As a key part of a solid social media strategy,  social media monitoring has many important uses and should be not only the foundation upon which a brand builds its social strategy, but also play a key role in its ongoing social media marketing efforts.

Below are 6 strategic ways social media professionals, experts, consultants and agencies incorporate social media monitoring:

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92% of companies are currently using social media*. But a much smaller percentage actually understand how to leverage their platforms and make them work toward their goals. (Tweet This)

To effectively do this, we recommend creating and implementing a social media strategy. Below is a list of 17 of the more critical elements we employ when devising any social media strategy.

1.   Listen First
Know where the conversation about your brand/company or service is taking place and who your social media audience is.

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It was my extreme honor to be a guest in yesterday’s tele-seminar with the International Social Media Association (ISMA). My topic, in case you missed it, was  “Propel your Social Media Marketing to New Heights: Strategies to Ensure a Winning and Engaging Social Presence”.

Below I recap some of the highlights from the hour long interview:

This is part 1 of a 3 part series…

ISMA:   What do you mean by “an Engaged Social Presence”?

Brian Solis describes engagement as:

“Engagement is essentially the first step in building a relationship between your customers and your brand.”

Brian goes on to explain that initially, early on in a brands social media experience, that it’s more about establishing a presence and less about strategic engagement and the engagement resembles traditional broadcasting of messages.

In it’s most simple explanation, an Engaged Social Presence is when you are actively participating in the social media platforms in which you belong.

More specifically, however…engagement encompasses two strategies.

Re-active engagement and Pro-active engagement, both necessary for   a truly engaged social presence.

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One of the main objectives for all social media marketing initiatives for a brand is to “navigate the narrative”. In other words,  to ensure that your competitors or disgruntled customers don’t steer conversations in a way that put you on the defensive.

In order to cultivate the conversations taking place in the social media arena, you need to know that they’re happening! Social media monitoring is the somewhat new but indispensable tool that all serious marketers should use in order to keep track of what people are saying about their brand, their products and their competitors.

The first step to monitoring your brand reputation is listening. Whoever said “eavesdroppers are never happy” could not have been more wrong. You might not be always be happy with what you hear about your brand but I guarantee that you will be a lot unhappier if you don’t listen in!

Social media is the speakeasy for all those incessant public conversations that you must listen in on and eventually join.

One simple way to discover what people are saying about your brand is to simply create a Google Alert so that you’ll get an email anytime your brand name is mentioned.

However, Google Alerts are limited – and aren’t designed to be a comprehensive online brand management tool. That’s why you need to use a variety of online tools to find out what people are saying.

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Social media isn’t always the right tool for the job. Not every company needs a blog. YouTube worked for BlendTec, but it might not work for your company. And yet, there’s something to this. Over the last three days, I’ve spoken to four HUGE brands in America that are considering social media for one project or another, and there are many more out there working on how these tools might integrate into their business needs. Here’s a list of 50 ideas (in no particular order) to help move the conversation along.

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