These Social Media Trends Boost Relationship Marketing

Last year changed a lot of things including social media. Current trends in video use, e-commerce and social listening have potential to enhance relationship marketing impact.

Social media will continue to  play a role in how brands interact with their audience, share content and break into new markets.

More Opportunities for Video Content

Video content online gets attention. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube are all demonstrating that video can connect brands with their audience. A recent report by Zenith Media predicts that the average person will watch 100 minutes of video daily in 2021.

Marketers should make use of the power of short videos, live streaming, and Instagram stories to define their company’s voice, put a human face on thought leadership, and create compelling content. Video content makes connections and generates engagement. It is an essential relationship marketing tool today and will continue to increase in importance.

Let Listening Be Your Guide

It is not enough to post content on social. You need to listen and let the information you learn guide your efforts.

Listening, or paying attention to what others are saying and doing online, lets you know what people are interested in, how audiences are reacting to messages, and to address customer needs.

Listening and engaging with content from others lets marketers add their voice to important content. This solidifies relationship online as being a two-way exchange and expands the brand audience beyond followers.

E-commerce Presents Opportunities

E-commerce is flourishing on digital platforms. People are doing more and more of their buying online and brands that offer that experience are poised to meet their needs. Create all-in-one experiences where people can learn about what you offer and make a purchase.

Serious Social Listening

Social media marketing done right means listening and engaging as well as posting your own content. Social listening discovers who is talking about you and topics related to you, allowing you to engage in a much broader way.

The job isn’t easy. You need to scan across a wide online universe that changes all the time. You need to catalog who has influence around topics that matter, and whether that influence is positive or negative. Even for niche local brands, that means discovering, monitoring and evaluating a lot of content.

The right tool can make it easy for you to find all the conversations you care about and easily assess them. I tend to recommend free tools, but if you want to seriously tap into conversations and influencers, you will likely need to invest in a good tool.

First, Free

Google Alerts,,  has been around for a long time. It is easy and free, but has serious shortcomings. It finds a limited number of mentions. There’s no associated insight, like sentiment or influence.

Alerts seems to be a pretty much ignored Google tool. It mostly works, but there’s no investment being made to make it grow to truly monitor the online universe. It regularly misses a lot of important mentions.

Getting Serious

While Alerts stands still, tools are coming online that offer brands much richer listening tools. Brand Mentions,, and Mention,, are two such tools. With these you will find a set of features that makes the listening job much easier and insightful.

Both offer free trials and three levels of paid service. The free level will not be sufficient for any brand, but do allow you to explore the features and interface before you commit to an ongoing paid account. So, don’t activate your free trial until you have time to truly assess the tool against your needs and interests.

Brand Mentions

I recently had the opportunity to dig into Brand Mentions. The plans here can be less expensive or more expensive than Mention, depending on your needs.

Like all the tools in this space, Brand Mentions sends mentions of your brand and your market straight to your inbox. Your account dashboard allows you to track volume, sentiment and trends. You can discover the influencers who are talking about things you care about. It easily generates reports to support your efforts to measure and track campaigns as well as your overall online presence.

I found the dashboard to be easy to use and the toolset to be robust. The product is being actively developed, always a good sign.

Worth the Investment?

If you want to get serious about social listening and engagement, investing in the right service makes sense. The monthly fee may feel painful, but compare that to the cost of your time.

A monitoring tool can really save you time over scanning platform by platform. And, the results are more complete. I guarantee you will find mentions in places you didn’t even know existed!




Success Secret: Social Listening

What makes some brands better at social media than others? At least part of the answer is they listen. They take time to understand what their audience cares about, what others are saying, and what’s having an impact.

Social listening gives you access to what people are saying about your brand, industry, or competitors online. Taking the time to listen offers the most authentic and unbiased insights you can get as a business.

Social Listening Tools Make the Task Easy

Listening should be part of your plan. Make it easier by using a tool that will help you to discover the conversations you care about.


Mention is a social media and web monitoring tool. Its focus is on real-time search of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and websites. Results are from the last 24 hours.

Mention lets you discover Twitter and Instagram influencers by running quick keyword searches. The tool then lets you add influencers of your choice to lists that can be exported.

Mention comes with pre-built reports and you can build your own custom reports.

There is a free trial period. Plans start at $29/mo.


Awario is a relatively new tool with plans starting at $29/mo. You monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, and industry on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and websites. It supports Boolean queries for the less obvious use cases.

A social selling tool, called Leads, is available as a free add-on to all users. The tool uses predictive insights to find people who’re asking for recommendations about a product like yours or looking for an alternative to your competitors.


Agorapulse offers scheduling and monitoring of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The tool will find @mentions of accounts you connect, as well as comments on your social media posts, plus allow you to search for keywords of your choice across Twitter. The tool also lets you identify influencers within your social media audience and assign conversations to your team in a mouse click. Agorapulse doesn’t offer web monitoring. It’s a great choice if you’re mainly interested in social mentions. Agorapulse has a free trial. Paid plans start at $49/mo.


Brandwatch is one of the most powerful (and expensive) social listening tools for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ and websites. In addition to listening, Brandwatch offers image recognition, demographic data about your audience, trending topics in your niche, API access, and dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations.

Brandwatch also has its own data visualization platform called Vizia. The tool lets you visualize your Brandwatch data, plus combine it with insights from Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and Hootsuite.

Brandwatch is an Enterprise-level tool. Plans start at $800/mo.