What Happens When You Monitor Social Media…Yikes


The Internet: A place where modern humanity comes to share ideas, research fascinating developments, conduct new commerce …and say the most vulgar and vile things imaginable to strangers that are not responsible for their outrage on social media.

There is all kinds of activity taking place online right now. Some of it is directly related to your brand as compliments, criticism, and, well, vulgar and vile comments. Monitoring your social presence is a large part of what Mention is all about. Let’s take a look at how you can use their tools to not just monitor, but to step in and have conversations with fans and use the comments they send your way. I’ll use real examples from brands on Twitter.

Social Media is for Showing Off Your Relationships

Positive social content is one of the most useful things around. Using social media to build trust, rather than traffic, is a crucial step in the maturation of your social marketing. Sometimes it’s not all about getting clicks. Sometimes it’s about creating an impression on a person which carries over to the cash register at a store.

One way to really build this trust is to showcase the trust others have already placed in you on social media. These are the types of conversations you can monitor online, retweet, and turn into great content:

These are all positive, they make other Twitter users think positive things, and they’re easy to monitor, retweet, and engage with.

  • That last tweet about Captain America was actually retweeted by the main Captain America account.
  • The Nike account took the time to speak with Mr. DJRHINO, just to build some engagement.
  • Starbucks did what they usually do and made a silly joke.

Each of these is going to help build trust. Anyone who follows Captain America will see that retweet and be even more certain that they’ll go see the movie. Mr. DJRhino’s followers can see Nike engaging with him and know that Nike is more than just a faceless corporation: They’re someone you can engage with on Twitter like anyone else. And Starbucks, well, they’re a fun group of folks …why not stop by for a latte this week?

These types of monitored conversations, which can still be found without you being directly @mentioned, are the easiest to work with. You can reply to them, retweet them, screenshot them for other content purposes, whatever you do, you have to do something. This content is too valuable to ignore, and should be thought of as part of your online review strategy.

Social Media is Also a Place for Online Customer Support

With people picking up their phones and venting anger over social media more and more often, 80% of Twitter users are mobile, it’s becoming a business necessity to monitor what’s being said. Not everyone has the courtesy to give you a @mention when they’re mad:

That’s a guy who is mad at Nike, but he didn’t use @Nike. Unless they’re actively monitoring these mentions they can’t respond to them. And responding to them is important. Why? Because the followers of that person, and anyone who retweets him, will see his dissatisfaction.

This is a perfect opportunity to step in with an invitation to talk via email:

The last thing you want is for this type of conversation to go unheard. Social media users intentionally research companies online, and these types of things turn up in a search. They can either see that you care, and build trust, or see that you don’t care and lose trust. You have to make the effort.

Social Media is for Trolls

While you’re monitoring your account activity you will come across people who aren’t trying to get help. They’ll be trying to get the wrong kind of attention, like this girl (pardon the swearing, it’s being used to show you what reality is like):

The ‘f word’ is the first hiding place for the weak who wish to appear strong. It is used often on social media, and you need to see when it’s being used for the wrong reason, like above, and when it’s being used by someone who is just very upset, like below:

Someone got her order wrong, and it has upset her much more than it probably should have. Plus, using the ‘f word’ is giving her some power that she feels she does not have in this instance. See her anger for what it is and you can help her if you’re monitoring your conversations. Just go in with a bit of a delicate touch.

Realize when you start really monitoring your brand on social media that things will get ugly. Sometimes it will be ugly purely for the sake of being ugly. Other times it will still be ugly, but there will be a true issue under this anger. No one knows this better than airlines, but they still manage to talk it out:


While it may not be pleasant to deal with these issues, it is essential to make sure you deal with the ones which do have a real issue behind them. You have an even bigger opportunity to build trust in these cases, and building trust is a major aspect of getting more followers on Twitter or anywhere else online. You can earn major points with social media users when they see you step up to the plate when things get tough.

Don’t Just Monitor: Engage

Taking the time to engage with the conversations about your brand is the only big thing in social marketing right now. Really speaking with the people who buy your products, or don’t, used to be the norm. We used to talk to one another in stores, but e-commerce has taken away part of the give-and-take.

Unfortunately, the anonymity of the Internet, and the power people try to take from it, can lead to ugly situations you’d never face in real life. You need to identify when there’s something ugly which you can fix, and when things are ugly just for the sake of being ugly.

Monitor your conversations, and then become a participant, rather than a spectator, in your own brand’s online reputation. It will build trust, build your brand, and generate something much more valuable than clicks: Trust.

BIO: Matthew is a social marketer with years of Twitter marketing experience. You can read about his thoughts on the current state of Twitter marketing over on his blog every Friday. Learn new ways to improve your own Twitter account today, and much much more as he covers the entire social media world. @Devumi is the account to follow!

Photo Credit: the UMF via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

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