Social Listening: Best Practices For Growing Businesses

Updated on January 23rd, 2020.

More than listening to what customers are saying about your brand or industry in the social sphere, this one question is important:

What do you do with what your customers and prospects say on social media?

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5 Social Listening Best Practices:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate
2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation
3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In
4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool
5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

Hearing what customers say on social media is one thing, but understanding how to use their conversations to your brand’s advantage is another.

500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s ~6,000 tweets per second.

And that’s just Twitter.

A prospect could tweet something as simple as “I need a black shoe right now” and get the attention of seventy of her followers engaging with the post.

What would happen, if you as a shoe brand (for instance) chime into that conversation with a link to your black shoe — including a discount coupon?

Here are five social listening best practices that can make a huge difference in your business:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate

When you learn from people who are already doing well, you’re in essence skipping the mistakes they made before getting to where they are today. You can avoid most of mistakes they made.

On learning from competitors, PR expert Gini Dietrich says:

“Analyze your competitors’ marketing—see which efforts work well, and understand why stakeholders like them: What is their primary messaging? Why does or doesn’t it work? How do people respond to the company’s overtures online? Is word of mouth positive or negative? Why?”

Businesses perform better at social listening when they ethically learn from competitors who are already doing it right.

Piecing together their strategy is like scoring a free cheatsheet. Visit their platforms to see how they’re doing their social media — responding to feedback, joining industry conversations, and so on.

Fashion company Topshop, for example, is a good brand to learn social listening from. And of course, there are several other brands out there that are awesome at this.

While many other fashion brands only only take advantage of world-renowned events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Topshop takes advantage of other smaller festivals or events — especially in entertainment and fashion space.

When conversations about #EEBAFTAs (the hashtag for British Academy Film Awards) were trending on Twitter, Topshop joined in.

Tweet of Topshop during the #EEBAFTAs

Remember, this is an event many other fashion brands don’t value as much as they do more popular events. Well, Topshop decided to participate in the conversation on Twitter and their engagement rate soared; one of their tweets with the hashtag became the most popular on their timeline.

So, when looking for brands to learn your social listening strategy from, companies like Topshop are good examples to learn from. They look at other industry-related events that most of their competitors aren’t looking at and take advantage of them.

There are hundreds or even thousands of other brands you can learn from. Do your research on brands doing social listening well in your industry and see how you can learn from them.

But what if you step into a lively conversation and get a slap in the face? You need to know when to enter an ongoing conversation on social media.

2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation

Social media is built on conversations, and consumers want to be talked to, not sold to.

Social media marketing guru Carlos Gil put it more succinctly:

“Talk to your audience, make conversation, build relationships. Consumers are people and they don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged so engage them.”

But it’s not just getting into conversations with prospects that’s important, you also need to know when and when not to engage them.

Ever gotten into a conversation and then realized you shouldn’t have? Or maybe your timing was just off?

When to enter an ongoing conversation is crucial.

It determines whether or not you’ll be getting any benefits from your social listening efforts or not. It determines whether you’ll get bashed or praised for joining a conversation. Avoid regret. Pick and choose your times to engage.

Here’s a few examples of typical conversations, and how to engage them:

Customer Service Queries

Customer service related queries require your immediate response.

Customers get angry all the time for different reasons, and you want to ensure they don’t stay angry. Or they need to ask questions before buying from you.

In any case, you want to respond to customer service requests fast.

“Netflix is known for its superior online customer service. That is due in large part to a corporate culture that empowers employees to act quickly”

Rebekah Radice, Founder at RadiantLA

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

An Ongoing Conversation About a Government Policy

Trying to take advantage of a social media conversation about a government policy that hurts people is an example of a potentially bad time to enter a social media conversation (depending on your stance).

For instance, following a ban from the US president last year, people from Muslim-majority countries were banned from entering the US. Taxi companies weren’t happy about this, and so they all went down the JFK airport and stopped pickups from working.

Amidst this commotion, Uber saw it fit to join the conversation and advertise their service, in theory helping stranded passengers. The turn out was bad. #DeleteUber became a thing on the Internet with many users posting how they weren’t happy without Uber’s position on the ban:

#DeleteUber campaign.

If you’re not going to sympathize with people who find a particular policy disturbing, it’s best to stay away from conversations like this.

When to Keep Quiet or Simply Apologize

Sometimes it’s best to remain silent — when saying anything at all will make a situation bad on all sides. Depending on the vitriol being spread, you may just want to pretend you didn’t hear a thing.

A smart rule of thumb is to only get involved in conversations when you know you won’t get burned or miss out on significant benefits.

For example, these conversation scenarios are clear enough to know whether or not to chime in:

  • An angry customer is egging people on and you feel you might be baited into a fight – Do not chime it.
  • You feel tempted to speak ill of a competitor’s product. – Do not chime in.
  • You feel tempted to market your Spring bouquets on Christmas Day (making you look like an extraterrestial)- Do not chime in.
  • You will literally miss the party if you don’t get into a conversation on time — like tweeting about Valentine’s Day on February 15 – Chime in!
  • You won’t get burned for marketing your Valentine’s products on Valentine’s Day – Chime in!

These are just a few examples. Think up a few you want to avoid or join.

But it’s still not always this straightforward, right?

Sometimes it can get really dicey and you won’t be sure whether or how to respond to feedback in the sometimes volatile social arena. Everybody’s watching, remember?

And bad news travels fast.

For example, one Clayburn Griffin mentioned Cap ‘n Crunch on Twitter, saying…

Tweet about Cap'n Crunch by Clayburn Griffin

Cap ‘n Crunch probably wasn’t sure what the outcome of their clapback would be. But they took the risk anyway. As it turned out, it worked for them. Cap ‘n Crunch’s tweet clearly got more love than KFC’s.

Cap 'n Crunch's tweet at KFC

Should you do the same if you were in this situation?

Speaking about the reason for their clapback, Andrew Cunningham from Huge (which managed digital for Cap ‘n Crunch) said: “KFC came at us pretty hard, and at that point we had full license to zing them back.”

Sometimes it isn’t rocket science to know when to enter a conversation. Sometimes it is. A smart rule of thumb, however, would be to only respond to conversations that clearly CAN BE handled. And apologize when occasion demands.

Another good social listening practice is to have your social media team collaborate with relevant departments in your organization to provide accurate information.

3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In

Social media is clearly not a secondary channel for marketing anymore, it’s the main channel today.

And if that’s the case, then it’s worth having all relevant departments in your organization collaborating on it.

When an issue is brought up by a customer that your social media team doesn’t have enough expertise to handle, have them link up with the relevant departments that can provide apt feedback or information.

78% of customers say competent service reps play a huge role in a happy customer experience.

Service reps can’t be competent if they aren’t fed the right information by relevant departments. So departments in your organization need to collaborate with your social listening efforts.

Customers hate it when they reach out to your customer service via social media and don’t get a satisfactory response. Or when you tell them to send an email to get an issued solved. Nothing beats you giving them the right response right from social media where they contacted you.

“I have for 10 years—long before Facebook was even on the map—called myself a ‘relationship marketing specialist.’ And I love that term because to me it transcends the medium. It’s all about people doing business with people.”

Mari Smith, Top Facebook Marketing Expert.

And remember, it’s social media — everybody’s watching.

This doesn’t mean your programmers, finance people, and other staff need to abandon their roles all the time to respond to customer complaints on social. But they can play a huge role in assisting your social media managers with the relevant information they need.

An open communication line between the social media team and relevant departments can work wonders here.

That said, your entire social listening effort, however, is nothing without a good social monitoring tool.

4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool

Social media listening tools help you analyze what’s been said about your brand and industry on social media.

There are many social media monitoring tools out there, which makes choosing the right one a challenge sometimes. But you need to find the right one for your business anyway.

An inefficient social listening tool will make your social marketing efforts unnecessarily hard and frustrating.

If, for example, your tool can’t help you sort out the different sentiments in your social mentions, it’s going to be really hard to start scrolling through the many mentions you get to get the one(s) you’re looking for.

Want to monitor sentiment analysis for the hashtag you’re tracking like this? Try Keyhole.

Social conversation monitors have different capabilities. Some provide basic functions while others offer more advanced features. You want to pick the one that offers the functions that matter to your business.

5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

You need to track metrics that matter. Otherwise, it’d be all for nothing. And there are lots of things to track, but you need to spot the ones that really matter to your business.

A few things to track:

  • Sentiment: How many mentions about your brand are favourable or otherwise.
  • Popularity: How many mentions are you getting per day, week or month?
  • Influencers: Who are the influencers talking about you, how many are they and what are they saying?
  • Most engaging topics: Which topics get the most likes, replies and reposts? Knowing this will help you understand where to focus your social listening efforts.

What you do with what you’re hearing about your brand is critical in this age where it feels like social media is controlling the world. Use the strategies in this piece to make the most of what’s being said about you and your industry.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword analysis and hashtag analytics. Get started for free and conduct social listening for your brand.

Benchmarking: Analyze Industry Competitors and Enhance Marketing Strategy Using Social Media Benchmarking (+6 Step Plan!)

Learn about social media benchmarking and how you stack up against competitors.

How does your social media performance compare to your competition?

And how do you even begin to answer that question?

In this guide, we’ll cover the metrics and benchmarking tactics needed to judge the performance of your social media campaigns.

What type of success have your competitors seen? Where do you stand relative to them? What type of content will you have to produce to keep up – or better yet – raise the bar?

Asking questions like these through social media benchmarking will help you pinpoint exactly how well your social media campaigns are performing, and where they can improve.

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What is Benchmarking?

What is Social Media Benchmarking?

Why Should You Benchmark?

How to Conduct Social Media Benchmarking
1. Establish Your Goals
2. Determine Your Competitors
3. Pick the Right Social Media Networks
4. Choose Which Social Media Metrics to Measure
5. Write Down Actionable Insights
6. Take Action and Repeat

What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is comparing your marketing processes and performance to your direct competitors or to industry standards.

Benchmarking helps you ask the question, “what does success look like?”

Every modern marketer is looking for metrics to predict, improve, and evaluate the performance of their campaigns. And for every campaign, benchmarking is the first step to a strong quantitative strategy.

What is Social Media Benchmarking?

Social media benchmarking is an evaluation of your social media performance against your competitors and/or industry standards.

Through social media benchmarking, you can objectively compare metrics like follower counts, post reach, engagement rates, posting times, and whatever other metrics are most relevant to your business success.

Why Should You Benchmark?

Whether you’re comparing key quantitative metrics or establishing the type of content that performs best in your industry, benchmarking helps you set a target to aim for.

Without benchmarking, you’re operating in the dark—subjectively judging the success of your campaigns without any real grounding in reality.

And more than any other marketing channel, social media can be a bottomless pit of wasted time. You or your competitors may be getting lots of shares, follows, and likes, but is it translating into business success?

Here’s why benchmarking is a great idea:

1. Set Realistic Goals

Social media benchmarking helps you compare apples to apples.

Every brand would love to have millions of followers, but maybe that’s just not realistic in your industry. 

A thorough benchmarking analysis of your most relevant competitors gives you a clear picture of the value social media may bring to your business.

2. Educate Your Strategy

Social media doesn’t just have to be an artform.

You can make it a science too.

By evaluating your own social media successes and the successes of your competitors through benchmarking data, you’ll be able to create a highly actionable social media strategy that’s more based on facts than feelings.

3. Evaluate Your Performance

By properly benchmarking the metrics you’re most interested in tracking, you can more effectively and realistically track your own performance. 

That means less guessing, and more confidence in your strategy. Using benchmarks will also help you prove your worth to your boss or clients, and more easily track the ROI of your efforts.

How to Conduct Social Media Benchmarking (in 6 Steps!)

It may sound cliché, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media benchmarking, just like there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to social media.

Here are 6 highly actionable steps to help you benchmark your social media success.

Step 1 – Establish Your Goals

To start, you’ll have to determine what you’re trying to get out of being on social media in the first place.

It’s unbelievable how many marketers skip this step! Never “do social media” for the sake of doing social media.

Establish your business goals, and then determine what role social media plays in achieving those goals.

And it’s best if those goals are measurable.

For example, you may be in sports marketing, trying to build an online community around your team’s brand. In that case, you would be more interested in benchmarking engagement metrics or finding the type of content that gets the most reach in your sport.

Snapshot of engagement and social media metrics for the toronto raptors
Snapshot of engagement and social media metrics for the los angeles lakers / LA lakers
You can easily compare quick metrics such as engagement rate, follower count, and more.

In contrast, if you ran an e-commerce business, you’d be more interested in driving visitors to your website to purchase your products. In that case, you’d want to track link clicks or conversion rates.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C will also play a role.

Are you looking to increase your customer base in the form of widespread brand awareness on Facebook and Instagram, or are you using social media as part of a B2B sales strategy on LinkedIn?

Establish your goals, and write them down.

As you work through your benchmarking strategy, every question you ask should relate specifically to these goals.

Step 2 – Determine Your Competitors

Who are your competitors?

This question may be more tricky than it seems at first, as there are many types of competition:

Direct Competitors – Competitors that provide the same services in your same target market.

For example, if you ran a local clothing boutique, your direct competitor could be another local clothing store.

Indirect Competitors – Competitors that provide different services but still compete with you in your market.

Keeping with our local clothing boutique example, this could be a big box store that also sells clothes—like Walmart.

Replacement Competitors – Competitors in a different industry whose products could be a substitute for yours.

For a boutique local clothing store, this could be an online monthly clothing box subscription.

Potential/Future – Future or potential competitors that currently don’t serve your market but likely could in the future.

Perhaps a platform like Amazon will one day allow people to easily purchase local clothing products from your particular market online.

So: in our case of social media benchmarking, take the time to really think out your competition, both online and offline—and how they relate to your business goals.

For example, if you’re a local clothing boutique, you may be indirectly competing with Old Navy for foot traffic, but you may not gain anything from comparing your social media performance to theirs—so it wouldn’t make sense to include them in your analysis.

But if you do have plans to scale your business to bigger proportions, then it does make sense to compare to the larger brand—even if it’s overly ambitious at this point.

Refer back to your business goals and then make a list of your top social media competitors.

Step 3 – Pick the Right Social Media Networks

Next, we want to figure out which social media networks to use in our benchmarking exercise.

And to be clear, we’re not trying to answer the question, “Which social network should my brand use?” just yet. In this step, we’re trying to answer, “Which social media networks should we benchmark?”

Start by using your competitor list. Take note of which platforms each of your competitors is using. 

If they’ve already run campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, all we have to do is measure which accounts and platforms have seen the most success to better educate our own strategy.

And the key here is not to limit your benchmarking to only the platforms your brand is using. The whole point of this exercise is to identify industry standards.

In this step, you should also think about your audience. Are there any networks that your target audience is using that your competitors aren’t yet?

For example, a newer platform like TikTok (as of the time we’re writing this post) may be unexplored territory. Or maybe your competitors haven’t invested in video content on YouTube yet.

Critically think about which platforms you may want to consider using, and include them in your analysis.

Step 4 – Choose Which Social Media Metrics to Measure

Now’s the time to decide which metrics best reflect your business goals we identified all the way back in step 1.

Here, you should also determine if you want to benchmark at the account level or the industry level.

For example, do you want to benchmark the performance of your top competitors, or do you want to do a widespread analysis of an entire industry?

You may need to revisit your competitor list at this point. But that’s okay—this whole exercise is literally a learning process.

Moving along, let’s choose which metrics matter most to you. You may want to consider metrics like:

  • engagement rates
  • reach, impressions, or views
  • follower counts and growth rates
  • content type distribution
  • post timing and frequency
  • top accounts
  • sentiment analysis

For each of these metrics, you may be interested in not only the average or median performance, but also the top performers too.

Related reading: 5 Under Analyzed Social Media Metrics that Matter [+ Tools to Measure Them!]

Step 5 – Write Down Actionable Insights

All too often, marketers gather and look at data because they know it’s what they should be doing, but they don’t take it as far as creating actionable insights from the data.

So now’s the time to create some key takeaways—because we don’t want all of this data gathering to be for nothing.

This step is all about interpreting your benchmark data.

Write your findings down, and make written recommendations as to how they should impact your social media strategy.

Your insights could focus on things like business potential, what types of content stand out from the rest, accounts to follow in your industry, or when to post.

Here are some example insights you could come away with:

“In our industry, videos have 3x the engagement rate of photos. We should incorporate at least one video per week into our social media strategy.”

“Among our competitors, Instagram posts receive more reach than Facebook posts, but Facebook posts receive more link clicks. We should focus our Instagram posts on branding, and focus our Facebook posts more on driving visitors to our e-commerce website.”

“In our industry, posts receive far more engagement at the beginning of the week than at the end of the week. We should adjust our social media content calendar to reflect that.”

“Our competitor, Johnny’s Jeans, has the highest Instagram engagement rate of any of our competitors. They post a mix of user-generated content, in-store videos, and feel-good quotes, so we should aim to incorporate all three into our strategy.”

As you can see, these insights can take many forms. Remember to center them around your business goals!

Tip: To really drive it home, put these insights into a presentation, infographic, or marketing plan. Showing how you’re exceeding your competitors—or how you plan to get there—is a great way to prove your worth.

Step 6 – Take Action and Repeat

Put your insights into action!

Depending on your business goals, you may either want to keep continuous tabs on your key metrics, or perform another one-time audit once you’ve had some time to implement your strategy.

The key is to keep measuring and keep evaluating. Social media changes quickly, so your analysis is never done.

Using Keyhole for Social Media Benchmarking

Keyhole has all the tools you need to make your social media benchmarking efforts simple and painless.

Let’s take a look at a few examples in action.

Example: Benchmarking Engagement Rates

Engagement rate is the average amount of engagement that content in a particular category receives on a particular platform. 

Engagement comes in many forms: likes, favorites, shares, replies, views, clicks—you name it. Here’s a breakdown of what counts as social media engagement on different platforms.

In other words, engagement rate reflects how often people interact with your posts. This is normally seen as a reflection of how well content resonates with an audience.

And you can measure engagement rate as loosely or as fine-grained as you like, dependent on your business goals.

For example, you can measure engagement rates for all posts from a particular account, or engagement rates for a particular type of content in an entire industry, or even engagement rates on a particular day of the week.

Snapshot of engagement and social media metrics for Aritzia
Going back to our local boutique example, you can use the Hashtag and Keyword tracking to compare our engagement numbers with a competitor’s engagement number, being 1,554,082 for the month of September.

Example: Benchmarking Follower Growth

Let’s say your business goal is to create brand awareness.

You’ve already benchmarked your social accounts against your competitors, and you’re already miles ahead in terms of engagement, but you want to be sure you’re also reaching a widespread audience—not just the same small, engaged audience every time.

As a result, you’ve decided follower count will be one of your metrics for success. 

Using Keyhole’s account tracking tools, you can track and benchmark the follower growth of your account vs. your competitors. 

using keyhole to benchmark follower growth
Using our Social Media Account Analytics tool, you can easily see a competitor’s follower growth and follower change over time.

Get Started with Keyhole

The Keyhole Advanced Suite has all the social media listening tools necessary to benchmark nearly any account or any industry, including:

  • Campaign & Event Tracking: Compare your campaigns to your competitors’
  • Brand Monitoring: Track posts, engagement, and reach of any brand
  • Influencer Management: Identify influencers that can help your business goals
  • Market Research: Forecast trends with our AI-driven tools
  • Sentiment Analysis: Compare the emotional responses to you and your competitors

Keyhole is easy to use and free to try. So it’s a great place to start with your benchmarking efforts.

To get started on your benchmarking project, start your free Keyhole trial now!

Using Twitter Advanced Search to Diversify Marketing and Increase Engagement

using twitter advanced search to diversify marketing and increase engagement

With 335 million active users, Twitter is undeniably the home of amazing opportunities, especially for brands that want to engage with their fans and followers.

From finding leads to providing customer support to free PR and media mentions, the marketing opportunities are endless. 

Before you get too excited, there’s a but. 

The more users join Twitter, the harder it gets to find these opportunities as they get mixed up with more than 500 million tweets sent each day.

Thankfully, Twitter knows its stuff! 

To help you get as much value as possible out of Twitter, the platform offers Twitter advanced search. 

This powerful tool will let you find exactly what you’re looking for without having to scroll through thousands upon thousands of tweets.  

The Twitter advanced search tool is a goldmine for marketers as well as business owners. 

In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to use this tool as well as powerful ways that you can use it to grow your brand exponentially.

Let’s get this show on the road. 

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What is Twitter Advanced Search?

Why Use Twitter Advanced Search?

1. Use Keywords and Hashtags to Find Potential Customers
2. Understand Your Target Audience
3. Reputation Management
4. Find Relevant Industry Influencers
5. Keep Track of All Your Mentions
6. Be the King of Customer Service
7. Find Media Opportunities

How to Use Twitter Advanced Search:
The Parameters:
1. All of These Words
2. This Exact Phrase
3. Any of These Words
4. None of These Words
5. These Hashtags
6. Written In (Language)
7. From These Accounts
8. To These Accounts
9. Mentioning These Accounts
10. Date Range

Getting More out of Twitter Advanced Search

What is Twitter Advanced Search?

Have you found yourself looking for something on Twitter all day to no avail?

You are pretty sure that it’s in there somewhere but you’re now cross-eyed from scrolling through all those tweets. 

The advanced search tool is your saving grace. 

This tool has turned Twitter into a social search engine. The tool allows you to narrow down your search results to specific words, date ranges, people and more. 

This makes it easy to find specific tweets.   

The Twitter search tool is available when you’re logged in to twitter.com either on the mobile app or web browser, via the platform’s toolbar search field by clicking on the choosing Advanced Search. 

You can also access it directly by heading to twitter.com/search-advanced.

From here, you can use the specific parameters available to comb through billions of tweets.

Why Use Twitter Advanced Search?

Now before we get you confused with the technical aspects of Twitter Advanced Search, let’s first understand why you should be using the Twitter advanced search tool. 

1. Use Keywords and Hashtags to Find Potential Customers

With billions of people using Twitter daily, the likelihood of finding people interested in your product or service is high. But it may be difficult to find these people if you don’t have a proper way of doing it. 

One way to do this is by using keywords related to your business. These are the words that your target audience are likely to use while searching the platform for products. 

Say you sell yoga pants. You can use keywords such as ‘buy yoga pants’, ‘I need new yoga pants’ etc. You’ll then see all the people who have used these keywords in their tweets. 

Hashtags are another effective way of finding new prospects. Hashtags have really evolved since their inception and people today unconsciously use them as part of their vocabulary all the time. 

So as a yoga pants business owner you’ll be interested in popular hashtags such as #iloveyoga #yogapants #ineednewyogapants, etc. 

Once you’ve found a list of potential prospects, reach out to them, start a conversation and build a relationship with them before you sell them your products. 

2. Understand Your Target Audience

Enough emphasis cannot be placed on understanding your target audience. To reach more people you need to understand who these people are and what they want. 

Twitter’s advanced search is a great way to learn about your target audience’s likes and dislikes.

Whenever you search a related keyword you will be able to see what people are saying about products and services related to your business.

Are they excited about them? Is there a need for them? Are they complaining? Do they need more variety? 

Armed with this information, you can then craft a marketing strategy that offers them the kind of information they are craving for.

You can even go further and create the type of product or service that your target audience wants. 

The bottom line here is to understand your target audience’s needs so that you can offer them value. 

3. Reputation Management

Every brand should be aware of what people are saying about them. 

It’s important to be aware of both negative and positive talk about your brand.

Positive talk lets you know what you’re doing right so you can keep doing it. Negative talk allows you to know where you are failing so that you can do better. 

Advanced search allows you to filter tweets to just those that mention your brand. You can also use emoticons such as “:)” and “:(” when searching your brand on Twitter to find out people’s sentiments about your brand.

The emoticons will let you know which users are happy or sad whenever they’re talking about your brand. 

For best results, exclude your Twitter username from search results so that you’ll be able to see tweets that mention your brand, but haven’t tagged you directly.

4. Find Relevant Industry Influencers

Influencers are the word-of-mouth of social media. 

You most certainly want the who is who in your industry talking about your brand and your products and services. 

But how do you get to know who these influencers are?

Easy. Use the Twitter advanced search tool. 

Use hashtags to find influencers on Twitter and take your influencer marketing to the next level. 

However, not all influencers are equal. You want to use only those influencers have a direct influence on your brand. 

For instance, going back to the yoga pants example, you want to use influencers who at least have an interest in yoga pants, not just anyone who has a large following on Twitter. 

People are more likely to be interested in people who have similar interests to them. 

5. Keep Track of All Your Mentions

You’ve probably been managing with keeping track of your brand mentions via Twitter notifications. But did you know that not everyone talking about you on Twitter will take the time to tag you?

This means you are missing out on lots of information regarding what people are saying about you just because they didn’t mention your Twitter handle in their tweets. 

Search Twitter for brand mentions using queries which include your brand name, common misspellings and your website. 

6. Be the King of Customer Service

Twitter is particularly popular as the place where customers go for customer support

Long gone are the days when your first instinct would be to pick up the phone and call the company for assistance. Now we all run to social media. 

Can’t complete a purchase? Ask for help on Twitter.

Your WiFi is not working? Complain on Twitter. 

Being on top of such complaints will give you the opportunity to offer instant help before things get out of hand. It’s always good to be known as the brand that offers effective customer support in seconds. 

Find complaints and fans’ issues using advanced search queries including your Twitter handle and terms such as “help,” “support” and service. 

7. Find Media Opportunities

Journalists and PR companies are always on the lookout for brands they can use to interview or feature as case studies. They will use Twitter to find such brands. 

Media mentions can go a long way in promoting your products and services, creating brand awareness, improving your brand reputation and most importantly, it’s free advertising for your products/services, events, campaigns, etc. 

Search Twitter for such opportunities using hashtags such as “#journorequest” and “PRrequest.” Remember to include your niche or industry in your search eg. #Journorequest yoga pants.

How to Use Twitter Advanced Search

You’re already in love with the advanced Twitter search tool, right?

Now let’s get down to how to use the various parameters. 

When you first land on the Advanced Search Page you may get a little overwhelmed. 

But don’t panic, it’s not as hard as it seems. 

We’ve broken down each parameter to help you understand how to use them so that you can harness the full power of this tool. 

First things first, a quick reminder of how to access the advanced search tool: 

Enter a search term in the toolbar search field then click on the Advanced Search feature. 

click through to twitter advanced search through search filters on the right hand side of the page.

You can also access it directly by heading to twitter.com/search-advanced.

The Parameters

Twitter advanced search parameters.

1. All of These Words

The search tool will search for tweets that contain—in no particular order—all the terms you enter in this parameter. 

If you want to search for a phrase instead of individual words use quotations (e.g. “buy yoga pants”). 

This parameter is helpful when you want a broad idea of what people are saying when they use particular words.

Sometimes you may not be sure what you’re looking for, so starting broad is a good idea.

Here’s an example of a search with all of these words:

Twitter advanced search parameter: "all of these words"

As you can see, it returns results that include any or all of the search terms (buy yoga pants).

2. This Exact Phrase

If you want to search for a specific phrase, this is the best parameter to use because you don’t have to add quotations around your phrase—it does that for you. 

This parameter is great when searching for quotes or full names.

Here’s an example of an exact phrase search: 

Twitter advanced search: exact phrase search

See the difference? Results are refined to tweets with that exact phrase and not individual words as with the ‘all of these words’ parameters. 

3. Any of These Words

This parameter separates each word or phrase you enter with an “OR” when the search query is performed. 

For instance, if you want to search for brand mentions you can add your brand name, Twitter handle, hashtag and website. Twitter will then give your results containing either of these search terms. 

Here’s an example using the brand Hootsuite:

twitter advanced search: any of these words

4. None of These Words

You may not give this parameter much thought but it’s also important.

It’s very helpful if you truly want to narrow down your search results.

For instance, when searching for yoga pants, you may want to exclude results of yoga poses which are very popular. 

It’s also a good filter to add if you don’t want to see tweets that contain a competitor’s name or customized hashtag. 

5. These Hashtags

This is the parameter that you use to search for tweets using your custom hashtags or industry-related hashtags. You don’t need to add the hashtag symbol in terms listed in this field.

6. Written In (Language)

Find tweets that are written in the language of your choice. 

There’s no point in having tweet results show up in other languages if they are not applicable to your brand. 

twitter advanced search: find tweets in the language of your choice

7. From These Accounts

This parameter allows you to find tweets by specific accounts. You can add usernames of one or more accounts here with or without the “@” sign. 

This is a good parameter to include when you are monitoring your competition. 

Let’s use the Hootsuite example again. As you can see, the results are only tweets from Hootsuite. 

twitter advanced search parameter: from these accounts

8. To These Accounts

Again, if you’re monitoring your competition and want to see what people are saying about them, just enter their usernames here. 

Here, the results are all the tweets sent to Hootsuite:

twitter advanced search parameter: to these accounts

9. Mentioning These Accounts

Want to see your competition’s mentions? Enter their usernames here.

NOTE: You can find people’s emails on Twitter by searching for their usernames and the keyword “email” or phrase “email address”. 

twitter advanced search parameter: mentioning these accounts

10. Date Range

Use this parameter to search for Tweets either before or after a date. You can find tweets that are between two dates.

Getting More out of Twitter Advanced Search

While the Twitter advanced search tool does a pretty neat job to help you find the information that you’re looking for, there are still many ways to narrow down your search even more.

In addition to getting well-filtered results, you need a tool to help you organize these results into useful information.  

In doing so, you ensure that you get high-quality results that will better inform your marketing team so they’ll be able to craft an effective marketing strategy

Keyhole is an advanced social media analytics tool that will help you conduct effective social media listening, brand monitoring, influencer marketing, market research and more all from one dashboard. 

Check it out for a chance to unlock your social media potential. 

The Twitter advanced search tool is a gateway to a world of marketing opportunities for your brand. So start taking full advantage of it today and get the most out of your Twitter Advanced search queries.

Get searching!


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Using Hashtag Tracking to Optimize Social Listening Strategy [+ Tools!]

using hashtag tracking to optimize social listening strategy

When many marketers and community managers think of social listening, manually scouring through sets of posts, tweets and messages comes to mind.

But being left with a small relevant dataset is common, even though the process involves keyword research to target what your audience is saying about your brand and competitors.

Adding hashtags to your social media listening strategy can help ease the problem.

By tracking certain tagged topics, you’ll collect more applicable information about what your audiences say and think about you. Your understanding of how to market your brand will improve as a result.

Jump Links:

What is Social Listening with Hashtags?

5 Types of Hashtags to Monitor:
1. Brand Hashtags
2. Your Competitors’ Brand Hashtags
3. Chat Hashtags
4. Event Hashtags
5. Campaign Hashtags

5 Social Listening Tools

What Is Social Listening with Hashtags?

Also called social media monitoring, the goal of social listening is to gain an understanding of how people perceive your brand based on what they say about it online.

Standard social listening involves tracking what consumers say on virtually any digital space, using hashtags enhances the library of data collected on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

It’s a type of data mining.

It revolves around identifying posts that use tagged topics, along with analyzing those posts to quantify metrics such as influence and engagement.

Hashtag tracking plays a key role in social listening because:

  • It’s easier to identify hashtags than keywords, since they’re already somewhat popular
  • Members of your target audiences use industry-related hashtags
  • You can track the activity levels of hashtag trends and conversations, helping you determine how large a crisis is or how popular a positive message is
  • By adding sentiment-based keywords to your trackers, you can measure the general feeling about a given tagged topic

5 Types of Hashtags to Monitor

The scope of your social listening strategy won’t be wide enough if you only track one kind of hashtag.

As you plan and implement the strategy, consider monitoring these five different types of hashtags:

1. Brand Hashtags

Track these hashtags along with positive (fun, great) and negative (bad, won’t) keywords to measure sentiment.

As you identify users with clear opinions one way or the other, reach out.

This could involve asking what they specifically like or dislike, building genuine conversations to earn their appreciation.

As a bonus, these conversations could result in developing ideas to improve your product or service.

Not only should you include your brand hashtag when sharing original content, but encourage your fans and followers to use it too. This is a win-win scenario, because:

  • You’ll have more social content to track and analyze
  • Users will have a clear way to share posts with the community interested in your brand, helping them gain a larger following

Example: #JustDoIt

Under Nike’s famous brand hashtag, people share posts about sports, athletic apparel and motivation.

Keeping tabs on the hashtag gives Nike a clear picture of what their target markets think about the brand’s identity.

2. Your Competitors’ Brand Hashtags

What you can do for your brand, you can do for the competition.

As potential customers use opposing hashtags, track them and use keyword filters to figure out what prospects do and don’t like about other brands.

When you identify a prospect, you may feel the need to gently reach out and explain why you succeed where your competitor fails. This can involve giving a demo or free trial, depending on your industry.

On the flip side, look out for satisfied customers.

If your company doesn’t offer the service or product that made them happy, your team may have a new idea to consider.

Example: #BeMoreHuman

https://twitter.com/RolandGuillot1/status/697737640955768833

By monitoring the Reebok hashtag, Nike digital strategists can figure out which posts:

  • Earn the most engagement
  • Express a clear opinion about the Reebok brand
  • Reveal prospects to follow up with

From there, Nike’s social team can take the approach it wants to when it comes to interacting with users or studying successful content.

3. Chat Hashtags

A quick search using key terms should reveal chat hashtags relevant to your industry and audience.

Popular on Twitter, you can monitor a chat to learn more about users who are interested in the subject matter.

Tracking relevant chat hashtags as part of your social listening strategy allows you to:

  • Make content ideas based on people’s opinions, pain-points and comments
  • Track if your company or competition is referenced during the conversation
  • Connect with new prospects, as many people who may be interested in your company might not know about it

Example: #SoloPR

Your brand stands to benefit as a member of either category. As a public relations team, you can make new contacts.

As someone who targets these professionals, you can stay on top of industry trends.

4. Event Hashtags

As more marketing and public relations teams use social media to amplify events, tracking event hashtags should secure a spot in your social listening plans.

Monitoring activity before, during and after the big day can provide insights about:

  • Any concerns attendees have
  • Which parts of the event were most appreciated
  • When activity around your hashtag rises, and if any spikes correlate with certain parts of the event

Example: #GRAMMYs

It’s not your average event in terms of scope, but social media marketers in the music and entertainment industries stand to benefit from tracking #GRAMMYs on Twitter.

Staying on top of your data feed and tweeting appropriately can boost audience and engagement numbers as moments go viral, users disapprove of a speech or if there’s backlash against a winner.

5. Campaign Hashtags

Not everyone will directly mention your brand when using your campaign hashtag, meaning there’s a clear need to track the tag’s performance as part of your social media monitoring strategy.

The same goes for online campaigns from rival brands.

Similar to brand hashtags, you should track campaign hashtags with and without sentiment-based keyword filters.

Doing so gives segmented looks at how consumers view the campaign.

It’s easier to sort through relevant and irrelevant data – as well as pinpoint issues and action items – as a result.

Example: #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola’s famous campaign never seems to end, as customers keep sharing photos of namesake cans and bottles.

By monitoring this campaign hashtag as a competitor, you can:

  • Develop ideas for future campaigns
  • Learn how to alter your products or make new ones
  • Determine which types of digital content you should be making and encouraging your audience to create

Tracking this hashtag as part of Coca-Cola’s social listening strategy helps its marketers:

  • Repurpose the most popular content
  • Reach out to well-known personalities using the hashtag
  • Study what charged the campaign’s success

5 Social Listening Tools

If your digital team doesn’t already use one, your step after identifying hashtags is finding a tool that collects accurate data.

There’s a library of social media analytics services to choose from, each with features and price points to suite different teams. We looked into 25 platforms in this blog post.

But since not all of them apply to social listening, here are 5 tools that do:

1. Keyhole

demonstrating social listening using keyhole as a tool

But tracking hashtags and keywords, collecting metrics to improve your social listening approach, is a reason why users love us.

You can compile Twitter and Instagram content in real-time, displaying data such as reach, impressions and activity numbers on a shareable dashboard.

Plus, you can rank influential posters and track demographic metrics such as gender and location.

If you happen to miss monitoring an event or campaign, we’ll get historical social media data for you.

2. Social Mention

Think of this tool as a social search engine. Entering a hashtag will generate pages of user-generated content from more than 100 platforms.

Social Mention tracks traditional metrics such as reach and sentiment, making it useful for listening to discussions around brand and campaign hashtags.

But it also displays unique metrics such as passion – the likelihood that users will post more than once about your brand.

3. Hootsuite

A popular platform management tool, you can also use Hootsuite for social listening.

After you identify keyphrases, create a stream for each one.

You’ll get a grid of social content, showing basic engagement data. Hootsuite also lets you flag posts and assign team members to address them.

What’s more, you can restrict the stream results based on data such as location.

4. Twubs

Twubs is a hashtag directory, fit for basic social listening on Twitter.

Typing a hashtag into the home page’s search bar will generate a live stream of tweets, also giving you an option to access limited historical data. Within Twubs, you can reply to tweets and post new messages with the given hashtag.

5. Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter Advanced Search - 5 Tools for Social Media Listening with Hashtags

Don’t overlook Twitter itself for basic social listening.

You can use the advanced search function to refine your queries, identifying posts that use any given hashtag.

The range of filters for dates, sentiments, locations and keywords helps you zone in on specific audiences. And since you’re operating on the platform itself, it’s easy to engage with people.

Segmenting Your Audiences

Dividing the audiences you identify through social listening into sub-categories can help you develop content to better meet their diverse needs and interests.

In this case, social market segmentation starts with sampling messages that use a monitored hashtag.

Depending on the popularity of the tag, this could involve looking at 10% to 100% of the posts.

By examining profiles and other messages, divide the posters into groups based on data such as:

Look for themes and prevailing opinions within each group. For example, you may notice a segment of your audience expresses a common concern. Another may frequently post about a topic related to your brand.

Regardless, developing these consumer personas is an exercise in better understanding your markets and knowing how to communicate with them.

That’s the goal of social media monitoring, after all.

Comments to Reflect On

Optimizing your social listening approach with hashtags and select keyword filters can generate a library of relevant data, providing more information about your online market.

And by monitoring different types of hashtags, you may even unlock an audience you didn’t know you had.

That, in itself, could take your marketing strategy in a new direction.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Broadcast and Media Companies: Improving Performance with Social Media Analytics

broadcast and media companies - improving performance with social media analytics

Social media has changed the dynamics of marketing, reshaped the way people consume information and revolutionized the way brands and organizations communicate with their audience.

In a world where information is available in real time and content is accessible on-demand, broadcast and media companies have to keep pace with changing audience expectations.

Below, we will explore the ways social media can be used in broadcast and media to create a more compelling programme and increase audience engagement. 

We’ll also discuss a couple of case studies and ultimately show you how you can use social listening tools like Keyhole to automate the task of turning raw data into actionable information. 

Without much ado, let’s dive right in.

Jump Links:

Why do Media and Broadcasting Companies Need Social Media Analytics?

Your 4 Step Social Analytics Plan
1. Social Listening
2. Data Refinement
3. Goal Setting
4. Sustainable Strategy Creation

What Metrics Can You Track?
Public Sentiment
Influencers
Competitive Analysis
Hashtag Campaigns

Case Study:
How theCHIVE Uses Unique Hashtags to Engage their Follower Base

Why is it Important to Measure Your ROI?

How to Use Keyhole as a Tool for Media and Broadcast Companies

Why Do Media and Broadcasting Companies Need Social Media Analytics?

Before we get to the “how”, we first need to make sure that the “why” is clear. 

Here are some stats that illustrate the importance of social media in the modern consumer’s everyday life as well as how social media relates to broadcast and media:

  • According to a 2018 Nielsen report, 45% of consumers almost always use a second screen when watching TV. 28% of consumers sometimes use another digital device simultaneously, while only 12% of consumers never use another device when watching TV. The numbers are significantly lower for audio content.
Simultaneous usage graphs between tv and digital, and tv and audio
  • The same Nielsen report shows that most of the consumers that are second screening do so to look up information related to the content, express their opinion on the content, search for a product after they’ve seen an ad, or read other people’s commentary on the content they’re watching.
Digital usage while watching tv and digital usage while listening to audio table.
  • Similarly, a 2015 Fortune report showed that in 2014, there have been more than a billion TV-related tweets, with 85% of users who use Twitter during prime-time tweeting about the content they’re watching.
Statistics of people tweeting while watching television

Source: Fortune.com

These stats clearly show that most modern consumers are second screening – and are doing so to look for or provide extra information/opinions on the content they’re exposed to.

Instead of competing with real time and on-demand content available online, media and entertainment companies need to work with social media and leverage the wealth of data from multiple sources to optimize their strategy and operations.

This takes us to our starting question: Why do media and broadcasting companies need analytics?

Social data can help companies to:

  • Understand audience preferences and activity patterns to optimize content and ads
  • Find out what causes viewership spikes and drops 
  • Analyze audience sentiment on a weekly basis, about each episode, season or programme
  • Define audience demographics for more precise targeting
  • Keep pace with trends and find out who are the influencers that create a buzz in the industry
  • Make better predictions based on the conversations that the audience are having before/during/after airing a programme
  • Analyze channel profitability and impact, to optimise investments and identify when to cancel or renew a show

The benefits are clear. 

So why aren’t most broadcasting and media companies using social media analytics to improve their performance?

The problem lies in the amounts of data – with so much data available across different channels, it takes a lot of time and effort to sift through the noise.

That’s why it’s crucial to approach analytics systematically.

Wondering how?

Your 4-Step Social Analytics Plan

To turn social data into actionable insights, broadcasting and media companies need to tackle four critical components:

Social Listening

Before you analyze social media data, you need to gather enough information about the relevant conversations that your audience is having online.

The biggest challenge of the social listening phase is the amount of data available.

If you pull your data directly from the social media platforms, you will end up with a pile of unstructured information that would a long time to organize before it can be used for analytics.

That’s where third-party social listening tools like Keyhole come in handy – these tools allow you to focus on the conversations you are interested in, and avoid the rest, saving you lots of unnecessary work in the process.

Data Refinement

The mass collection of data in the first phase results in mounds of information that have high-potential, but need to be organized and structured before they can be used. 

Manually extracting and then refining all the data is an exercise that requires a lot of effort.

To ensure that no conversations and opportunities are missed, most modern organizations overcome this challenge by automating the data selection and categorization process.

Goal Setting

The insights you get from data only make sense if you know what you are trying to accomplish. A common mistake in broadcasting and media is silo thinking and disparate data across the organization.

More often than not, different departments have different ideas about where the organization is headed, and they use social media to achieve different outcomes. 

Needless to say, this diminishes the value of the collected data – the only way an organization can increase engagement, optimize activities and drive better performance is by creating a single, shared vision about the organization’s goals.

Sustainable Strategy Creation

Finally, organizations have to take it one step further and develop a long-term, sustainable strategy that outlines how the collected social media insights will be used across the organization.

This is an iterative process that involves continuous testing and refining.

Now that we’ve explained the four step process of turning raw data into useful, actionable insights that can drive change in the organization, let’s talk a bit more about…

What Metrics Can You Track?

Public Sentiment

Sentiment can be positive and negative, and by following online conversations on forums and social media platforms, networks can get a real-time insight into how people feel about their programme. 

TechTalk’s has published a report on the most popular TV shows public sentiment. We’ll discuss some of their findings, as these are a great illustration of what we talked about until this point.

With 32,197,368 mentions, and an average of 3,7 mentions per users, Stranger Things tops the list of the most talked about show at the time when TechTalk was gathering their data. 

The most talked about TV shows
Source: Tech Talk

This corresponds with Netflix’s streaming data about the third season of Stranger Things – according to their insights, with a record of 40.7 million household accounts watching the show since its global launch on July 4th, Stranger Things was the most watched series on Netflix.

Netflix Tweet: Stranger Things breaking netflix records

Stranger Things has a more or less gender-balanced viewership: 44% of the viewers who talked about the show online are male and 56% are female. 

More than 80% of conversations online were positive.

Sentiment towards netflix show, stranger things
Source: Tech Talk

The data shows that most of the public sentiment about the show was positive, with disgust and fear amounting to a total of 12%.

The show is in the horror genre, so these numbers are expected. 

Feelings of sentiment analysis
Sentiment towards stranger things
Source: Tech Talk

If we analyze the mentions and pieces written on the show, we could see that a lot of the conversations are about Jim Hopper’s anger management issues and Steve Harrington being the best (and most underrated) character.

Influencers

Another way broadcasting and media could use social media analytics is to find influencers in their industry.

One way of doing this is finding the most popular stars in a show and then using these findings to enhance marketing. 

Another way is to find creators who are in some way related to the industry and are influential within their community – and then use these creators to generate buzz around a new programme, a show, or a campaign.

This is exactly what YouTube did when launching their YouTube Red service which offers an ad-free option and premium content that stars some of the most popular YouTubers.

Competitive Analysis

Social data can uncover great opportunities for broadcast and media companies.

One such example is Netflix’s decision to pick up the TV series, Lucifer, after it had been cancelled by Fox.

Netflix is known to leave nothing to chance, so this decision, just like most of the streaming giant’s decisions, was made after a viral #SaveLucifer Twitter campaign was launched by passionate viewers on May 11th.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

The campaign amassed 1M tweets in less than 24 hours.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

With so many people invested in the show, it was only logical that Netflix would renew it for a fourth season and give millions of viewers what they want. 

Lucifer is a fantastic show that has really resonated with audiences in parts of the world, so we felt it was important for our licensing team to try to help that show continue for our fans,” Netflix’s VP Cindy Holland said for Deadline.

Netflix is great at monitoring and analyzing public opinion and conversations and turning data into actionable analytics and insights that support better decision-making.

Hashtag Campaigns

Disparate information can make it hard for organizations to track online conversations. 

The #SaveLucifer had this problem when more and more people started joining the campaign with different hashtags.

Twitter campaign for #savelucifer

How theCHIVE Uses Unique Hashtags to Engage their Follower Base

TheCHIVE Charity Group, had a hard time tracking and engaging their 20 million strong follower base. 

TheChive’s solution to this problem was to begin using unique hashtags for their campaigns.

Let’s have a quick look into their use case.

WHO ARE theCHIVE

TheCHIVE is a popular website that publishes feel-good photos and videos.

Over the course of 10 years, theCHIVE have amassed a following of millions, and have 20 million monthly users.  

The company’s charity division leverages the website’s massive influence and strong social media presence to find people in need, focusing on rare medical cases, special education initiatives, veterans and first responders.

What theCHIVE will usually do is ask their audience to share a photo with a hashtag and then donate $1 per every shared post to the related charity or cause. 

Over the course of 10 years, theCHIVE have managed to raise over $10M for people in need all around the world.

The Problem

The problem that theCHIVE had was keeping track of all the people that are engaging with their content. They were looking for an easy way to track all the mentions and the online conversations that were going on about a campaign. 

One of these campaigns was the first-ever national beer tournament which theCHIVE organized across 50 US states. They needed to pick two winners from each state, who then confronted each other on a national championship. 

The problem was, how do you track all the contestants in all 50 states in real time?

The Solution

TheCHIVE’s solution was using unique hashtags. For every state, theCHIVE came up with a dedicated hashtag. 

So now, they had 50 different hashtags they needed to track in real time… which is where Keyhole came in.

Using Keyhole, theCHIVE were able to monitor all the online conversations people were having online related to the championship, and access them via an easy-to-use dashboard that gave them a complete view of the entire tournament.

Now that you know how social media insights could be used to reinforce a channel, a programme, a show or a campaign, let’s recap…

Why is it Important to Measure Your ROI?

Measuring your ROI will enable you to understand your market, your audience’s preferences and help you spend your money more wisely by investing in projects that are more likely to take off.

By measuring your ROI, you’ll be able to understand what kind of shows your audience likes the most, test how long they’re willing to wait between different episodes of a programme, what are the optimal times to post, what stars or characters are the audience’s favourite, how your audience reacts to product placement, and more.

All this will enable you to optimize your investments, improve predictions, enhance advertising and ultimately offer better service to your customers.

How to use Keyhole as a Tool for Media and Broadcast Industries

By now it’s already clear why broadcasting and media need to look past TV ratings and traditional forms of testing, like focus groups and pre-screenings.

They need to create a “blended” listening practice that incorporates social media analytics.

However, social listening and analytics can be a time-consuming activity given the amount of information available (we’re talking millions of consumers), so it’s important to automate the parts that can be automated. 

Third party analytics tools like Keyhole streamline social listening and gather and structure the data for you.

Using Keyhole, you will be able to:

  • Get more information about your reach
  • Understand the demographics of the people that are having conversations about your company or products online
  • Find the most influential individuals among those that are talking about you
  • Track trending topics and keep pace with what the audience wants to consume, so that you can create a more effective content strategy
  • Find out the optimal posting time and length so that you can spend your marketing dollars more wisely
  • Compare your performance to the performance of your competitors
  • Get more in-depth insights about a specific topic you’re interested in exploring further
  • Predict how the conversations you are tracking will evolve the following week and month

All these features and much more are part of what Keyhole offers as a tool. 

Final Thoughts

Social media platforms have become a valuable business intelligence tool where millions of people give away free information about their habits, opinions, and needs. 

As the media consumption habits are changing and more and more people are second screening, media and broadcasting companies need to start looking into social media for meaningful insights that could drive better decision-making.

When done correctly, social media analytics can help broadcasting and media companies to have better conversations with their fan base, identify brand affinities and influential individuals, optimize their programmes and ultimately increase their profits and ratings.

However, most organizations still struggle to determine which data they need to analyze and what counts as “noise” and should be left out.

Third party social listening and analytics tools like Keyhole take away the time consuming grunt work of data collection and sorting and give organizations clean and understandable reports on what the organization does right, how it competes with other players in the market, and help to uncover opportunities to improve their performance.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

5 Under Analyzed Social Media Metrics that Matter [+ Tools to Measure Them!]

5 under analyzed social media metrics that matter and tools to measure them

This post was updated on November 27th, 2019.

With so many social media analytics tools that focus on different stats, it’s hard to figure out which metrics matter.

Some of the most important ones are often ignored in favour of “vanity metrics” – numbers that don’t help guide your marketing decisions, but are easy to track.

To make strides in your social approach, it helps to dig deeper into underlying data.

Jump Links:

5 Social Media Metrics:
1. Click Through Rate (CTR)
2. Response Rate to Prospects and Customers
3. Sentiment
4. Network Referrals
5. Assisted Conversions

To start, monitor these five social media metrics:

1. Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the number of people who click through to your website after seeing your post.

It’s common practice for marketers to A/B test headlines and calls-to-action (CTAs) on web pages to track CTR, but not as many do the same with social media posts.

For those not familiar with the concept of A/B – or split – testing, it’s a way to compare two versions of a marketing piece.

For example, you could send different renditions of an email message to 100 people. The one that yields the highest CTR wins, and will be sent to your remaining contacts.

You can test:

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

Based on the results of a few tests, you can start determining the best posting practices for getting clicks.

The Tool: Twitter Analytics

Twitter is the ideal platform for A/B testing posts.

Repeating tweets is normal. Only a tiny fraction of your audience is online at a given time. And depending on how many people they follow, your followers’ timelines are packed with tweets.

After conducting a few split tests, just click the option to view each tweet’s activity metrics:

Then compare the CTR for each tweet.

2. Response Rate to Prospects and Customers

Social media users sent 21% more messages to business accounts in 2015 than 2014, according to research by Sprout Social. And 40% of these messages, including complaints and questions, require a response.

This data shows that community managers are increasingly valuable, as they directly deal with current and potential customers’ problems.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

If you seldom track metrics related to issues community managers solve and questions they answer, you lose insights into your overall customer service approach.

After all, you’d know to restructure your strategy if half of client issues went unsolved. And if an interaction as painful as this one happened, you’d have to take action.

The Tool: Hootsuite Core Analytics

Whereas the majority of social media analytics platforms focus on external data, Hootsuite Core Analytics also deals with internal metrics.

To measure the performance of your team and individual colleagues, you can track stats such as messages sent and issue resolution time.

3. Sentiment

Sentiment may seem like a superficial social media metric at first, but it can prove valuable.

It’s measured by monitoring messages and relevant keywords, sorting them into emotion-based categories. For example, some categories could be sad, angry, happy and appreciative.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

You can glean useful information by analyzing posts talking about your brand, services and sector. This is especially true when you have a large enough sample size to confidently say “wow, people love aspect X of our industry but hate aspect Y.”

Based on sentiment analysis, you can come up with small ideas worth further investigation, like:

  • Launching events or campaigns your audience would likely enjoy
  • Replicating services or products that your key markets appreciate
  • Altering how you position your brand based on what people say about your competition

The Tool: Social Mention

Think of Social Mention as a search engine with a complementary social media analytics suite. You can access a stream of user-generated content from more than 100 platforms just by typing a keyword.

It records sentiment through a positive-to-negative content ratio, along with a look at neutral posts on the right side of your screen:

Social Mention - Social Media Metrics Tools That Matter

4. Network Referrals

As well as promoting your brand and engaging key audiences, your activity on social media should drive traffic back to your website.

You can measure network referrals to see how well you’re doing.

Normally, referral traffic is defined as visits to your website from sources other than Google. When someone clicks a link to your website on Instagram, it’s a referral.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

Website traffic generated from social media is often a guiding metric in overall marketing strategies because:

  • Noticeable changes can indicate whether or not your content meets your audience’s needs
  • You can see which shared URLs drove the most traffic, indicating what your social market wants to learn about
  • For some news and content-based organizations, analytics firm Parse.ly says Facebook alone drives more traffic than Google

The Tool: Google Analytics

Used by marketers worldwide, Google Analytics is the top choice for analyzing website traffic – including network referrals.

Find your key stats by clicking Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals:

Social Media Metrics Tools that Matter - Google Analytics

From here, you can see which network drove the most sessions, page views, pages per session and more metrics.

You can also dig deeper to see how individual links performed on each platform:

Google Analytics - Social Media Metrics Tools that Matter and Tools to Measure Them

5. Assisted Conversions

You’ve probably tracked conversions from social media when running targeted campaigns, but your social media activity can also help collect assisted conversions.

What’s an assisted conversion?

If a social platform plays a role in the conversion path, except the last interaction, it gets an assist.

For example, someone clicks a Twitter link to your site, leaves and then comes back a day later to convert.

Here’s a sports analogy to clarify – numbers 9 and 22 get the assists, but 21 scores the conversion:

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

The assisted conversions metric gives you another look at how your customers behave and meet the goals you’ve set for them.

By analyzing assisted conversions from each social network, you can plainly see which ones impact your online success and which ones need new strategies in terms of what you post and how you advertise.

The Tool: Google Analytics

Stick with Google Analytics and find this metric through Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions:

Google Analytics - Social Media Metrics that Matter and Tools to Track Them

You can see how social media compares to other assisted conversion sources. What’s more, you can look at the assisted conversion value from each social platform to learn which ones are most profitable:

Google Analytics - Social Metrics that are Improve and Tools to Measure Them

Assisted conversions, network referrals, sentiment, response rates and split tests results may be under-analyzed, but they certainly matter with regards to building a strong marketing strategy.

Set and meet goals based on them to get a leg up on your social competition.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Keyhole How to Avoid a Social Media Crisis crises 6 steps how to

6 Critical Steps to Avoid a Social Media Crisis

Social media is an enormously powerful tool for managing customer relationships, broadcasting positive brand stories and introducing new products. But while the benefits of this free, fast and intuitive marketing channel are virtually limitless, it also has some potentially serious risks.

But there’s good news; with proper planning you can avoid the most common mistakes that lead to a social media crisis.


What Causes Social Media Crises?


Common Mistakes — Just about anything can spark social media outrage and bring out the trolls, but the most common slip-ups include:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes made by professional organizations
  • Accidentally liking an inappropriate post
  • Tweeting a personal message from a professional account
  • Unintentionally making an offensive statement

Serious Problems — Employee sabotage and hacking are much more serious offenses. While businesses can, and do, shift responsibility for the malicious post, they’re often criticised for allowing their login credentials to be compromised.

Catastrophic Events — Intentionally racist, sexist, or malicious comments made by companies or individuals ignite the worst type of social media crisis. These statements can significantly impact a brand’s revenue and reputation, and recovery could take years.

Look no further than Roseanne Barr for a trending example of how powerful one tweet can be.

In the days following her comment, Barr’s television contract was canceled, her reputation was heavily damaged, and she lost an estimated $3 million in revenue.

So, how can you avoid a social media crisis? Here are 6 steps you can take.


1. Have a Crisis Communication Plan


Image of a Man in Front of a Whiteboard with a Plan Structure

The most important steps toward preventing a social media disaster are understanding what crisis management means for your business and creating an action plan to address your risk factors.

While you can’t predict every crisis, you can train your social media team to prepare for, and effectively manage, potential problems.

Since social media is your front line of communication during a crisis, your plan should include specific guidelines to protect your brand. Most importantly, always have a second set of eyes on every post before it’s published. Companies should also train more individuals in crisis communications and social media management than you think you’ll need.


2. Monitor your Social Media for Trouble!


Identifying problems as soon as they arise is critical to crisis prevention. Unfortunately, you may never know about the biggest issues facing your company because 96% of angry customers don’t complain to brands directly. Many of these upset customers prefer posting about their poor experience on their own timeline. These “dark” complaints could go unnoticed, causing negative impact, without proper tools and training.

Social listening tools allow you to monitor keywords and indirect brand mentions as well as direct mentions. This gives your company a much more holistic view of what your customers are saying across all social platforms.

Keyhole’s Intelligent Notifications feature is an excellent example of how brands can set up alerts to detect direct and indirect (‘dark’) posts with negative sentiment.

Keyhole AI detects any tracked posts with negative sentiment made about your brand, and you automatically receive an Intelligent notification in your inbox, which allows you to react to the post before the negative sentiment escalates.

Keyhole Intelligent Notifications Dashboard With Negative Sentiment Alerts Turned On

For instance, United Airlines would have seen this tweet and its volume, the first mention of the United Flight 3411 incident, with Keyhole.

Capture-of-the-Original-Tweet-that-started-the-United-Airlines-Crisis-in-2017

This would have given the airline an ample runway to handle the crisis before it escalated.


3. Always Engage with Your Audience


Engaging-with-Facebook-Audience---Image-of-person-using-Facebook-on-phone


Social profiles are frequently viewed as sales tools instead of powerful customer service platforms for building brand loyalty and customer care. By solely pitching products rather than having meaningful conversations with your followers, you could miss opportunities to address customer experience problems early on.

According to Maritz Research, 49% of customers expect companies to respond to Twitter complaints, yet only 29% of those who complained received a reply.

Additionally, customers who complain expect a response within 4 hours, while the average brand response time exceeds 10 hours.

It’s crucial to respond quickly and professionally when negative comments about your company are discovered. Ignoring criticism, even when it isn’t posted directly to your page, sends a message to your followers that you don’t care enough about them to respond.


4. Respond to Criticism Professionally


Knowing how to properly handle criticism in a public forum is essential to protecting your reputation. A single rude response to a genuine complaint will do far more damage to your image than the original comment could.

Deleting comments and blocking users may seem like the quickest way to fix a problem, but doing so could cause your customer to become more outspoken. Instead, make an effort to understand what caused the situation and show a willingness to make things right.

Consumers typically complain on social media when their problem has not been properly resolved. You may be able to prevent your customers from complaining in public by providing a seamless resolution process on your website or over the phone.

Angry customers want to express their frustration quickly, so they usually avoid email. Adding a simple feedback button to your site may prevent them from firing off a raging tweet for all to see. Just make sure it’s easy to find and effortless to use. You could even offer visitors incentives for leaving feedback if it they’ve been poking around your site for a while.


5. Choose the Right Person to Manage Your Accounts


Hands-woman-laptop-notebook

Assigning your brand’s social media strategy to an intern or an inexperienced employee may save you money, but it could also be a recipe for disaster.

A great social media manager has a level head, is capable of handling a crisis, and is well-organized and detail-oriented. Finding someone with public relations experience adds another layer of insurance against mistakes.

Prefer to outsource the work? There are many companies specializing in managing social media accounts for businesses. This option may be the most impactful if you have room in your budget.


6. Draft an Employee Social Media Policy


Most people might think their private social profiles are safe for ranting about work stress, but negative posts can have serious consequences if customers or coworkers see them. Distribute guidelines about how to reference your brand online, but don’t scare your team away from posting. Happy employees are some of the best recruiting tools you can ask for!

Closing thoughts

The benefits of using social media intelligently will always outweigh the risks. Remember to monitor for problems, listen to your followers, react quickly and compassionately, and plan ahead, that way you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of this channel while avoiding potential crises.

Attention: These Keyword Research Tips can Skyrocket Your Website Conversions

Website getting traffic but still not getting conversions?

If you think your content’s fine, then perhaps you need to take a look at your keyword strategy?

Yes, you sometimes need to go all the way back to make sure you’re drawing in quality leads from the right channels.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most brilliant and engaging pieces of content in the world. If you targeted the wrong keywords, none of your PPC, SEO, or content marketing strategies will consistently produce profitable results.

The good news is, keyword research doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely difficult. With the right tools and tactics, you can definitely discover lucrative keyword opportunities without breaking a sweat.

In this post, we’ll show you the best ways to do keyword research so you can bag winning keyword suggestions every single time.

Let’s get started.

1. Turn Seed Keywords Into Long-Tail Keywords

Regardless of niche, keyword research always starts with a seed keyword that’s too broad and competitive to be feasible.

That’s why you need tools like Ubersuggest to expand your seed keyword into hundreds of long-tail keyword ideas. These are keywords that are at least 3 terms long and target a narrower audience.

To use Ubersuggest, simply enter your seed keyword and click “Look Up.” Don’t forget to adjust the localization of your keyword to generate suggestions that are relevant to your place of business.

Keyword-research-2-1

Within seconds, Ubersuggest will generate hundreds of long-tail keywords as well as present the metrics that can determine their profitability.

Keyword-Research-3

To keep things short, here is a brief explanation of each of the three metrics you’ll encounter in Ubersuggest results:

Search Volume
The first metric measures the average monthly searches. This can be directly used to gauge a keyword’s popularity and demand.

CPC
Short for cost per click, the CPC metric denotes the average amount that advertisers are willing to pay for PPC advertisement actions. A high CPC often signals that a particular keyword can be monetized and converts well.

Competition
Lastly, Ubersuggest measures the competitiveness level of keywords on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. For faster results, it’s recommended that you target keywords with a competitiveness score of around 0.4 or less.

At this point, you should be able to come up with a fresh lineup of long-tail keywords (whether for PPC or SEO) based on the initial results.

But don’t get overexcited — there’s still much work to be done to make sure your keywords lead to conversions.

2. Pluck Out Commercial or Transactional Keywords

A rule of thumb when doing keyword research is to find the balance between search volume and competitiveness.

Of course, you don’t want to target keywords with barely any demand at all. You shouldn’t go with the flow and pick up a keyword that everyone else uses, either.

What you want are long-tail keywords that pertain to a user’s desire to take action.

You can do this by injecting commercial or transactional terms into your Ubersuggest keyword suggestions. Just enter terms like “buy,” “price,” “service,” “shop,” or whatever term makes sense for your seed keyword in the “Filter Results” field.

Keyword-Research-4

After applying your filters, Ubersuggest will then refine and drastically reduce the number of keyword suggestions. This makes it much easier for you to spot profitable keyword opportunities:

Keyword-research-5

3. Track Trending Keywords on Social Media

If you’re trying to build traffic through social media, then you’ll need a slightly different approach when doing keyword research.

The main issue is that social media networks use internal search engines that don’t use the same keywords as web platforms like Google. As such, you need to use a keyword tracking tool that’s specifically tailored to social media networks.

Keyhole is, without a doubt, an excellent tool for this job. It allows you to find and monitor trending keywords as well as hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram — two of the biggest social media networks in terms of user engagement.

Just like Ubersuggest, you can start using Keyhole by entering a seed keyword. This time, however, you need to specify if you want to track a hashtag, keyword, URL, social media account, or brand mention.

Keyword-research-5-1

To fine-tune your keyword tracker, click “Advanced” to reveal the filters you can use to refine results. For example, if you want to ignore posts from a direct competitor, click on “Ignore posts” and fill in the rest of the details.

Keyword-research-6

Let’s say you want to track the keywords “WordPress,” “web design,” and “blogging.”

After the initial data is produced, you should be able to see pertinent information, such as the number of posts with your keywords, their collective reach, and even the overall sentiment of users.

Keyword-research-7

Before you save your tracker, don’t forget to specify how you want to receive alerts. This will enable you to be always in tune with social media users when it comes to your target keywords.

Keyword-research-9

Remember that tracking keywords on social media can improve conversions in two ways.

Apart from letting you gauge the demand for a keyword, it will also give you opportunities to initiate and close conversions yourself whenever your brand or product gets mentioned. For this, simply, track your brand name or social media handles via Keyhole.

4. Get Suggestions from the Keyword Cloud

Once your Keyhole tracker is up and running, it’s time to snag yourself some keyword ideas.

From the main dashboard, navigate to “My Trackers” and select the tracker you want to work with.

Keyword-research-10

This will pull up real-time data based on the tracking options you’ve set earlier.

Now, to locate new keyword opportunities, scroll down to the “Related Topics” section to view the hashtag and keyword clouds. Here, you can visually observe the popularity of keywords that are related to your seed keyword:

keyword-research-11

How can social media keywords boost your conversions?

Good question.

Remember that most if not all online users only transact with brands they trust.

By participating in conversations and offering your expertise to social media users, you slowly build your brand’s authority in your niche. Of course, researching hashtags will also allow you to extend the social reach of your content whenever you share something.

To learn more how to leverage social media networks to win your audience’s trust, you can refer to more guides here.

Conclusion

Keyword research is a fundamental piece of online marketing that marketers love to overlook.

Hopefully, the guide above put keyword research in a new light. It’s not necessarily the most difficult aspect of online marketing, but it can have the biggest impact when it comes to the visibility of overall profitability of your website.

Do you have other suggestions on how marketers should perform keyword research? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Using Popular Hashtags To Grow Your Business

Do you use hashtags — catchy, attention-grabbing conversation anchors that people want to be associated with? If not, you can learn how here.


Hashtag 101– If you already know what hashtags are, skip this part and proceed to advanced hashtag uses below.

How hashtags work: When you use a #hashtag, you are adding your post to a list of all other posts that use this tag on that social platform.

For example, if you post a picture of your dog with #puppy in the caption or description, your post is now grouped with all other #puppy posts. Whenever someone searches #puppy on instagram for example, they will see all #puppy posts.

Instagram Hashtag Tracking - Puppy
Instagram Hashtag Tracking – Puppy

Popular hashtags are a major deal. They engage social media users on a higher level.

No wonder Instagram images or videos with at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags, and tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than tweets without them.

Tweets with Hashtags Infographic
Tweets with Hashtags Infographic


Image source

This doesn’t mean hashtags are an automatic ticket to social media success, but they can and do engage people by allowing them to become part of something larger than themselves.

Hashtags impart a sense of belonging — and encapsulate people’s beliefs, cultures, and professional brands. In an article on Salesforce, expert digital marketer Ann Smarty listed three hashtags that people follow for news on social: #twitternews, #socialmedianews and #socialmedia.

When people use or follow hashtags like these on social, they get to feel they’re a part of some huge; that’s the power of hashtags.

There are two main ways to use popular hashtags to grow your business:

  • Start your own branded hashtag and make it popular. Or…
  • Latch onto already popular unbranded hashtags and exploit them to grow your business. The three hashtags I mentioned from Ann Smarty are good examples of unbranded hashtags.

I’ll be sharing how to use these two different hashtag types to grow your business in this post.

Ready?

Let’s begin with unbranded hashtags.

These are usually popular hashtags that weren’t necessarily started by your brand.

They’re often industry hashtags like #marketing, event hashtags like #SXSW or day-related hashtags like #MusicMonday or #TuesdayInspiration. These are the basics. Tagging your posts with relevant industry, event and day-related hashtags will help you be a part of key conversations for your brand.

Here are three more advanced strategies for using unbranded hashtags to grow your business:

1. Look out for CTA (Call-to-Action) hashtags

Just as its name implies, CTA hashtags encourage people to take an action. Example: #BeYourOwnBoss or #StartABusiness.

These hashtags tend to work well because they encourage people to participate in something fun or rewarding — and everyone likes fun and rewards. More importantly, they persuade people to take an action on your tweets or posts.

You want to look for popular CTA hashtags that are related to your brand or product and engage prospects with them. These hashtags are especially rampant on Instagram and Twitter.

Example: Call-to-action hashtag #tagafriend skyrocketed Twitter engagement for Chocolate Picture:

Using Hashtags - Twitter Marketing

Of course, it wasn’t just the #tagafriend hashtag that drove this level of engagement for the brand. Chocolate Picture added some other hashtags and, perhaps more importantly, asked tweeters to follow and RT to get a chance to win the contest promoted in the tweet, which contributed to the success of the tweet. (Note: while hashtag functions are available on most platforms, they are particularly effective only on Twitter and Instagram)

The CTA hashtag #tagafriend, however, encouraged people to take an action — tag their friends.

Twitter Marketing - Hashtag Marketing - Twitter Giveaway

Plus, the CTA hashtag exposed the tweet to an audience that follows the #tagafriend hashtag and who may not have heard about Chocolate Picture before.

2. Twitter trending keywords and hashtags

Twitter gets over 300 million users per month, and the platform has a section called Trending. On a smartphone, Twitter Trending can be found once you click the search tab in your Twitter app. And it’s either on the left or right side of your desktop screen.

Twitter Hashtags - Trending

These keywords and hashtags represent what people are talking about at any given time on the platform. You can see how this easily creates an opportunity for you to chip in your tweets on the matter discussed, and expose your brand to a new audience.

How you chime into these trending conversations, however, can make or break engagement for your tweet. Your tweet needs to be timely and relevant to the topic being discussed. Any irrelevant or untimely tweets will be ignored by tweeters and get buried under other tweets.

This doesn’t mean you can’t participate in conversations outside your industry; you can, but you need to ensure it’s relevant to the topic being discussed.

Example: when #FashionWeek was trending, sometime in 2013, cookie brand Oreo sent out a tweet with the hashtag:

Oreo - Trending Tweet - Hashtag Campaign
Image source

Oreo has nothing to do with fashion or Fashion Week; they’re clearly not a clothing brand, but they promoted their brand using the hashtag while making sure it’s related to the topic being discussed. Pretty clever.

Remember, Twitter trending tweets can stop trending at any time — they might be popular anywhere between minutes to a few days. You want your entry into trending conversations to be relevant and timely.

Another classic example is how duo music band Facing West took advantage of #MusicMonday on Twitter. The band used the hashtag to promote their new song on a Monday — March 5 — when the hashtag was trending:

Facing West - Twitter Hashtag Marketing Promotion

This exposed their brand and music to a new audience and enthusiasts who follow the hashtag.

Twitter users use the Twitter Trending to stay abreast of what’s hot right now. They want to be in the know and not the last person to hear about some hot news. Do your brand a huge favor by chiming in on trending conversations and taking advantage of the lively engagement there.

3. Popular niche hashtags

Hashtags are crazier on Instagram than they are on Twitter, or any other social platform for that matter.

“…consider using popular hashtags like #tbt (throwback Thursdays) or #instagood (a showcase of a user’s best photos) to attract new followers. — Bryan Kramer

Using more than two hashtags on Twitter can make your engagement rate plummet. But on Instagram, the more hashtags, the merrier your engagement.

Head of Social Strategy at Canva, Peg Fitzpatrick, recommends adding your hashtags in multiple comments under each Instagram post:

You can use up to thirty hashtags on each post. I’d recommend sticking to three or four in the comments and then adding more into a comment below. It seems strange, but this is acceptable on Instagram.

If you want to use eleven hashtags in total per post, that works best on Instagram.

Enter niche hashtags. These hashtags are often used by people who are not just in your industry, but are in the same niche with you.

For example, #foodstagram is used by everyone and every business in the food/restaurant industry on Instagram. But a niche hashtag in the same food industry would be narrower. Take #foodblogger; the hashtag is apparently used by food bloggers on the platform, not every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the industry:

Foodstagram - Instagram Hashtag

Instagrammers who are interested in seeing pictures from food bloggers — but not restaurants or random food lovers — they’ll use the #Foodblogger hashtag to narrow down their search that finds just the food bloggers they’re looking for.

Your industry hashtags are often used by everyone in the industry, so they naturally get more impressions than niche hashtags. But you want to use niche hashtags to engage with your own target customers.

To see what hashtags are relevant to your specific industry of brand, tools like Keyhole can be very helpful. You can insert a trending #hashtag or keyword into our tracker, and the Word Cloud feature within the main dashboard will show you what other hashtags or Keywords people are using along with it.

For instance, our WordCloud shows that when using #foodblogger, people also use these hashtags:

Keyhole - Related Hashtags / Keywords

Now, branded hashtags.

These are hashtags started by your company. You know, the one you can lay a 100% claim to and enjoy all the benefits.

Branded hashtags don’t have to have your brand name in them, even though they sound like they should. But they should be related to your product or campaign name — so customers can link the hashtag to your business ultimately.

And if done right, they can become very popular hashtags that will take your brand to a higher level. Here are three strategies for growing a business with branded hashtags.

1. Require customers to use your brand hashtag to qualify for entry to promos and contests

This is one of the most common hashtag marketing strategies out there. You start a contest and require target customers to use your hashtags in their posts to qualify for the contest.

It’s like you’re starting a party and you’re asking everyone to come and eat. Everyone loves free food and drinks, right? That’s the idea.

Where it gets a little difficult is coming up with the perfect hashtag that people can relate to your business. One of the most successful branded hashtag so far is #ShareACoke — though, it wasn’t exactly a contest as we’re discussing here.

Influencer Marketing - Branded Hashtags for Coca Cola

Three things make this hashtag awesome:

  • The hashtag is simple, which makes it memorable.
  • It clearly flaunts the brand’s name.
  • It’s a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag — as it encourages people to take an “fun” action, share a coke.

You can learn from this and make an effective and memorable hashtag for your business. Make it reflect your brand name clearly, make it simple and make it a CTA — you know, like #DoSomethingFun.

To get even more juice from this, you can ask contest participants to tag your business handle in their entries.

This may reduce the amount of people participating in your contest since you’ll be stressing them more by asking them to do more tasks. But you’ll be getting more bang from your investment — 54% of users surveyed by Twitter reported that they had taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets (including visiting their website, searching for the brand, or retweeting content).

In plain English, you get more ROI when users tag your brand in their entries for your contest or promos.

2. Ask event attendees to share, using your hashtag before and during the event

If you’re organizing an event, you can create a hashtag and ask your event attendees to share the post on social using your event’s hashtag. Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios says it’s best to announce your event hashatag right at the start of the event:

“Tell the audience about it before the opening keynote.”

This means that you must have planned this hashtag ahead of time — it should have been ready long before the event day. In fact, planning it out long before the D-day gives it greater chance for good publicity.

Before the popular Social Media Week starts in every country, the #SMMW18 hashtag always has enough time to get in the hands and consciousness of people. Perhaps that’s because the hashtag has been planned and publicized months or weeks before the event starts.

And it’s one of the main reasons why virtually all marketers in many countries don’t miss out when the event date finally hits.

Event Marketing - Event Hashtag - Social Media Marketing World
Image source

The beauty of this is that once multiple people start tweeting with your hashtag during an event, Twitter notices the spike for that hashtag and adds it to their Trending list — which exposes your hashtag to Twitter users who like hot news.

This means more people will be seeing your hashtagged posts. It can lead to a massive explosion and brand awareness for you. And you may also attract people who haven’t heard about you or your hashtag before. They can become curious as to who you are why you’re trending on their Twitter.

3. Get people to like your hashtagged tweets and posts

Social networks want to feed their users with the best content their platforms offer. And it’s the same for your business. You want your best content consistently visible for optimal customer engagement.

Google, YouTube, and most other platforms also operate in this way. They all have top posts in a category on their platforms so more users can find them. When your tweets or Instagram posts get significant engagement, they are ranked in the top sections of the platforms they’re on for the hashtag(s) they contain.

For example, if your your post on Instagram with #musicmonday gets healthy engagement, say 200 likes and 20 comments, it can get ranked on the top posts section of Instagram.

Music Monday Hashtag on Instagram

If you’re already a popular brand, your hashtagged posts will naturally get hundreds and thousands of Likes or Favs, retweets, and replies in no time. And this will move your posts to the top sections of social networks. And, to amplify your reach, you may use influencers.

But if your brand is not so popular yet, you need to go to a little more work. You especially need influencers who will spread the word about your brand and hashtag. Ask your network — existing followers, customers and friends — to Like your posts so they reach more people.

Conclusion

Popular hashtags are a big deal. They raise an entire village of brand advocates, like what’s happening with Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke today.

The drink company is still enjoying all the brand awareness and sales that come from the hashtag, as many of their customers are eager to take fancy pictures with a bottle of coke and share it on social using the hashtag. It’s the same for every other brand that has worked to create popular hashtags.

Businesses that latch on to unbranded hashtags they didn’t create themselves also enjoy some level of success as seen with the Oreo example above. In the end, whether you create your brand hashtag or latch on to unbranded hashtags you didn’t create, your business is bound to see an uptake in engagement and sales if you hit the right combination.

Take a chance and experiment with hashtags. Learn to capitalize on what’s trending and help your business by becoming part of the hashtag trend.

Keyhole Social LIstening Strategies to Grow your Business Social Media Analytics Twitter Analytics

5 Powerful Social Listening Strategies To Grow Your Business Faster In 2018

Of the 7.5 billion people in the world, 3.03 billion of them are active social media users.

Your customers are, obviously, among these users and they have conversations on social platforms every day. This creates an opportunity for you to listen to what they are saying and learn more about them.

And that’s basically what social listening is — monitoring what customers are saying on social.

But it wouldn’t make sense to just listen to what people are saying about you or your industry. If you’re a good listener, you are learning, and if you’re a good student, you apply what you know.

Koka Sexton of Slack once shared his journey with social media, where he explained how he sees social media as not just a platform to interact with people, but to build a pipeline of relevant customers to grow businesses.

I came across this idea of social networks. (…) At that point, the idea of leveraging social networks as a sales person was basically unheard of. My focus was optimizing that behavior. (…) I had the goal of building my pipeline and not building a brand or building a fan base.

It’s not enough to listen or even watch your fan base grow, you need to use what you’re listening to to grow your business.

What you need is a toolbox of the social listening strategies that can help you benefit from monitoring social interactions. How do you make the most of the conversations that happen about your brand and industry on social media?

Here are five social listening strategies to grow your business faster in 2018.

1. Send bottom-of-the-funnel customers to gated free trials, product pages or waiting lists

Like top-of-the-funnel buyers, bottom-of-the-funnel consumers are also always lurking around conversations about your industry, brand, or specific product.

These people have heard about your brand before.

And they’re ready to buy. They just need a few questions answered.

So they ask questions like “Is there a version that will include xyz feature coming soon?” OR “Can your product do this specific thing?” If you’re keeping tabs on conversations in your industry, you’ll be able to pull these prospects into the fold.

In 2017, top car brand Audi had a tweet where a prospective Audi buyer (Godwin) asked if they had any new upgrades on a couple of their cars.

Audi responded saying the feature is coming in 2018, and sent the buyer a link where he could sign up with them to get updated once it’s out.

Audi Responding to Inquiries on Twitter - Customer Service

Once the buyer clicks the link, Audi sends him to a well-designed landing page where he’s being welcomed as a lead. The car brand gets his info and gets the chance to alert him once his desired feature is out in the market.

Audi Landing Page - Email Capture

This is one of the best social listening strategies I’ve seen anywhere.

And there’s one beautiful but quite hidden advantage here: 67% of Americans say they get at least some of their news on social media.

This means while Audi is responding to Godwin with a signup form to fill, there are probably other potential buyers around who have the same question Godwin asked and would sign up to get updates from Audi as well — via the same page Audi sent to Godwin.

This way, Audi is using social listening as a tactic to generate more leads for their new car upgrade coming in 2018.

Another example: Aaron Lee, Regional Manager at Agorapulse, recently tweeted that he was looking for a good web host for a new site. New web host provider, ChemiCloud, took the stage and introduced Aaron to their new hosting platform.

Image of Chemicloud Hosting tweeting to Aaron

It’s a powerful social listening strategy to monitor these industry interactions and earn the opportunity to convert bottom-of-the-funnel prospects into actual paying buyers.

And if, like Audi, you don’t already have the feature or exact product a potential buyer is asking for, have a well-designed page ready to convert the person into a lead — so you have the opportunity to draw them back to your business when it’s time.

2. Refer top-of-the-funnel customers to ungated content (or any other value)

In social conversations in your industry, top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) customers are also always lurking around.

There’s always someone hearing about your brand or product for the first time or just seeing conversations about your brand or industry. Unlike the customers represented in my #1 strategy above, these people aren’t ready to buy anything; they only want to learn more about the matter being discussed — your product, brand or industry.

You can refer these customers to a piece of content, a handy tool, or any value that answers their questions and get them ready to buy.

Should you gate content (or any value at all) for TOFU customers?

Audi, in the example above, sent ready-to-buy prospects right from social interactions to a gated page; should you do the same for top-of-the-funnel customers? Not quite.

Picture this for a moment: you go to Twitter and find a promoted tweet that interests you. The tweet is from a brand you’ve never seen or heard of before, promoting a product you don’t entirely understand. So you’re curious. You want to learn more about about what’s being promoted. You reply the tweet asking “How do I get started?”

To which the brand replies, “Go to [this url] to learn how to get started.”

Would you click or not? You probably would. After all, you’re the one looking for answers.

But on getting to the page, you find a form asking for your personal information. Would you give your information just to learn more about a product? You probably won’t. Especially when you’re just trying to see how to get started with a product.

If you were ready to get started, that’s a different case, you’d sign up. But gating a page that’ll teach you how to get started? Not ideal.

Landing page leader Instapage puts it this way:

“During the awareness stage, most prospects know very little about your brand and have yet to trust you. Removing the gate from content in this stage can improve your brand’s visibility and enhance your credibility with prospects. As prospects move down the marketing funnel and are more interested in your business, they will be more likely to be willing to fill out a form in order to gain access to content like ebooks and webinars.”

So it’s best to make your tool, content or any other value ungated for TOFU people who just want to “learn more”.

You’ll also notice in the example above that Audi included a link in their tweet for top-of-the-funnel buyers to get more information about their available product (car).

Image of Audi Tweeting their new A8 and linking to a signup

The link takes TOFU prospects to a page that provides them with useful and intriguing information about the car. They learn about the different features of the car, like its new automated driving feature and interaction intelligence.

Remember, these are top-of-the-funnel customers from Audi’s social listening efforts. The car brand could have just tweeted and let it end there. But no, they squeezed more juice from their social listening and moved interested buyers further in their purchase journeys.

3. Turn negative feedback into opportunities

Here comes the horrible bit of social listening.

If you weren’t paying attention to what’s being said about your brand on social media, you’d be safe — like a turtle with its head in the sand. But if you’re listening, you would have to come across people who are not so pleased with your brand or product — AKA unhappy customers.

The study I cited earlier says 67% of Americans get news from social media. You can imagine how many people are watching when unhappy customers say things like these:

Image of Keyhole’s Sentiment page
Want to listen to your brand social interactions this way? Try Keyhole.

But what you do after getting bad reviews is what matters the most.

Social media expert Kim Garst advises that

While you don’t have direct control over the reviews people leave, there are two ways you can indirectly improve them:(1) Listen to negative feedback and use it to improve your business, and (2) Encourage satisfied customers or clients to leave reviews. This will dilute the impact of any negative reviews you receive.

Much of the damage from negative feedbacks is salvageable. And, working with complaints can be an opportunity to prove you really care about customers. Since these conversations happen on social media, everyone gets to see how you handle critics — especially when you handle them timely.

Author of the bestselling book The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, Tamar Weinberg, mirrors the same idea about handling critics with finesse and timeliness:

For social customer experience, it’s important to speak to users where they are and when they need you. It’s not just about Facebook and Twitter complaints. It’s about complaints that arise anywhere, including your own website.

However, it can be overwhelming to take note of every single piece of negative feedback, but the trick is to find the public embarrassments your company can do something about and handle the situation with finesse and style that impresses onlookers.

For example, JetBlue got a tweet from a customer who was complaining about being on a flight that had a bad headphone jack and a malfunctioning TV.

JetBlue - Unhappy Customer Review

JetBlue responded with what clearly looks like more than just an apology; they offered to compensate the customer with a $15 credit for the inconvenience (once she can confirm she’s the actual customer who had the experience).

Image of JetBlue’s reply

Again, the beautiful thing about this is that everybody is watching. CrazyEgg cofounder Hiten Shah puts it this way — “We all should remember the social in social media. Otherwise it would just be media. Social media on the whole is all about people.”

Enough said about negative feedback. What do you do with the positive news?

4. Retweet or repost positive feedback

When monitoring your social analytics, you’ll come across encouraging and energizing feedback about your brand or product. What do you do with that kind of tangible evidence? Just be glad you got a good note? No, repost them (or retweet if it’s Twitter). That’s one of the most effective social listening strategies you can utilize.

Retweeting or reposting your customers’ positive feedback is a great strategy because it reminds your followers of the awesomeness of what you’re selling, and it will likely interest new leads who happen to hear others raving about you. And customer content, like reviews and positive feedback, yields as much as a 133% higher conversion rate.

Money saving app Piggybank does a great job at this. They repost the positive reviews they get from Twitter right on their Instagram page.

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

And since consumers resonate more easily with reviews from fellow consumers than from ads sent out by brands, Piggybank’s happy customers see fit to testify to the customer review Piggybank posted…

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

And there are also bottom-of-the-funnel customers asking how to get started; here’s one:

Image of Piggybank linking signup

That said, you can’t possibly repost every single positive feedback — especially if you’re a huge business where your comments pile up in the hundreds and thousands.

But use the great ones. Using this as one of your core social listening strategies can put you on the good side of your customers and lead new folks into your funnel.

5. Use a social monitoring tool (with the right features)

After all’s said and done, one thing that can make or break your social listening strategy is your social listening or monitoring tool. It’s the single tool that your entire social listening strategy will be built on. Heck, there’s hardly any campaign you’ll run today successful without using some marketing technology.

A great social monitoring tool will:

  • Analyze the most engaging posts about your brand so you can leverage them.
  • Alert you when an influencer talks about you so you can leverage that too.
  • Tell you once a keyword or topic you’re tracking is being talked about on social.
  • Will have all these functionalities in one platform.

There are several tools out there. We recommend Keyhole. Are we biased because that’s our tool? Well, don’t take our word for it.

Renowned marketing guru Neil Patel says: “You don’t want to be the one that comes in late to the party after everyone’s already left and moved on to the next big thing. You’ll want to contribute when the topic is still hot so you can be a thought leader on the subject. You can easily accomplish that with a tool called Keyhole. This tool isn’t free, but it does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly. Can you guess how to get started? That’s right, sign up for (a free trial) account.”

Conclusion

Conversations will always go on in your industry, and when they do, you want to join in and take advantage of the chatter.

Whether people are holding conversations directly about your brand, your industry, or your competitors, information is passing between people at high speed. You simply have to keep listening and monitoring.

The social listening strategies above reap your company lots and lots of benefits. Be proactive and take advantage of the tools out there to be a good listener. Take notice and look lively. Your business will be one of the best because you did.

Life is short and the internet is vast.