You’re using social media to promote your brand and expand reach. Great. You’ve launched social ads and run creative campaigns. Excellent. You monitor social media to keep on top of your followers and fans. Nice.
But are you listening to what people have to say about (not directly to you) on social? Or are you just talking?
Social listening, or the process of supervising digital dialogues on owned, earned, and paid social media, helps to uncover key trends by gaining a stronger understanding of what users are saying about your brand. And according to a recent study by the Altimeter Group, only 42% of businesses are using social media listening to learn from their customers. This means that 58% of businesses are missing out on opportunities for new revenue streams and chances to improve customer service and brand loyalty.
At its most basic level, social listening is about active listening. It goes beyond simply monitoring social media and responding to consumer reviews to grasping the full customer experience. In order to thrive in the social economy, businesses must move from selective hearing to active listening. Active listening allows businesses to watch for patterns, analyze sentiments, pool data to improve customer satisfaction, create new products, and build a positive reputation overall.
So just how can deep social listening give your team a leg up? Here are the top 5 social listening strategies and benefits:
Statistics from the eMarketer show that only 49% of businesses use social listening to understand customers, prospects, and markets. Your audience is the foundation for any social listening strategy. You have to know where and how to captivate them. Social listening gives you a better understanding of the social preferences of your audience.
To fully understand your audience, you need to look beyond the numbers and at the people. This could mean reviewing profiles, using Facebook insights, or looking at Twitter analytics.
Answering the following questions should give any business an understanding of their social audience:
Using the information gathered from these questions, businesses can refine buyer personas, gather marketing insights, and influence public opinion and conversations.
Social influencers are individuals who have a large following and can help direct prospective customers into buying your product or service. So, what do they have to do with social listening, and why are they so important?
For example, if you are in the cooking industry, look for an influencer who runs a cooking show or a video blog — or one who shares news on cooking or content from cooking bloggers. Hone in on someone with specific interest in your industry.
According to the Director of Social Media at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, they use social listening to identify influencers that talk about their programs and then personalize their messages to those influencers in order to grow the voice of Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG 100).90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and reviews over manufacturer descriptions and ads.Click To Tweet
We all know the struggle as content marketers to come up with new content. Using keywords can help you develop creative content that is still relevant. Listening for keywords can help you find conversations that are happening, but that you are not tagged in directly.
For example, the toothpaste company Colgate might listen for keywords such as toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, oral care, teeth, toothache, etc.
Don’t forget, more conversations are happening around you than about you, so take advantage of this and broaden your search with keywords.
Expert Tip: When listening for keywords, watch out for business names, product names, and misspellings consumers might encounter when talking about your brand.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all use hashtags. By following hashtags related to your audience, businesses can join conversations and offer support while staying trendy. By interacting with your customer’s desires, complaints, and suggestions, you can earn both their trust and their satisfaction.
For example, Tracx allows businesses to track hashtags in the travel industry. You can track and filter hashtags such as #Mediterranean, #TravelDiaries, #Summertime, #Cloudyweather, etc. This provides businesses in the travel industry insights into traveler’s preferences.
Know your enemy! Remember “The Art of War”? If you intend on winning business and wooing customers, you need to know who you are up against.
One of the biggest advantages of social listening is competitive intelligence. Businesses should begin by tracking competitor keywords, social handles, brand terms, and product names. When monitoring competitors, look out for customer complaints, product launches, and conversations between your competitors and their unsatisfied customers.
When reaching out to your competitor’s customers, caution should be exercised. You don’t want to come off as desperate. Rather, your pitch should be friendly, and you should be offering more value to what the customer already has.
Monitoring the social web can be complicated. But with Tracx as your guide, you can gain insights into your audience, engage with customers, measure campaigns, and track your ROI on the social web, using insights to create memorable customer experiences and exceed expectations.
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