What Is Social Listening, and Should You Use It?
Customers always have something to say. As a business owner, you better start listening!
Half of the marketers all around the world have leveraged social listening to understand customer preferences. If you’re not part of that half, you’re likely not reaching your brand’s full potential.
By now, social media marketing is no new strategy. With most businesses having an online presence, customer-to-brand engagement has never been easier. Of course, all this traffic generates significant online footprints.
These footprints range from posts and casual mentions to written or video reviews. To a competent business owner, all of this adds up to valuable marketing information. Information you can use to grow your audience and improve your products and services.
Want to reap these benefits? Then, keep reading to start your social listening strategy!
What is Social Listening?
Social listening is the tracking and analyzing of online conversations relevant to your brand. This lets you know what people say about your brand. It also lets you follow topics that are important in understanding your customers’ demands.
This is being done by monitoring:
- Direct mentions of your brand
- Chosen keywords and topics
- Your competitors
- Your industry
All the information gathered from these sources gets completely analyzed. They are then turned to action in your brand’s creative process.
Why Is It Important?
Listening is part of creating any meaningful relationship. So, naturally, you want to cultivate an environment that inspires trust and loyalty.
By listening to your customers, you also get both negative and positive insights. Responding to these helps guide your day-to-day actions.
1. Boosting Public Engagement
Following the conversations around your brand also helps you participate in them. You can answer questions, give clarifications, appreciate positive reviews, and even join trends.
They not only make customers more comfortable trusting your brand but also increases your visibility. Social listening doesn’t just allow you to grow your audience. It also makes sure that your audience stays with you.
2. Improving Brand Popularity
There’s one thing high school might’ve taught you that’s applicable in the “real world.” It’s that popularity pays off.
On every platform, you can have stellar content, but you won’t get far without visibility. Social media listening helps you stay on top of trends and has-beens. This lets you know what appeals to your target audience and what to avoid.
3. Enhancing Content Development
In internet culture, there’s no singular code of conduct you can refer to. Learning ever-changing dos and don’ts online comes from experience. The experience you get from social listening is very valuable when creating content.
You become more aware of marketing strategies that work for your target audience. You can also participate in trends that just might make your brand go viral.
4. Increasing Audience
The added online engagement also helps you connect with more people. If done right, you can create a positive feedback loop by increasing your following. This makes your brand more trustworthy, therefore continuously increasing your audience.
Check out this link if you want to see more ways to boost your following!
5. Monitoring Competition
Social listening is your virtual way of eavesdropping on your competitors. Monitoring your competitors’ activities helps you stay ahead of the game. By knowing the content they produce, you can create content that sets you apart.
It’s also helpful in cases where your competition might come under fire. Instances like these leave customers needing products and services elsewhere. After all, there’s nothing wrong with helping out disappointed customers.
How Should You Use It?
The whole process sounds daunting and technical, especially when it involves monitoring keywords and data. No worries, here are tips to guide you through the process!
1. Find Relevant Topics and Keywords
Make sure the topics you follow lead you to your target audience. If you already have an online presence, focus on your established niche.
When tracking your information, follow the name of your product or service. Also, check out related handles and hashtags. And, of course, pay attention to news about your industry in general.
When choosing keywords, always focus on your customers’ search intent. It’s best to find keywords highly searched by the audience. This is where marketing services like Google Keyword Planner become useful social listening tools.
2. Monitor Mentions of Your Brand
Social monitoring is an important part of social listening. Social monitoring is more concerned with collecting data and metrics. This entails monitoring direct mentions of your brand across the web.
It’s important when gauging your brand’s popularity between platforms.
3. Focus on Popular Social Listening Platforms
Content and conversations are being churned out everywhere online. Surely, you’ve set up your brand’s socials. So, you’re already aware of social listening platforms to leverage.
These could be Twitter threads, Instagram and Facebook posts, or YouTube and TikTok reviews. So, make sure you have an established presence on all these platforms.
4. Look for Key Influencers
A brand needs ambassadors. Social listening guides you towards relevant influencers with the right audience.
Find influencers with significant followings that overlap with your target customers. If their content works with yours, consider reaching out.
5. Limit Your Scope
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. When choosing relevant keywords and topics to follow, it’s easy to want to aim high. However, when your scope is too general, you risk overwhelming your capacity.
Specificity focuses your attention on topics that actually lead to customers. It also makes it easier for you to find direct mentions of your brand.
Should You Use Social Listening?
If you got this far, you know the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Social Listening isn’t just some marketing tool invented by business owners. It’s a natural—albeit strategical—course of action. As a producer, if your consumers talk, you listen.
Social media makes it easier than ever for customers to talk. Their opinions are important ingredients in your brand’s success. Without it, you risk messing up the flavor of your brand or ruining the recipe altogether.
By using effective social listening, you can show your customers that you care. You connect with the audience you already have and reach those you don’t.
Need more help with growing your brand? Check out our other guides!
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