What is Social Listening and How to use it in your Business
Today businesses devote a lot of time and energy into designing a campaign that will be able to revolutionize the digital world. Because of the immense popularity of social media platforms, businesses give online presence a lot of importance when formulating their strategies.
The way companies position themselves in the online market plays a significant role in determining their success. While many companies pay a great deal of importance to what people have to say about their brand and how they feel about a particular marketing campaign, it is also becoming increasingly important that they incorporate social listening.
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- What is Social Listening?
- Benefits of Social Listening
- Why is Social Listening Important?
- What can be achieved by Social Listening?
- #1. Monitor the Health of your Brand
- #2. Develop Successful Marketing Campaigns
- #3. Generate Effective Content
- #4. Create Better Customer Experiences
- #5. Make Better Product Decisions
- #6. Competitive Standing
- #7. Identify Influencers
- Common Practices to be Used
What is Social Listening?
Social listening is a term that is consistently misunderstood by many. Social listening does not refer to the process of simply tracking what consumers have to say about your brand. In fact, markets should see social listening as being similar to market research. Social listening refers to monitoring the different social media platforms and gathering information from various conversations and discussions related to the key area of your business. Through social listening, businesses can receive a broad view of the market and the target audience.
Benefits of Social Listening
Though mostly unheard of, social listening is essential for every business that is trying to achieve success. Some of the benefits associated with the use of social listening include:
- Being able to tap markets that were previously thought to fall outside the target audience.
- Use the data gathered through social listening to formulate the future strategies of the business.
- Finding out how people perceive your brand as well as the competitors’ and where you stand in the industry.
- Discovering untapped opportunities.
- Get new ideas regarding the design of marketing campaigns.
Why is Social Listening Important?
So, one would ask why it is important to incorporate social listening when there is extensive market research taking place. To answer this, you have to understand the power of social media in determining the purchases made by the consumers first.
According to Google, almost 80% of the purchase decisions by customers are a result of proper research on social media platforms. This reflects the importance of expanding your social media research and finding out what sentiments are held by the consumers about the whole industry of your product.
Maximizing ROI requires you to incorporate strategies that experts have formulated after carrying out extensive research of how the consumers feel, what they are saying, and what is most important to them is.
Through social listening, you will be able to look at each post or sentiment shared on the platform as a key element of the overall trend prevalent in the market. By identifying this trend, you will be able to come up with strategies that are better for your business in the long run.
Imagine you own an Italian restaurant; each customer who comes in has a particular opinion about your business and while taking every opinion into account might seem like a daunting task, imagine the ease that could arise by considering them. By keeping track of each complaint and monitoring it, you will be able to come up with a trend that will helpful for identifying the main problem. This is called social listening.
Social listening requires you to keep a big picture in mind and come up with a trend or a pattern that can help you make your business more successful.
All the successful entrepreneurs and business owners need to actively participate in social listening and make it a mandatory part of their operations. It is not only important for employees that are dealing with customers directly, but for the entire
What can be achieved by Social Listening?
Once you have gathered data by practicing social listening, there are many ways in which you can put this to good use. In this section, we will be discussing how you can use social listening as a tool to grow your business.
#1. Monitor the Health of your Brand
Figuring out whether the sentiment held by a customer about your brand is positive or negative is an easy task. However, to make your business succeed you need to practice a more thorough approach. Through social listening, you will be able to understand how each sentiment shared on social media or each occurrence affects the overall outlook of your brand.
Also, do not wait for a major incident to happen before you start practicing social listening. If you identify a negative view developing amongst the customers, it might be a good idea to dig deeper and find out exactly what is causing this sentiment.
That can be done through social listening. Also, by continuously monitoring the health of your brand, you will be able to identify a trend that will indicate the major seasonal or other changes that affect your sales.
#2. Develop Successful Marketing Campaigns
The main use of social listening is to identify trends that have yet not been established by others. Through these trends, businesses can come up with useful ideas that they can use to develop successful marketing campaigns. By using engaging activities on social media platforms, businesses can now directly gather ideas from the customers and use them effectively for the marketing of their products.
#3. Generate Effective Content
Forming content that captures the attention of customers is usually done with the help of numerous attempts. However, by practicing social listening, you can identify the different topics of interest and can design your content around these topics. Moreover, you can even identify the right language that you should use to communicate to the customers in an effective manner. Forming a call-to-action that will result in conversions also becomes easier with the help of social listening.
#4. Create Better Customer Experiences
Social listening enables the businesses the look for problems that are persistent and present a major problem to its overall success. Tesla, for example, was successful in identifying a continuous problem being faced by their customers regarding the supercharger spots in 2016.
@TeslaMotors can you please handle the issue concerning tesla cabs blocking supercharger spots all the time, what will be if model 3 launch?
— Magni Bronzebeard (@cdg_l) April 8, 2016
After witnessing several tweets associated with the issue, the founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, guaranteed customers that the issues will be resolved.
You're right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2016
By paying close attention to what the customers are talking about and what they feel about the experiences that they have had with your products and services, you can enhance their overall experience. With the growth of your business, the need for social listening keeps on increasing.
#5. Make Better Product Decisions
In the beginning, when a business comes up with a new product idea, there are many integral decisions that need to be made associated with the product. Through social listening, businesses are able to easily identify the right approach that should be used to market their product. Also, getting insight into customer behavior enables the businesses to make all the strategic decisions in an effective way. It is however important that a business does not get too focused on determining different trends relevant to it. Rather, you should be using social listening as a tool to uncover the fine details and hidden opportunities.
#6. Competitive Standing
Through social listening, you can also monitor the performance of your competitors. This will help you determine your own standing in the market. So, apart from understanding your own brand health, social listening also gives you information that you can use to see what brands customers prefer over yours. Find out what the competitors are doing that is working and also see how you can compete with them in a better way.You can track brand mentions, hashtag and social media accounts of competitors to understand what they are doing and what is resonating Click To Tweet
#7. Identify Influencers
Influencers play an important role in the marketing strategy of a company. If you can use influencers to promote your products and services, there is a greater likelihood that the customers will listen to them. However, identifying the right influencers for a specific group of people is not always an easy task. User-generated content has seen phenomenal growth over the past few years and if you can incorporate this into your marketing strategy, your business can experience increased exposure.
Check how boomerang is promoting their service with influencers.
— Rebecca Miller (@rbrosemer) April 18, 2017
Customers are always looking for credible sources that will help them make the right decision, and by using social listening, you can easily identify the people who hold such credibility amongst your target audience.
Common Practices to be Used
#1. Cover all areas
Social listening does not only refer to monitoring the trends related to your business on famous platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Rather, it is recommended to take into account other platforms as well such as LinkedIn, youtube. Finding out famous places where customers talk about your product is important to the success of your social listening efforts. Thus, you should continuously expand your monitoring efforts towards different platforms to attain maximum benefits.
#2. Look Around
As mentioned earlier, social listening also helps you identify where you stand amongst competitors. This is why it is important to keep looking around when practicing it. Do not focus all your efforts on finding out what people are saying about your business rather see what they have to say about the competitors as well. Learning through the success or failures of your competitors might not seem to be a favorable idea but is actually highly beneficial.
#3. Seek Co-operation from the entire team
Social listening is not a one-man show. You will need the help of your entire team to interpret the data gathered correctly. This means that if you see a post or tweet that requires immediate attention from the customer service, you inform them right away. Moreover, you might need to talk to the production team or marketing team if you see something wrong in their areas.
#4. Set your Standards
While you may not have much data to identify a direction in the beginning, when you start practicing social listening, you will slowly get an idea of what is normal for your brand. Once you have this standard, you can compare your brand’s health to it regularly. If there are any changes in the benchmark, you can then move on to determine the cause of the shift. Whether it is a good change or a bad one, knowing what caused a change in the first place is essential to understand the customer base effectively.
#5. Do not forget to take action
Many times, businesses make the mistake of practicing social listening without giving any importance to the findings. Analysis of data gathered and taking an action based on this data is fundamental to the success of the whole process. Thus, you should have personnel and budget devoted to social listening to reap the maximum benefits.
By using social listening, you will be able to rectify each and every one of your business’ operations. If you are looking for suggestions or insights, there is no better place to start from than the customer base itself.