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What to look for in a social media listening platform

Vector illustration - Business Thinking

Data is growing faster than ever. By the year 2020, it’s projected there will be about 1.7 megabytes of new information created every second for each person on the planet. This is largely thanks to people’s passion for creating and sharing online content.

Additionally, 81% of the U.S. population had a social media profile as of 2017, and that number is only continuing to rise. The content creation trajectory for flourishing social media platforms, as well as tried-and-true media outlets and blogs, keeps rising.

Along with sharing selfies and brunch pictures, consumers are also increasingly engaging in intelligent, meaningful conversations that brands can harness for strategic social media monitoring. And failure to keep ahead of social conversations can lead to unengaged prospects and unsatisfied customers.

The volume of conversation may seem intimidating, but with the right strategies and proper media monitoring tools, PR pros can build audience personas, track them along the path to purchase, and leverage social data for a more targeted comms strategy that will drive the bottom line.

Understand a brand’s needs

The first step is to understand what a company requires from its social listening tool. There is a difference between tools that provide social listening capabilities and ones that offer social media management capabilities. Will the comms team listen to coverage across all media sources, including social, and understand the key topics, trends, and messages that resonate with target buyers?

If so, a social listening tool is essential. Or is the comms team looking to manage company-owned social media accounts in an attempt to respond to customer support issues or to generate a social following? This is where the latter platform might be a better fit.

While both of these tools are useful in different ways, Cision’s focus is on social listening. Cision provides comprehensive social listening across channels such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. The ability to listen across these mediums in tandem with coverage across online, print, and broadcast creates a holistic approach to truly understand the context behind social media mentions and how they resonate with audiences.

Understand the vision

Understanding a vendor’s vision provides key insights into what can help align goals and objectives. This reveals the vendor’s long-term commitment toward an understanding of how its roadmap will evolve with the industry.

And the vision provides evidence of its ability to become a proactive partner versus a mere reactive vendor. Strong insight from a vendor provides thought leadership to help navigate the uncertainty of the social media evolution.

Customer success

Comms professionals need insight into the vendor’s customer success team to understand some of the different cases where vendors have proven the ability to adapt to the client, rather than making the client adapt to the vendor.

Tapping into case studies and requesting specific examples of customer success can help avoid misalignment and get a sense of real-world applications that may resonate with the company’s own business initiatives.

With innovations including Cision Impact and the introduction of Social Influencer Discovery, Cision aims to play a major part of the communicator’s overall strategy.


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