When you think of social listening tools and their use, the first thing that would come to your mind would probably be a busy marketing or PR office in a company, searching for ways to boost their brand awareness and save their brand reputation. But this is not their only superpower.
Social listening tools, among other things, ensure that your reputation stays untouched, that you find out what your competitors are doing with ease and to listen to the pulse of your interest groups in real-time. As such, they provide everything you need to set up a winning political PR campaign.
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In this blog we’ll go through all the benefits that social listening tools can bring to your campaign and we’ll briefly go through 5 best social listening tools that will pave your way towards the desired result.
Benefits of Social Listening Tools
First, and most important, social listening tools can help you understand the real-time pulse of your environment. This will make you one step ahead of your competition and it will enable you to make better decisions as a politician.
For example – you’re convinced that the people you’ve chosen as a part your team are top notch. But what you’re not aware of is how the public actually feels about them. With a great social listening tool, you can find out that and much more.
To realize the full potential of these tools, let us quickly go though everything they provide and that can be beneficial for your next political PR campaign.
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Social listening tools can help you monitor mentions about you on social media and websites.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, it actually means that you can type in your name and/or the name of your party as a keyword in the tool, choose the source you’re interested in (websites in general and/or specific social media like Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc.) and you’ll get a feed with all the mentions you’re interested in, in real-time.
Here you’ll be able to see what people are saying on respective pages, you can see whether the sentiment of the mention is positive or negative, the reach of that page and you’ll get some of the context of the mention. Additionally, you can see in which areas and which languages do people talk about you the most.
What do you get from this?
Among other things, you can:
- find out which words people use in relation to you
- see on which platform you’re present the most
- if people like/dislike you and your campaign
In addition to regular Google search, which is great for finding out new information, a social listening tool enables a more focused search.
You can, for example, focus on finding out everything about your rival candidates or decide to follow trending news in the world or a specific politician from a specific country that you’re dependent on. In the first case, all you’ll need to do is to insert your rivals’ names in the tool and you’ll get access to everything we’ve already mentioned under point 1.
In addition to that, you can insert very broad keywords in the tool and observe what people are saying about a certain topic in real-time. This can help you stay informed and ready for your next debates and speeches.
To sum up, a focused search through a social listening tool will:
- research your rivals and their campaigns
- make you stay updated and informed on current news from the world
- get notified when there’s a crisis relating your name or your political party
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So you get all this data, and then what?
Well, analyze, of course.
With a great social listening tool, conducting analysis and drawing conclusions is super simple. Apart from getting all the interesting metrics handed to you through the dashboard, many top-notch social listening tools offer free reports that present all of this data nice and simple in a predefined graphic.
You can use this as a baseline for your next political campaigns, PR decisions, etc.
So, as a conclusion, a great social listening tool enables you to analyze data easily
- through serving only the overview of metrics relevant for reputation
- by giving access to comprehensive reports
- through focused and controlled search of information
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5 Best Social Listening Tools for Your Political PR Campaign
There are many tools you could use. Each of them also offers different features that will be useful depending on your specific needs.
Before you say yes to that one solution, though, always make sure to do some research in advance. This could include checking out the reviews on websites like Capterra and G2, comparing different features, or even testing tools out through free trials.
Here’s our overview of social listening tools for political PR campaigns.
Determ is a solution that allows you to listen, monitor, and analyze what’s happening across the web, including social media – yours or your political opponents’. Political PR is not always easy, so it’s worth having a good tool at your fingertips.
Determ is certainly one of the most powerful social listening tools which can help you find out what people are saying about you and your activities as a politician.
You can then use this knowledge to create more engaging content for your audience, tailor your PR campaigns to its views and post your content at the best time.
What else does it offer?
Extensive media campaign reports and data management features
This includes very useful PDF and Excel exports, individual graphs, and unlimited data storage allowances – all so you don’t miss any important mentions about your party or other politicians!
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With Determ, you can also track important queries. These could include your candidate’s name, your party name, specific slogan, the names of opponents, the names of opposition parties, key figures, public discussions, and more!
All this will provide you with a comprehensive overview of your most relevant environments so that you can track, analyze and compare – all to make your political PR campaigns better each time.
One of the most important features that great social listening tools for political PR campaigns need to have are real-time updates. They could be daily digests, mobile and Slack notifications, as well as custom virality alerts sent directly to your phone.
Messages could include details about mentions, hashtags, or comments about your party, other political organizations, other politicians, and more. Thanks to these updates, you also receive real-time alerts, which notify you immediatellyonce your keyword is mentioned somewhere.
Campaign sentiment analysis
If you’re curious to know how other candidates or campaigns are perceived by your core audience, sentiment analysis is here to help you. With automatic, effective, and manual options to choose from, you will be able to effortlessly evaluate what people talk about you or your opponents.
Real-time, effective customer support
This type of help is available through email, telephone, and chat – this way you have multiple communication channels at your disposal.
All in all, Determ will definitely be useful as it offers a wide range of features that could help you as a politician.
If you’re hesitant about it, there’s nothing to worry about. Since there’s a free trial available for you to see if this tool is suitable for your needs, you can cancel it anytime and you lose absolutely nothing.
You’ll be surprised by how big of an impact it can have on the performance of your next political campaign!
Another tool worth taking a look at is Brand24.
Whether you’re in need of resources that will make your online reputation management easy, or you simply want a powerful program to monitor social media – Brand24 is a good option.
Some of the features you can expect it to provide, depending on which subscription plan you’re on, include:
- mentions feed,
- discussion volume chart,
- marketing analytics,
- influence score,
- data exporting
to name a few examples.
You don’t need to purchase any subscription plans to benefit from the services this tool can offer you. There’s a useful Help Center, free e-books on social listening to download, or even a podcast on Spotify to listen to.
Sadly, this solution doesn’t offer you any CRM (customer relationship management) features. Also, some users have reported that the engine sometimes leaves you with too many mentions that could be irrelevant to your party or other competitors. Keep this in mind should you wish to use it.
The next point of our focus when it comes to social listening tools for political PR campaigns is Brandwatch.
Apart from operating in the Technology, Media and Entertainment, and Retail industries, this tool will do a great job helping you plan your next political PR campaign.
If you’re curious to find out what people say about you or your political opponents, you might want to check it out.
It will be great in cases like:
When your reputation as a politician is hit by a crisis, every second counts. It will ensure that you do not miss a critical mention and that you have the tools to guide you through these moments.
Benchmarking your marketing performance and political awareness against all of your competitors is easy with this platform. You can also use it to discover deeper consumer insights that can contribute to coming up with a competitive strategy.
They say that you can’t predict the future without analyzing the past. Use this feature to analyze trends shaping your audience. This way, you will be able to address them quickly to ensure the best results of your PR campaigns.
There are also reports, guides, and webinars waiting for you at Brandwatch, so do take advantage of those!
Similar to Brand24, however, this tool’s search engine could also use some refining, as users often receive way too many spam mentions.
Moving on, let’s look at BrandMentions. This is yet another social media and Internet monitoring tool.
Its most important aim is to successfully and efficiently identify all mentions about you online.
With clients including companies like eToro and iProspect, BrandMentions seems like a reliable solution. Similar to competitors, it offers features like brand monitoring, reputation management, competitor analysis, and even business intelligence resources.
There are 3 subscription plans to choose from. A drawback that could be a dealbreaker here is the fact that you can only take advantage of the real-time alerts and white-labeled reports if you have an agency plan.
Finally, our last recommendation is Talkwalker – a highly effective audience intelligence engine. This particular tool does a great job with everything related to campaign strategy, competitive intelligence, and market research.
Considering how many industries Talkwalker caters to, including the Government and Public sector, it may be worth giving it a try.
Using Talkwalker, you can go through the latest topics per region and day of the week. It’s also useful for exploring specific conversations on specific social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
All this information can be used to help decide what your next PR campaign should look like.
You can request a free demo of this tool to test the waters out anytime as well. This way, you get to ‘try before you buy’, which, in the case of tools like this, often turns out to be very beneficial.
If it’s important for you to closely monitor your political opponents or mentions about your party on Facebook and LinkedIn though – Talkwalker may not be for you. This is because this tool doesn’t support real-time monitoring on these platforms. So just something to be aware of!
Social Media and Political PR Campaigns – Tips to Make it Work
Although social media marketing has been here for a while, there are still topics and areas misunderstood by people, including even the most talented marketers.
Here we give you three powerful tips to improve your political PR campaign efforts on social media.
#1 Don’t limit yourself to just one platform
A common mistake made by people that don’t tend to spend a lot of time on social media, for example, politicians, is their limitation in terms of the platforms used.
When they finally decide to start building their presence on social media sites, a lot of the time they don’t pick the best ones.
What’s important for you to do is pick a platform that will most closely resonate with your target audience – your current or future supporters.
For instance, if your main target audience is Gen Z, you might want to focus primarily on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok – as these are the platforms most commonly used by this generation.
When you’re active on several social media sites, always ensure that the message you’re trying to communicate is consistent with all your profiles. This way, you’re portraying yourself as an authentic, professional, and reliable individual.
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#2 Use visual content
Once you identify where most of your target audience is, it’s time to think about the type of content you’re going to use.
No matter what your goal on social media is, the rule with visual content is always the same: use it whenever you can.
Visual content, such as videos, photographs, and graphics, significantly outperform textual content from the perspective of human memory. Since people, in general, have a very short memory span, you can increase it by posting visually appealing, interesting, and memorable content.
Moreover, it’s worth paying attention to how you actually display your videos and images as well.
To give you an example, research has proven that mobile vertical video marketing increases audience interest and engagement more, compared to horizontal video marketing.
Thus, you may want to do some more digging before you actually start engaging with video and image marketing.
#3 Engage with your audience
Lastly, engaging with your political party supporters could significantly improve your social media efforts. Actually, the importance of interacting with your followers on a regular basis cannot be overemphasized.
Showing your voters that you’re not there just to publish a photo or a video and disappear has many advantages.
One, you create a relationship with them. Two, your engagement rate on social media increases, meaning your exposure will also increase. And three – the more active and engaging you’re on social media, the better your PR is.
Ultimately, people want to see you engaging with them – being present is simply not enough. Doing this will help with building relationships, trust, authenticity, visibility, and your overall branding as a politician.
Social Listening Tools for Political PR Campaigns – a Must
When you’re trying to organize and run a political campaign, you’d want as much information as possible to be able hit the sweet spot. You’d want to know everything about your reputation, about your competitors and you’d definitely want to know immediately when there is a crisis going on. And all of this can be very difficult to track if you’re doing it manually, even with a huge team on board. And this is where a good social listening tool comes in handy.
We believe that now you have a better understanding of how social listening tools for political PR campaigns work, as well as how to approach social media as a politician.
Good luck with your next campaign!