Originally focused on corporate and brand reputation management, social media monitoring now centers on social listening for customer engagement and customer relationship management, according to a recent Gleanster report. The study shows customer service closely follows public relations as a top reason to invest in social media monitoring. In Customer Service is Changing the Social Media Monitoring Industry, Leon Chaddock of Sentiment Metrics is quoted: “A standard monitoring tool is great for charts and trends and understanding what’s going on, but it’s not the ideal place for customer service.” Brands are now placing importance on social listening and multichannel customer engagement, recognizing that consumer reviews can be more influential than brand marketing.
What does the migration of social media monitoring to customer service mean for PR pros and marketers? The public relations and reputation management value of social media monitoring will continue, but PR and marketing will likely become more closely allied with the customer service function and process. Many experts advocate a “hub” arrangement in which PR, marketing, and customer service all cooperate in developing and implementing a social media monitoring strategy and program.
In 8 Simple Ways to Monitor Your Competitors, Freddy Aurso encourages using The Godfather Strategy of social media monitoring: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Aurso advises companies to follow competitors and their key followers on social media. He also discourages relying on Google Alerts — which only deliver news, not social media clips — and dismisses it as “the absolute minimum for any company that is serious about its business.”