A guide to social listening: how you can infuse social media monitoring into your PR campaigns

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For any PR campaign to be successful, it is important to ensure that you are conducting social listening. Social listening and social media monitoring is an essential part of PR planning and stakeholder management and research. It can help you to keep ahead of a crisis or keep up to date with your audiences best interests. 

Check out our five tips below on how you can infuse social listening into your PR campaigns.

Preventing crisis situations

PR in itself is all about managing and interpreting the opinions of your existing and prospective stakeholders. Social listening and monitoring tools can be useful to gauge sentiments surrounding your campaigns key messages, product or brand. Based on this, social media monitoring can be beneficial to avoid issues that can potentially grow into subsequent crisis situations.
Social media is a useful tool to keep track of how your audiences are interacting with your campaign. If you neglect some of the criticisms about your product or brand on social media, it could backfire and have detrimental consequences for your business. This can incur unanticipated time and fees to remedy crisis situations if you are not vigilant. As well as this, crisis situations which occur on social media sites can have legacies which can harm your reputation and cause long-term damage. savvy2
By setting up social media alerts and keeping track of the people that mention your company’s name on social media, it could help you to negate any potentially negative situations. You can use many social media monitoring tools for this such as Tweetdeck, Buffer or Hootsuite.

Conducting market research

Social listening is not just for keeping track of the conversations people have about your brand, it is also useful to conduct market research to procure a niche understanding of the marketplace in which you are trying to establish yourself in.
When planning your PR campaigns, it is important to include different aspects of social listening. These might include defining keywords that pique the interest of your audience or research findings from social media that help you to create key messages for your campaign that translate well on social media. Social listening can help you to learn about the behaviours and mannerisms of your target audience and how best to engage with them so they will effectively invest themselves in your campaign. Social Media
To do this, you can do localised keyword searches that are relevant to your industry or topics of interest for your campaign. Based on the returned searches, you can compile the necessary findings to create your campaigns key messages, visuals and infographics and hashtags.

Keeping up with your competitors

Social listening is a brilliant tactic to use for keeping up with your competitors. It allows PR professionals to develop a competitive advantage when planning their campaigns. Competitor analysis allows PR pros to identify existing and potential competitors. It also allows them to evaluate their competitor’s strategies to determine their strengths or weaknesses which are relative to those of their own product or service.
Using social listening to keep track of your competitors is a critical part of executing your PR campaign. With this, you can establish what makes your brand or product unique and what attributes of your own brand you should play up in order to attract your target market.
You can do this by researching your competitors online by sifting through their websites and social media handles or you can set up social media alerts based on keywords that are intrinsic to compiling the relevant data you need for your competitor research.

Monitoring customer engagement with your campaign

Social listening is also great for keeping track of stakeholder engagement. Many social media sites have monitoring tools that give you metrics on the levels of engagement with your social media posts. These metrics can give you an insight into whether or not people are positively or negatively engaging with your content, or whether or not your posts are hitting your anticipated engagement levels. By using social listening in this instance, you can strategically create and schedule social media content that will optimise your social media interactions with your target audience. You can see which social media channels generated the most interaction with your campaign or which topics of conversation engaged your identified target audiences the most.
Social listening is also handy for identifying the number of times your brand or campaign is mentioned across social media. You can easily do this by creating refined searches that filter searches containing your brand or business name or keywords associated with your campaign. This will also allow you to determine whether or not your PR endeavours have been successful or positively received.

Learning more about your brand or organisation

You can also use social listening to gauge stakeholder sentiments regarding your PR campaign. It is also useful to learn more about what people are saying about your campaign so you can compile good feedback with the negative to generate constructive criticism to further improve your PR strategies.
A great way to keep track of how people are interacting with your campaign is to provide a two-way customer service style channel of communication via your social media handles. By doing so, this allows your existing and prospective stakeholders to have their say about your campaign and what you can do to better. This also makes your audience feel they are being listened to. Having an option for potential customers to request further information based on your campaign is a good way to decipher whether or not your key messages are hitting their anticipated targets. These tactics are helpful features to include in your campaign especially if any issues arise or to compile customer testimonials to improve your campaigns image and coverage.
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