For a company, PR encompasses the official communication that goes out across stakeholders, a bouquet of content for which it is accountable. In such a situation, this makes it important for the business to ensure that every PR activity is carried out properly and preparations are made in advance to take care of adverse situations.
Anyone who’s been with a PR agency would know that there is a noticeable growth of consumer conversations and expert opinion across social channels. This is one of the key reasons why most businesses are now paying attention to social channels for feedback and insights from the audience to usher improvement in marketing initiatives. Since social media is capable of resolving pressing issues related to products and client servicing, social listening nowadays is used more often as an indispensable research tool to judge marketing and competitive intelligence.
In the past few years, the social landscape has transformed significantly. Businesses have considerably boosted awareness in regard to the relevance of monitoring, what consumers say about them in the online space etc. It is believed that the inability to control what is being said/discussed on social channels about a product or service leads to the conclusion — maintain a close tab on these social channels and ensure that all mentions are appropriately projected.
For a PR agency, social media is an effective tool that creates buzz/publicity at a cost-competitive pace, apart from allowing direct communication with the audiences. It has been observed that most businesses nowadays vigorously use the social platforms to connect with consumers, bag feedback and insights to improve the scope of marketing. PR consulting agencies that focus upon the use of social media as it can make or break the image of a business, feel that social listening is capable of revealing issues concerning products, offerings and client support.
Consistent monitoring of social channels help a business to quickly identify and resolve a problem. It also helps companies understand how competitors are performing and implement necessary changes that boost the market share.
Since PR pros have to deal with negative publicity regularly, the ability to monitor social media assumes importance as it helps to track a brand/business, its online reputation, keep a close watch on social conversations and identify crisis situations before they erupt.
Some of the important reasons why social monitoring is important for PR firms are as follows:
- Since PR professionals have to consistently interpret public opinion and attitudes impacting the future of a company, social monitoring can be leveraged efficiently to handle or avert a crisis.
- When a PR agency is planning online initiatives or campaigns for its clients, social media monitoring becomes crucial at varied stages – market research, measuring overall sentiment that the target audience has for the business, competition analysis etc.
- PR depends highly on media scanning. With social listening, scanning can be done within few minutes. It helps a PR agency undertake and facilitate evaluation in regard to deciding the success achieved after engaging with the journalist and media mentions bagged.
- It has been observed that social media monitoring helps to evaluate PR campaigns based on essential metrics — sentiment, location, topic etc- that plays a key role in deciding the future course of action and tactics to be adopted.
A social monitoring plan offers a clear insight into which channels were most successful in driving conversations with the audiences and boosted the success of campaigns.
- Social listening is considered as an effective way of transforming the negative publicity into a positive one. It is true that no one can decide how a business/brand is treated in the online domain; hence no business should try to please everybody.
This is why companies should promptly respond to customer feedback, offer support and display keenness to address the client concerns on social channels.
Social listening is invaluable as it is capable of offering in-depth analysis about a business/brand/products or services apart from providing relevant information about its competitors. Since social channels are a key part of the present day earned media, it is key to leverage social platforms to judge the efficiency and ROI of PR efforts constantly to improve results.