What Is Social Listening?
When it comes to Social Media timing is everything – how do you build a strong brand and effectively manage your social marketing, if you are not actively doing some type of social listening? Your customers talk on social media ALL the time. Are you listening to improve your brand and customer engagement?
The past decade has seen a totally different landscape develop when looking at marketing, all of which has been brought about by social media. Before Facebook or Twitter, companies were unable to build such close connections with their target market or have the real-time conversations with their customers that we now take for granted on a global scale.
It is now no longer enough to sell or promote in the social media landscape you need to listen. As we have said in previous blogs, marketing is a conversation and social listening is as important as having a good social media presence, a strong brand and a great marketing strategy. In fact, Facebook has now decided that customer responsiveness is so important they have allocated ‘responsiveness icons’ so customers can see whether a business page will respond to their message. They only give you 5 minutes to respond to turn the icon on.Facebook only gives you 5 minutes to respond to a customers message to turn the icon on Click To Tweet
So if the above is not reason enough, here are 8 reasons why you should be practising social listening and start monitoring your brand on social media right now.
1. Build a community
Social listening tools enable you to track conversations and detect leads and ultimately talk to your buyers. With the right tools, you can find the key influencers in your industry and build a community to interact with your customers to build a positive brand image and develop better relationships. It is these interactions that eventually create a community of loyal followers and if you do it right a community of ‘brand evangelists’.
2. Understand your consumer behavior
Brands that pay close attention to their customers will soon easily understand their main problems, motivations and issues these customers might have with their products or services. This in turn helps them to come up with more efficient customer service.
Brands can identify common problems and provide specific solutions, create a comprehensive knowledge page based on questions frequently asked by consumers and integrate those insights to benefit from some cost savings.
3. Powerful marketing analytics
Marketers listening closely to social media will be able to uncover what is being said about a brand, who is saying it, on which platforms, how often and who the main influencers are. Keeping tabs on what’s happening in their audience, marketers will improve their content marketing by leveraging topic insights in such a way as to come up with optimized content, SEO and PPC strategies.
Most social listening tools feature smart functionalities to help brands take good care of their social channels. Many different tools (I personally use Hootsuite & PostPlanner while a well-respected colleague loves Buffer) allow your business to manage and monitor multiple networks and profiles on a single dashboard, this helps execute campaigns across various channels all while instantly measuring their results.
5. Improved agility
When it comes to social media, timing is everything. A recent study from Lithium Technologies showed that 53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour. If the tweet in question is a complaint, things get even more drastic as the figure above rises to 72%!53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour Click To Tweet
Time of reaction is also important for building a positive brand image. Finding that smart window of opportunity is a strategy proposed by Jay Baer, who claims most people are in meetings during the day which are usually scheduled on the hour or half-hour. If that’s your audience, you should try to post your content just before or right after this key hour.
6. Developing a better product
By intelligent listening in social media, you can uncover various problems consumers experience when using your product and then address them when releasing a corrected version. Monitoring the reviews of your product, you’ll gain additional input and lots of ideas on how to improve it to better suit the preferences and expectations of your target audience.
7. Boosting sales
Social listening is also important for your sales department – you can uncover conversations that indicate someone’s intent to purchase your product. Social networks can be used to keep track of your competition, monitoring your competitors social media feeds can give you insight that you may not have otherwise considered.Social listening can uncover conversations that show a customers intent to purchase your product Click To Tweet
If a competitor has implemented a new marketing technique that’s proven successful, you can use this knowledge in your future marketing efforts. On the other hand, consistent complaints about their business practices can prevent your company from making the same mistakes. Integrating CRM with those insights, you’ll be able to effectively improve your ROI.
8. Social recruiting
Another area of your business that can benefit from insights gained through close monitoring of social media is human resources. Your recruiters can access new talent pools, uncover key experts and influencers, build your employer brand and have their eyes open to problems that might impact employee happiness.
All in all, social listening gives you some incredible insights relevant to every area of your business. By keeping tabs on what’s being said about your brand, you can improve your interactions and build a positive image throughout the internet. As mentioned earlier, your customers talk on social media ALL the time. Are you listening to improve your brand and customer engagement?