There’s one extremely significant goal of everyone’s online strategy: expanding one’s internet footprint and getting noticed by more people.
Small-to-medium-size business media monitoring firm mention.com has produced a report, “The When, Where, Who and How of Communicating Online to Get More Mentions.”, that tackles the question of how to get people talking about you and your product.
This report is something that piqued my interest – especially since I frequently talk about the concept of #NoTweetLeftBehind – which I think is critical for any brand.
Having analyzed a billion company mentions online, mention.com comes up with what it asserts is actually a fairly simple takeaway: “[T]he way that customers interact with companies has been completely disrupted by the move to the web, and especially to social networks.”
How does this show itself in today’s online activity? It’s somewhat telling that most mentions these days are fairly neutral:
- Only about 6 percent were identified as overtly negative.
- Nearly 18 percent were seen as clearly positive.
- The rest (76 percent) were classified as typical, everyday interactions such as people seeking assistance or advice.
Amusingly, mention.com likens a graph of its findings to Pac-Man: “And this is only fitting, as most conversations mentioning businesses these days have been totally eaten up by the web,” the report asserts. “Support is now a social media-first game.”
Some companies have harnessed this, including social media management firm Buffer, who asked their users to use Twitter for their support questions.
In turn, this converted the 76 percent of neutral mentions into what mention.com calls “full-fledged brand ambassadors”. However, customer support is but one example of what it takes to use online mentions in order to maximize ROI.
So, when to communicate? Here are a few findings:
- Thursdays see slightly more company mentions than any other day.
- Tuesday and Wednesday follow closely behind.
- Saturday and Sunday see the fewest company mentions.
Weekends provide opportunity. By creating a content strategy for this time, you’ll rise above the noise found on more crowded days.
Here are a few other suggestions from the report:
- Analyze when your company is mentioned most as well as mentioned least.
- Design a content strategy for those days.
- If teams are off on those days, use an auto-content scheduler to post engaging material.
Now, where to communicate? While Twitter dominates for company mentions with more than two-thirds of all mentions relating to brands and their content, each platform brings with it pluses and minuses.
A few suggestions:
- Analyze where you are being mentioned the most.
- Use Twitter to primarily handle customer service and daily user communications.
- Use other less obvious sources and get creative.
- Don’t put all those eggs in one basket. Mix sources.
- Take away elements from each platform to develop your own voice.
With whom should you communicate? A few suggestions include:
- Increase response times for power users by prioritizing them.
- Pay attention to the 91 percent of mentions that come from those with fewer than 500 followers.
- Institute a Twitter response time of less than an hour.
- Be engaging, speedy, relevant and charming.
Finally, how do you communicate, especially when 36 percent of mentions are happening in other languages? A few ideas:
- Have a plan to reply to non-English mentions. If your vice president speaks French, for example, leverage his expertise in this department.
- Talk to every user, even if it’s just sending a thanks.
- Make community management a team-wide operation.
So what’s the overall takeaway here?
Improving online communications is always a work in progress – but through careful analysis and focused strategy, you’ll be able to maximize ROI through online mentions.
I’d love your thoughts on this – post a comment below or send me a tweet!