No matter how big or small, your company needs a positive reputation to survive and make profit. This is true even if you’re just a freelancer working on your own. Your present customers, your potential customers, your suppliers, your shareholders, your employees and even the regulators of the domain you’re doing business in need to trust your reputation. This is no-brainer.
This was the same when your grandfather did business. He needed to protect the positive image of his company, even if it was just a very small shop around the corner. In order to do this, he knew that being good in what he did wasn’t enough. He needed to listen closely what others were saying about his shop. Maybe he didn’t call it this way but what he was doing was basically a form of public relations (PR).
The main principle hasn’t changed. Today, however, it’s getting harder and harder to even monitor what others are saying about your company, yet trying to make it more positive. In today’s digital world where everything happens so fast, you need a leverage to play the game. This leverage is called social listening and it’s essential in your PR. Let’s chunk it down and figure out how.
PR is basically the practice of managing the flow of information between your organization and the public. Its goal is to establish and maintain a positive reputation of your company. All the activities you do to create a positive image for your company in the eyes of your present customers, your potential customers, your suppliers, your shareholders, your employees, and even the regulators of the domain you’re doing business are PR activities.
PR activities are not marketing activities. Marketing activities are generally advertising and promotional steps you take and you expect direct sales out of them. They are usually more short-term activities than PR. Their target audience is also more limited. As a logical result to this, if something goes wrong in a marketing activity, for example if your new promotion campaign fails, the damage it has on your brand is more limited and manageable than a PR failure.
Social listening is basically what your grandfather did when he paid attention to what people talked about his shop. The main difference is that social listening is conducted in the digital world.
Social listening is a two-step process. First, you monitor as many social media networks as you can and see what people are saying about your company, your products, your competitors and so on. Then comes the crucial part: Analyze. You interpret this information and use this analyze to decide what action to take. Without the analyze, what you did is simply monitoring. Even if it’s still a huge step towards a more successful business management, it may not be enough.
Now that we know social listening is a must in your PR, let’s talk about how to do it more effectively. The best way of using social listening in your PR is to start using a social listening tool. A social listening tool is basically a product/service that monitors a huge number of digital platforms, analyzes the data in depth, and reports it to you.
The main reason you need a social listening tool is that without it you can’t possibly monitor all the digital networks. A good social listening tool can monitor thousands of digital channels for you. You simply won’t have the time and the staff to be able to do the same.
The second reason is that a social listening tool warns you immediately when something urgent occurs. These tools do a real-time listening and send you notifications as soon as a content that you need to pay attention to is published. This way you can prevent a PR crisis by dealing with the first spark and not letting it grow.
The third reason is that your competitors are most probably already using it. What’s more critical is that they are not only collecting the data that would be helpful to their brand but the data that might turn into a crisis for yours as well. Before you become aware of the crisis your brand is faced, they might build a strategy allowing their reputation grow by simply taking advantage of it.
The first step to use social listening in your PR is to use a social listening tool. One of the best available tools for social listening is Monitera. Having a 10-year experience, Monitera monitors, analyzes in depth and reports on more than 10 million digital channels including online news portals, blogs, social dictionaries, complaint portals and forums in addition to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Thanks to its easy-to-use interface, you can easily filter these digital platforms and export the content you’d like. You can instantly access to the most important contents, such as the posts of journalists and celebrities, which are likely to have more influence on the reputation of your brand.
Monitera can also instantly inform you about all contents that may lead to crises, so that you can act before it’s too late. It can also alert you when a positive wave is about the occur about your company, so you won’t miss the opportunity to turn it into a positive PR campaign.