The enormous take up of social media at events (and in general) has also made way for social media monitoring (SMM) tools. These web based tools filter through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram scanning for event keywords/tags and brand mentions while collecting analytics and reproducing them in invaluable real time reports. Social media monitoring allows you to see what influence your event is having on attendees and the entire online social community.
Social media monitoring and social engagement is excellent customer service. According to Martiz Research more than 80 per cent of customers who received responses from an organisation after tweeting about it say they have a heightened opinion of that brand and are likely to tell their friends about it.
What if someone posted negative comments to Facebook or Twitter and other attendees take it at face value? It’s very common for attendees to post about their experiences at the event. Monitoring the posts in real-time gives you the opportunity to take action on negative or potential problem almost immediately. For example, if an attendee tweeted about the lack of drink stations during a conference, you have the opportunity to respond and remedy the problem before the next session breaks. If this post was missed, or written on post-event feedback forms, you’ve missed the opportunity to make changes for this event. The feedback would be noted for next year – which is often too late.
How this is different from logging into individual social accounts and responding? A key difference is SMM tools bring all of your social accounts into a single, easy to manage dashboard. It presents trending posts and interactions across multiple social media platforms. It can report based on demographics, geographic location and even measure global reach – information that the likes of Facebook and Twitter don’t make available to you. In short, SMM adds value to your social media platforms, allowing you to leverage the information collected to improve your event, attendee interaction and brand awareness.
Social media monitoring also offer one of the most invaluable tools to an event the last thing on the to-do list is update Facebook and Twitter. However, there is no need to neglect your social community during the event – SMM tools allow you to schedule posts days, weeks or months in advance, ensuring posts are constant and consistent during the event.
The list of web-based SMM tools is quite extensive (there are more than 200 online tools available), but there are some key points to remember when researching SMM.
Social media monitoring subscriptions range from $29.95 per month to above $10,000 a month. In a recent survey 54 per cent of companies spend less than $100 per month on SMM, while only 2 per cent spend over $100,000. Deciding what your budget is will untimely demine what SMM subscription is right for you. But don’t be fooled – 61 per cent of people surveyed say they are happy with their SMM tool for under $100 per month.
Can it work and still be simple? Yes! Ease of use falls just below price when organisers are looking at investing in SMM. The ability to schedule updates and ability to integrate with many different social networks reduces the worries and complications of updating multiple social media platforms (update status on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter etc.).
Can you afford to dedicate one of your team members solely to SMM? Ideally this person would be responsible for monitoring and reporting and ensuring correct responses or actions be taken. If you can’t afford giving up a resource, you should look into SMM tools that allow for automatic interactions and reporting. These SMM subscriptions use advanced algorithms to take online actions against certain messages generated by the online community.
These are some good questions to ask when looking for the right SMM tool. You also need to understand your priorities and what you expect to achieve out of social media – this will assist you in comparing and choosing right tool for your event. Social media is happening now and SMM allows you to control how your event is being perceived and how the online community is influenced. Finding the right tool to ensure you understand your attendees and deliver them the best possible experience is the key to getting value out of your social media platforms.
Reference – February 2013 – CIM Australasia’s leading business events magazine.