Creating and posting great content for your audience is very key to attracting them, however, listening on social media and understanding their pain points and unique need is even more important in this current digital clime.
According to Brian Solis, “the best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.”
listening on social media involves tracking the conversations your target audience is having online- whether it’s about your brand, topics related to your brand, competitors or problems they may be having. It is a great way to build awareness and community by participating in the conversation. As you social listen, you gain a better understanding of your audience and those insights will form the basis of improving your campaign strategy.
Social media monitoring and listening on social media are terms that are usually used interchangeably, but there is a difference. With social media monitoring, you are simply checking for mentions of your brand so you can respond applicably. However, with social media listening, it requires taking a step further to analyze the conversations and trends surrounding your brand mentions, as well as the industry as a whole and then using the findings to make better marketing decisions.
In simple terms, monitoring tells you what activity is taking place and listening tells you why the activity is taking place.
listening on social media provides great insights into your industry and your target audience. Companies can turn these insights into impact by developing strategies that will positively influence their audience. As you social listening, you will uncover additional pain points or areas of dissatisfaction and this creates an opportunity to repackage an existing product or service or create something that will address the problem in a unique way.
There are several ways social listening can benefit your business whether it is a small, medium-sized or large company;
- It enables you to maintain your online reputation:
By observing your brand mentions, you can easily follow up on positive and negative feedback. Feedback is beneficial to a business because it provides direction on how to improve your products & services. In the case of a dissatisfied customer, you can quickly respond and resolve any pending issues before the story goes viral. Being proactive with your audience helps you maintain a good online reputation.
- You discover your consumers (both main & potential) and build a relationship with them:
Through listening, you can discover where people are having conversations about your products and services and engage with them directly. You are able to focus your marketing efforts on the right people and the right platform. When you do this, you get to know your current consumers, discover potential consumers and build a strong connection with them.
- Be abreast of your competitor’s activities:
It is no secret that in the business industry, companies “spy” on their competitors. I know right, we all enjoy a little chatter about what our competitors are up to. Social listening affords you the opportunity to digitally eavesdrop on customers conversations where you can learn about your competitor’s products & services. You can also learn what’s working & what is not if their customers are dissatisfied and unhappy. All this provides you insights about your competitors and enables you to get an edge on them by tailoring solutions that will appeal to their audiences.
- Find brand advocates & influencers:
It is no news that in this digital era, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has a substantial influence on consumer’s buying decision. Through social listening, you can find out people who are sharing information and positive feedback about your products & services. Once you identify your brand advocates, you can reward them for spreading positive vibes about your brand. This could also lead to influencer opportunities which will further stamp social proof for your brand.
If you are yet to have a social listening strategy, this is a good time to implement one. There are numerous free tools available to help you hit the ground running. A few recommendations include Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Google alerts, Social mention, Tweet reach and Brand watch. These tools are super handly when it comes to listening on social media.
On the more advanced side, you can choose to invest in enterprise-level social listening solutions. With that, you can monitor consumer conversations around keywords, phrases, language usage, hashtags, emoji, industry-specific terms. You’ll have a comprehensive view of how people are talking about your brand and products.
Whatever tools you decide to acquire, the goal is to master the craft of hearing your audience loud and clear and using your findings to make strategic decisions to improve customer experience. After all, the end game of all marketing strategy is based on the value proposition to the customer.
How do you ensure you provide the utmost value to your customer? How do you identify their pain points so you can address them? By listening to them :-)!