A Lesson From Martha Stewart and iCracked: Taking Social Monitoring to the Next Level

dog-listening-to-headphones   Some companies think it’s a waste of time, effort, and money to employ social listening on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. It’s understandable — there’s a lot of noise out there. But if you’re searching for the right things, you can make monitoring social media channels truly valuable. Last month, Martha Stewart made the news — not because of some pumpkin pie recipe, but because she complained about her broken iPad on Twitter. She tweeted several times, some of which upset Apple’s public relations team. martha-stewart-tweets     Make Lemonade with Other People’s Lemons Social media is often used by consumers to voice their opinions. And whenever a consumer voices an opinion, there’s an opportunity for marketers to jump in. iCracked, an iPhone, iPod, and iPad repair company with door-to-door local technicians, immediately saw an opportunity to share their solution with a high-profile influencer like Martha Stewart.     martha-stewart-icrack   They weren’t aggressive with their tweets; instead, they elegantly sympathized and offered the help Martha was looking for. Their value proposition was clear and concise. From Twitter Feed to TV Spotlight Although we don’t know if Martha accepted iCracked’s offer, iCracked’s social media monitoring and awareness of the problem, combined with their agile responses, led to great exposure for their company and services on CNBC. A.J. Forsythe, Co-Founder and CEO of iCracked, had the opportunity to describe his company’s services for over two minutes on air. How Can You Be the Next iCracked? iCracked’s discovery of Martha Stewart’s tweets may have been luck, but there’s an opportunity to create some luck for yourself, too. Here are 3 ways to do so: 1. Monitor social media channels for keywords that matter to you. Now, now — don’t submit your request for 10 new team members to monitor social media quite yet. Marketing tools like Twitter for Salesforce and Radian6 can help you monitor social media channels, freeing up your time to optimize your social marketing strategy. Set up these social listening applications to listen for important keywords relevant to your business. Keywords may include competitor company names and keywords that describe what your company does. For example, iCracked may be listening for “iPad” and “cracked” in the same tweet. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes — what would they say? Put yourself in your competitor’s customer’s shoes. What would they complain about? 2. Take it to the next level — automate! With marketing automation, you can create alerts for posts that may be time-sensitive. For example, Twitter for Salesforce syncs Twitter data with Marketo, so you can send automated alerts to your colleagues. This ensures that your company is following up with the communications immediately. Monitoring social media doesn’t have to stay social, either. As these prospects voice their pains, consider increasing their lead score to inform your sales team that they might have an interest in your product. 3. Bring in the right people at the right time. When there’s an amazing public relations opportunity, make sure the right people know about it, and take action immediately. Imagine if iCracked saw Martha’s tweet, simply replied back once, and that was that. Explore more opportunities with your PR team to see if there’s a story to share, and sell the idea to high-level executives to ensure your company is properly represented. Monitoring social media channels doesn’t have to solely be about lead generation. Develop relationships with your customers when they share their excitement about your company, or even their disappointment. Know when your prospects are unhappy with your competitors’ products, and monitor other companies who complement your services. But be careful about what you say: how you represent your company on social media is a reflection of your brand. Remember: your brand isn’t what you say you are, it’s what other people say you are. How does your company monitor prospects and customers on social media, and do you think it’s a good practice? Have you ever been contacted by a company in response to a tweet or a post? Share your stories and opinions in the comments below.