In this article I will explore further on the first step, the research element of Developing a Social Media Marketing campaign for your business in 5 steps.

social media marketing campaign 1Consumers, suppliers and competitors are talking about you all the time, traditionally this tended to be by word of mouth. With the rise of social media these conversations are now also taking place online. Whether you like it or not these conversations will and are taking place, what you as a business need to be be aware of is where these are taking place and what is being said, so you are able to respond. If a customer called in to complain about your product or service, would you put the phone down and simply ignore them? No, so you shouldn’t be ignoring the conversations taking place online, while you are not able to control these conversations, you can certainly influence them.

Why you should monitor and listen: A case study

Kryptonite Locks manufacture and sell locks. Their core product is the U-shaped bike lock. They now have expanded into power-sports, hardware and snow-sport security. In 2004 a bike enthusiast, Chris Brennan discovered that he was able to open his $50 Kryptonite lock with just a simple BIC pen. He decided to post a warning, a popular internet cycling forum. Days later, videos began to appear showing the locks being opened with just a pen, fortunately it eventually generated so much attention that the national media began to pick up on the story and Kryptonite became aware of the issue.  They changed their entire lock design and were able to restore their reputation. This was a major issue and was picked up by national media, but can you imagine the consequences if these conversations were taking place and never picked up by Kyrptonite, not only for them but the information could easily have been used for the wrong reasons.

How to Monitor and Listen

Identify Keywords you need to track

This should include:

  • Brand name
  • Products/Services
  • Clients
  • Trademark
  • CEO/Key Personnel
  • Competitors
  • Industry

 You should carry out comprehensives searches on these keywords using the tools mentioned below.

Monitor and Listening tools

Social Mention

social mention

A good place I suggest you start is Social Mention. Social Mention is a social media search engine. It allows you to search through popular social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, various bookmarking websites and can even track images, news and video. Start by searching the keywords we outlined previously. Go through each link and note what is being said. It might be useful to bookmark the link of the page where the conversation is taking place so you can refer back to it if necessary.

You should consider setting up an alert. This simply sends you an email with the link to the website where your keywords are mentioned. This can save you the hassle of coming back to the website everyday to carry out the search.


Boardreader is a search engine dedicated to forums and boards. Like you did previously for Social Mention, perform a search for your keywords, again spend some time to make notes on where and what is being said.


Social Mention and Boardreader are good places to start but it is always worth a scan through the first few pages of  Google Search. Do a search for your keywords and start visiting the links where your keywords are mentioned. You may find that some of the mentions are the same as the one you found on Social Mention and Boardreader, however there may be some that Google will pick up that you won’t have seen before. Going forward you can use Google Alerts to send you an email you whenever it picks up a mention similar to the Social Mention alert set up.

There are many more tools both free and ones that come with a cost available to help make this process easier. While this isn’t an extensive list of tools that you can use, it is enough to cover a wide range of channels and get you started, as you begin to explore the social media jungle you will come to learn of the other tools.

The purpose of this research is to get  a feel for some of the different social media platforms and identify what is being said about your organisation so you can use it to your advantage or rectify it if neccessary. Summarise all the information you have gathered so you can use it as a basis for the rest of your Social Media marketing campaign.


– Conversations about your business will take place online whether you like it or not, you can’t control them but you may be able to influence them
– By listening and monitoring you are able to resolve issues before they escalate
– Social Mention and Boardreader and Google are good places to start monitoring and listening
– Keywords you should search include; your brand, product/service, competitors, clients, trademark, ceo/key personnel, competitors
– Summarise all the information you have gathered so you can use it to develop the next parts of the Social Media Marketing campaign.

Read Part 2 on Developing a Social Media Marketing campaign: Part 2 – Goals and Objectives.

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I am learning as I go, therefore I always welcome comments and feedback. Please comment below. What other tools would you recommend to those new to Social Media? How have you developed your Social Media strategy?

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor of Fourth Source and freelance SEO/Digital Marketer based in London.