Com0015 -Blog #1 Listening & Monitoring Can Lead to Success

My name is Aj Howell, the mind behind Ottawa’s new destination blog Northern Butterfly. Even though I am new to the blogging scene, I have quickly learned that to be successful in today’s connected world you need to build a community around your company, brand or product.

Listen to what your customers, competitors, critics and supporters are saying about you is key to getting great results from your social media campaign. According to EXACT Targets 2014 Statement of Marketing report, 60% of marketers were using social listening strategies in 2013 and 24% plan to do so in 2014. Sadly only 31% of marketers think their social listening is fully effective. While participating in social media is good, it can be difficult to track how you’re performing- are you actually reaching your target market? How is your brand perceived? What are people saying about your products? Social listening offers opportunities to interact directly with consumers and allows you to get answer to these vital questions.

With social media monitoring, no matter the size of your business, you can know what your customers and competitors are saying about you and what the general feelings about your products are.

Amongst the many Listening and Monitoring tools out there to choose from, Twitter and Klout are just a couple of my favorites to use. There are some great features provided through these social media tools that are simple to use and understand. This is very important as it allows me to be able to read and understand the raw data being extracted from my social media monitoring efforts, and in return I can act on it.

Despite the 140-character limit, it is hard to argue Twitters ability to capture public opinion. Breaking news often originates from Twitter and quickly spreads through the network as millions of user’s record their opinions in real-time.  I use this to my advantage by monitoring keywords related to my blog such as Ottawa, Ottawa Vacations, Ottawa Tourism and my own name. By going to twitter.com/search and typing in a topic of interest like #OttCity #OttawaEvents #ottawafestivals I am able to find hundreds — sometimes thousands — of current opinions on a variety of subjects. With Twitter Lists, I can create a list that groups together people for whatever reason (Ottawa Bloggers, for example.) This provides me with a snapshot of the things those users are saying by viewing that list’s page. Lists also organize the people I’m following into groups, and even people I’m not. Twitter allows you to follow other lists, which I have found especially helpful when looking for a particular subject matter.  Ottawa Tourism, Ottawa Start Up and apt 613 are some examples of the many new blogs and websites that I have been made aware of using these lists.

@Ottawa_Tourism (http://www.ottawatourism.ca/en/visitors/plan-a-visit/event-calendar) is the official Ottawa travel website guide to Canada’s Capital region. Event Calendar, What to do, Where to Stay & Special Offers are a few of the many things you find on this site.

@Ottawastart (http://ottawastart.com/) Features fresh, appealing and unusual Ottawa stories and photos.

  @apt613 (http://apt613.ca/) From New Edinburgh to Old Ottawa South to Westboro and beyond.  This award-winning blog is dedicated to uncovering the best of Ottawa’s arts and culture

You need to be able to see what content is resonating with followers and the public. So how do you know if you’re doing the right thing, attracting the right people, and making an impression? Analytics are the answer! There are many powerful social media tracking and analytics tools available that can monitor your performance on social media sites like Twitter. They can help you judge the effectiveness of your efforts and keep track of what people are saying about you. One of my favorite social media monitoring tools is Klout.

Klout helps me measure my influence through engagement on Twitter. It is a good means of keeping an eye on what people think about my blog, and it allows me to see what influences them the most. By doing this I can adjust my posts according to my target audience’s interests and increase my engagement rate. I also use Klout to benchmark my success, recognize the people who have an influence on me and find out who I influence.  I could have a million followers, but that’s useless if none of them are interacting with my content. My Klout profile shows me who I influence, and how many people are in my true reach. This can help determine if my message is reaching my audience and who is really listening.I watch my Klout Score as it goes up or down, and if there’s a dramatic change this indicates to me something I’m doing is working (or not). Overall I feel Klouts platform looks great and the interface is easy to use. I’ve already noticed a lot of ‘klou.t’ shortened URLs in people’s tweets, so it’s obviously being put to use.

Whether its your company, brand, or product, if you’re investing time, money, and effort into social media, than you should use listening/monitoring tools to help you see the whole picture. Start using analytics to track your social media efforts today and figure out the best formula for success is for you.

 

 

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