​Social media monitoring allows marketers to manage accounts in real time.

​Social media monitoring has become a mainstream practice across almost every industry. Marketers evaluate web chatter in real time to create dynamic and timely social media content that adds to or sparks a conversation with new and existing followers. It makes sense that brands would focus on data-inspired social media strategies: Pitney Bowes noted that 25 percent of surveyed respondents will put social insights to work in the near future, and a report from J.D. Power and Associates discovered that 87 percent of social users buy from brands they engage with positively online.

Social media monitoring can significantly enhance companies’ internet marketing campaigns, and brands that want to take their efforts to the next level should consider sharing audience-responsive content in real time. Take a page from McDonald’s content marketing menu. Recently, eMarketer’s Debra Aho Williamson interviewed McDonald’s Director of Social Media Rick Wion about how the global fast-food brand adapts to the changing social media marketing world.

Williamson discovered that McDonald’s uses social analytics to reach real-time marketing goals. Wion noted that the fast food company constantly tests and learns as it goes, putting together different marketing messages and evaluating responses before taking the next step. In essence, McDonald’s creates a choose-your-own adventure-like campaign and delivers ready-made content to take advantage of social chatter and trending topics.

Brands must weigh their words first, and make sure their next actions position their companies in the best possible light.

More, McDonald’s must work with a legal team to understand which Tweets the company is allowed to endorse and which messages should go ignored. What does this mean for the average American business with a reach much smaller than McDonald’s? While it’s important to respond to each comment or concern, brands must weigh their words first, and make sure their next actions position their companies in the best possible light.

Social media marketing has become a standard practice for companies worldwide. Brands that neglect the power of sites like Facebook and Twitter put themselves at major disadvantages, especially as each network continues to improve various features to draw in new markets and retain consumer loyalty. As social media marketers, the future of the industry looks bright, and throughout the coming months, looking toward big name brands for strategy inspiration can help improve brand visibility. In some instances, professionals don’t need to enjoy Big Macs or french fries to realize that McDonald’s does many things right.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.