trends.
4. Use automation tools to streamline social media monitoring and response efforts.
5. Collaborate with other departments, such as customer service and marketing, to ensure that your social media monitoring efforts are aligned with the overall business strategy.
6. Monitor the social media channels of influencers related to your brand to identify potential partnerships and opportunities for collaboration.

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