Next up we're going to talk about social listening. What is social listening? Social listening is the process of identifying overall conversation about a brand, a business or an individual on social media. This can help your content get through the cohort by being hyper relevant to your individual audiences conversation points. Also by identifying what competitors are doing in the market, and can also help you obtain information or insight based on any issues that any individuals might have with your brand or your business. Social listening is a very powerful tool and should be implemented by all brands or businesses. When we talk about the importance of social listening we can break it into five key bullets. Number 1 would be being able to assess the sentiment towards your brand or business. When we talk about sentiment, we talk about either positive mentions or negative mentions. Being able to categorize these into individual segments and analyze the percentage of positive versus negative will help you realize whether your brand is in a good position or a bad position, and needs attention as your content marketing plan progresses. The second bullet point will be being able to assess the opinion of your business versus your competitors. Being able to look at overall brand mentions in a positive light of your particular brand or business versus any competitors in the arena to see what they're doing in social media can really help you tailor your message appropriately. Number 3 would be that it also helps you identify business opportunities that you may not be aware of or cognizant of that are occurring in the marketplace right now. For example, if somebody's talking about how much they loved tea and that they would love tea to be a fundraising sponsor as part of an event that's really relevant with your target market, but maybe they haven't mentioned your particular brand or business related to tea. Conducting social listening will help you identify that opportunity and complete that sponsorship if it's relevant to your objectives that you would have otherwise missed out on. Number 4 is that will help you plan any social media campaigns to fit with your audience interests. For example, if you are a software company and you were targeting gamers who are very into football. Being able to monitor and analyze which popular football teams were doing well or relevant to your particular audience, will help you determine what sponsorship properties maybe that you might pursue or what content that you might see it out through your social media content strategy that'll be hyper relevant to your audience. Lastly, being able to determine any crisis points. Often consumers can complain or can talk about your brand or business without directly tagging or mentioning you in individual posts or comments that go out online. Being able to use social media and listening, being able to determine your key phrases around maybe a crisis or something that may be coming down the line for your brand or business, watching out for these and also measuring any traction that these particular crisis points develop. Being able to use social listening to do this will help you identify these crisis points well in advance and form a strategy in order to deal with them. How can you use social listening to identify a real brand crisis? There are a number of ways. Number 1 will be setting up tracking for keywords or phrases around your particular crisis, looking to see where these topics are coming up, where the conversation is happening, and any extenuating circumstances that you weren't aware of around this particular crisis to help you build a full picture. Using social listening to determine the volume, consistency and sentiment around the brand mentions to do with your individual potential perceived crisis will be key. Using social listening to do this will help you greatly. Identifying key contributors to whatever the negative sentiment is, being able to look at their full profile, their background. Maybe they are a former disgruntled employee. Maybe they work for an competitor. But always be aware that if you're using a tool like Twitter lists to determine contributors to a particular brand crisis, that when somebody is added to a Twitter list, they get a notification. Labeling a list like troublemakers and then adding these individuals to it will identify you as tracking them as a troublemaker, something to be aware of. Also look towards setting up a Google Alert for any wider spread of the brand crisis outside of social media that may land on online news publications, and also on other online sites. Making sure you have a full and consistent view of your entire potential perceived crisis from online to social is key for establishing a very clear picture. How do we spot and how do we prepare for a social media crisis? There are three key things to look for. Number 1 is informational asymmetry. What we mean by informational asymmetry is when a business knows just as much as the consumer does, that the businesses is genuinely just not aware of what is happening and that this is a real new piece of information. For example, if you're a business and you see a consumer tweet that, "Oh my God, I can't believe XYZ business is on fire down the road." This is maybe something that you're not aware of and you need to act fast obviously to contact the emergency services, but also to interact, to come and to reassure your potential social audiences that the issue is being looked after, being looked into and is under control. Secondary is that the message is representative of a consistent difference. Often users can be trolls or can be quite negative to brands or businesses online. This is not in any way to dissuade you from carrying out a content marketing project as part of your marketing mix, but just being aware that audiences can make flippant remarks on social media, and these aren't necessarily a crisis. However, if 50 individual consumers all Tweet or Facebook post or Instagram, a product issue or a business problem that they have with your individual brand, then you need to consider that this could potentially be a crisis and not just a once-off complaint. Finally, scale, looking to see just how far this particular message or this particular crisis has spread. Being able to determine if this is purely social or if it's reached online news publications. Being able to determine the reach and the influence of the particular contributors to any negative sentiment that you have seen on your individual brand pages or target towards your business, to attempt, to determine how far this is actually going to influence consumers and what you need to prepare for. For example, a customer walking into a bar and having service from a rude barman and posting a complaint on social media is very different from somebody posting a Facebook status, identifying that the gunman has wandered into a restaurant. One of these is obviously a lot more serious than the other and being able to determine the scale, the reach, and the folly from each of these particular social media moments will be key for determining a successful crisis management program for your social media. How do you prepare, and how do you manage a social media crisis? The number one thing that we could recommend for you in terms of managing and mitigating any risk of a social media crisis, is to prepare for all eventualities. Get all of the skeletons out of the cupboard, and be prepared for anything that anybody could dig up about your brand, your business or any of your employees online. Be prepared for worst-case scenarios and keep these documents quite confidential. Them falling into the hands of competitors, could be incredibly detrimental for your social media marketing strategy. Draft a response document in line with exactly what it is you want to say as a brand or business, should any of these particular skeletons that cause it ever come to light. Make sure all of your key stakeholders are involved in the drafting of this response document. This can be anything from small product issues to large-scale issues around staffing or maybe previous embezzlement. Being aware of every single aspect of how you could be vulnerable to an online audience will help you be prepared in the best way possible. Use social listening to identify any potential crises, but also to monitor any existing crises and report on them regularly. Be aware the conversations don't just happen within your channels and that you're not always tagged in conversations. Search proactively for brand mentions that are own-tagged through social channels. What we mean by own-tagged is essentially, where an audience member has decided not to use an @ symbol in front of your name on Twitter or post directly to your Facebook page or Instagram account. Make sure that you're aware these conversations are happening in a wider scale and to be on top of it from a brand perspective. Be honest and open where possible about responding to consumers. Apologize for delay times if customers are feeling infuriated and ignored and always try and offer a human solution and a very realistic approach. Further engendering a human impact may be achieved by signing off your message with your name. When consumers see your name at the end of a response, they see a human behind the brand and not just a faceless corporation. Finally, try and take conversations into the private space. There's nothing that looks worse than when a band interacts in a back and forth exchange that looks like a petty and bitter squabble. Maybe move any conversations that you feel might be fruitless, into a private phone call, into private messages, or into an email. Essentially try and move any public spats into an enclosed, controlled, a non-public space. What makes a great content marketing campaign? We're going to have a look at some key determining factors of the good and the bad. Awareness, having really good, strong awareness with your intended audience and making sure that your content is reaching them on a consistent basis. A bad example of this for a brand or a business, would be that your reach and your traffic to your site are quite low. Engagement, making sure that your intended audience and that your consumers are engaging with your content on a regular basis. That your content is adding value to their lives and that you're also helping move them along the conversion funnel by using this content to engage them at various stages of the buying process. A bad example of this for your campaign will be that, your engagement is either largely negative and it's sentiment or that it's just not engaging with your intended audience whatsoever. Be cognizant, the content promotion is sometimes needed to achieve this engagement. Understanding, in terms of your content marketing strategy, a great example of this would be that your audiences don't just understand the content, but they actually engage with it, add something to it back. That way, if there's lively debate or discussion, you can identify that your audiences have benefited from your content, but are also keen to contribute to it as well. A bad example of this for a brand content marketing campaign would be confusing content, where your user are asking questions that they just don't understand the piece of content that's been seeded. Tone is another important element to consider in your content marketing campaign. Whether it's right for a business to consumer audience or a business to business audience and whether it's content that they can relate to. A bad content marketing campaign will hinge largely on slang or a language that alienates your intended audience. Make sure that the tone of your content, the delivery in which it's made, and essentially the content that you're pushing it to drive people along that conversion funnel is right for your audience. Consistency is crucial, making sure that your content doesn't just sit in a silo for your social media, but also mirrors any other content promotion that you've got happening for your brand or your business, whether that be in traditional forms such as leaflets, print advertising, television advertising, making sure that you have a consistent brand or business message across all formats in keeping with your social media content, make sense for a consumer or for your intended audience. Always consider consistency across your brand voice, whatever goes that takes. A bad example of this would be to have a social style that is only consistent with your social platform and doesn't recognize the other elements of your marketing intentions. Finally, your business objectives. Making sure that the content that you're mapping into your content strategy is linked back to and is defined by your business objectives. Whether they be generating new leads, generating new sales, being able to expose an audience to a new product development or to a new sales launch, ultimately, at the end of the day, the reason why we are creating this content is to convince and convert audiences. Making sure that your content is aligned to your business objectives will help you achieve a great content marketing campaign.