By tracking social mentions, you can identify customers who talk about you on social media platforms, interact with them, showcase your excellent customer service, manage your social presence, and eventually drive sales.
In this blog post, we'll explain everything about social mentions, from the what to the why to the how so you can easily develop an effective social media management strategy.
What are social mentions?
Social media mentions refer to any mention of your business in other people’s social media posts, comments, or stories. They can be created by your followers, non-followers, influencers, or even your competitors. Social mentions can be positive or negative and directly affect your online presence’s reputation. That’s why tracking and handling them is crucial. Every single mention is an opportunity for you to engage with your audience and create a public perception of your brand.
Why are social mentions important to track and monitor?
When someone talks about your brand on Facebook or Instagram, they’re spreading the words that exist (a.k.a., your brand name).
If they praise your product, it means you’re onto something, you’re doing something right, people recognize it. That positive feedback is a good indication that your product meets customers’ needs and your customer service satisfies them.
By responding to positive mentions of your brand, you show customers that you appreciate and value them. You give your customers a good experience and create an emotional connection with them, which makes them happy.
And what will happen when customers are happy? They’re more likely to come back to you, join your community, and buy more from you. According to Conversocial’s report, most shoppers expect brands to deliver an excellent customer service experience over messaging channels.
What’s more, positive social mentions are a good source of user-generated content that you can use for your next marketing campaigns. For example, you can show good feedback on your websites or run an Instagram ad, which is great for building trust with your audience.
Here’s a great example of how West Elm, a modern furniture and home décor brand, responded to a mention from a customer and asked to repost it.
With that being said, if the feedback is negative, and you’re not tracking it to find and resolve the problems, it can ruin your brand. It also shows that your customer service is really bad.
No one likes unpleasant reviews. But no matter how good your product is or how well-known your brand is, you’ll receive negative comments on social networks. It’s unavoidable.
So, the best tactic is to develop a social media strategy for your public relations team to manage positive and negative mentions. Doing that will make sure you’re on top of every conversation and turn it to your advantage.
How to track, monitor, and respond to social mentions effectively
Use the following tips to track and manage your social mentions.
1) Create branded hashtags
A branded hashtag is a hashtag that’s unique to your business. It can be your business name, tagline, or the name of one of your products or campaigns.
For example, Pura Vida created the #PuraVidaBracelets hashtag and include it in their Instagram bio so followers can easily find it and remember to tag it.
Using branded hashtags is a great way to track social mentions, build brand awareness, gather user-generated content, and create a community. In fact, according to a study by Simply Measured, 70% of the most-used hashtags on Instagram have branded hashtags created by businesses.
When creating a branded hashtag, keep it simple, short, specific, and easy to spell. Don’t make it too long, which makes your customers hard to remember.
2) Use a customer service helpdesk
To track social mentions, you can create RSS feeds to get email alerts, follow review sites and other data sources, or use search terms to find a list of mentions of your brand on search engines. You can also use listening tools like Hootsuite, Talkwalker, or Brandwatch to get sentiment analysis.
But social media is a type of customer service. So, it’s better to use a dedicated help desk tool to manage social comments and social mentions.
There’s a great deal of wonderful help desk tools out there. Tools like Gorgias built specifically to help you track customer conversations across channels in real-time, respond to those inquiries, improve team collaboration, and enhance the customer experience.
Once you integrate your store with Facebook and enable Instagram mentions, Gorgias will create a ticket for every new mention of your page in posts, comments, and replies. It also updates the mention ticket with each new reply in the Instagram thread.
Apart from that, Gorgias provided insightful reports and metrics to help you measure customer satisfaction, conversions, team performance, and more.
3) Respond quickly
Customers, especially angry ones, expect instant responses from your brands. They want their problem to be solved right now.
That’s why you should try to respond to social mentions within one day. The faster your response, the easier it for you to control the situation and win customers’ hearts.
4) Take negative mentions out of the spotlight
If a customer shares a bad experience with your business on Instagram, it’s likely they simply wanted to say it out loud.
Once you find that social mention, stay calm and think about how you can turn their experience around.
A good way to respond is to thank the customer for sharing the feedback and apologizing. Then, immediately move the conversation to a more private location like emails or direct messages, like West Elm did here:
Remember, not all negative feedback is bad. Marketers can learn a lot from an angry customer, for example:
- Understand what you did wrong and how you could fix it
- Understand your target audience’s pain points and improve your products as well as customer service
- Learn that the customer cares about your business and believe you can find the solution
Don’t panic when receiving negative mentions. Maintain your positive attitude, and you’ll find it easy to control the situation.
5) Know when to stop responding
Unfortunately, there will be times when no matter what you do, you can't please an upset customer. Chasing them doesn’t head anywhere productive, but makes you more and more frustrating. Realize when an issue is getting to this point and when you need to disengage.
Start monitoring your social mentions
Today’s customers expect more from brands. They want to have an exceptional, personalized experience. They want to be heard and understood.
It’s important to track social mentions wherever they appear so you can gain a better understanding of your customers, provide instant support, and strengthen relationships with them.