Be Part Of The Conversation – Social Media Monitoring For Charities

OK, so your Charity has taken the plunge and is giving Social Media a go – what next?

Taking the first step of monitoring conversations can be daunting.  What do we do next?   How do we act on what we are listening to?  How do we engage with these people?

Here are 6 useful steps that Charities and Third Sector Organisations should follow when monitoring conversations on the social web.

Define your Key Objectives

Have a think about why you are monitoring? If you are doing it to follow the crowd then you could be in trouble.  You need to have a clear goal in mind:

  • I want to monitor because I want to be alerted immediately when people are saying bad / good things about my charity
  • I want to quickly respond to all service user enquires, and I’m going to set up a way to collaborate and exchange information seamlessly with my contact centre support team
  • I’m monitoring so I can quickly see who is talking about [charity name] and join the conversation to bring more credibility to my brand
  • I’m monitoring so I can easily identify people in need and help them in real time when they most need help.
    Having an end goal in mind will help you target your resources more effectively.

Decide Where to Monitor

Social media is relationship and conversation media. It is the art of building relationships with others. However, you can’t be everywhere conversing with everyone at the same time. You need to decide where you “hang out” digitally, just like any outreach and marketing program; you should be driven by where your communities talk.

Decide What Keywords to Monitor

It’s important for charities to remember that monitoring is keyword-based, therefore selection of the right keywords is important. At the very least, you should be tracking your charity name, brand names, services, competitor names, competitor’s services, industry keywords and your recent blog titles.

Listen First

You have done some monitoring and established which online community(s) you’d like to be part of.  Before you start engaging with your chosen community make sure you take time to observe and get to know its members.  Once you are comfortable with this, jump on in and get chatting!

Build Relationships

Take the time to read your communities posts/comments and understand their viewpoints. Growing and nurturing these relationships is the art of any social business. Comment on their blogs, chat with them digitally, get to know them personally and professionally. Never go into a conversation asking yourself how useful someone can be to you. When you develop a voice and become a resource for others, people will listen to you and spread your message on the merits of the message. The true definition of influence is when you don’t even have to ask others to do that.

Select a Social Media Monitoring Tool Relevant for Your Strategy

It’s not an easy task for a Charity to find a Social Media monitoring tool. Do your homework, don’t be afraid to ask vendors tough questions and most importantly never lose sight of your key objectives.

If you’ve identified Twitter as a key area of focus based on your research then select monitoring software that specialises in twitter (same for Facebook etc.)

There is Social Media monitoring software on the market that lets you monitor various social media channels from one platform. Connect Assist is the licensed resale partner for Charities & the Third Sector in the UK of RightNow CX.

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