For many, when they hear the phrase social listening, they may assume it is to do with phone listening conversions you might be having. So many of us are adamant that we are being targeted by ads based on our conversations. For instance, have you been talking about a product, and then a few minutes later an advertisement for said item or service suddenly appears on your feed?
It is important to note that social listening does not operate this way.
This blog will explain what social media listening is and why it is so
essential for brand and business marketing strategies.
What is Social Listening
To put it simply social listening is tracking social media platforms and
identifying what is being said about your brand and business or even in some
cases monitoring online conversions about a competitor. Once you have found the
relevant information it is important to collect and analyse the data to understand
the mindset of your customers. From these learnings, you can discover
opportunities that may be available for your brand and business and ultimately this
will help you to improve your products and services.
This is not necessarily a new approach, and for years businesses have been trying to figure out what customers have been saying through surveys. But now we can use the correct technology to find out exactly what customers are saying a whole lot quicker.
The benefits of social listening
Now we know what social listening is, let’s see what benefits it provides for brands.
Understanding the competitors:
As a result of social listening, we can access information about competitors’ consumer base and marketing strategies. Once the data is gathered, we can see what our competitors are doing better or worse than us. For instance, how often are they posting on social media, or are they interacting with consumers? Analysing your competitors’ marketing strategies can help you identify areas where your brand’s strategy needs to be improved.
Avoid crises before they happen
Because social listening lets you track data in real-time you can know straight away if there is a significant change in how much people are talking about your brand and the mood behind what they say. It provides an early warning system that tells you about positive and negative changes in how your brand is perceived online. For example, if your social engagement is way down, you should make it a priority to find out why this is happening. This can be done by reviewing social media feedback such as comments, likes, and engagements. While you are analysing this information, it would be wise to look for lessons to prevent this mishap from happening in the future. Similarly, if you find that engagement is up, examine what worked for you and why so that you extend this to other media channels.
New product or service ideas.
A massive benefit of social listening is the opportunity to curate new
products and services by listening to what your customers want to see. This can
be done based on monitoring trends and data around the industry so you can see
what’s working and not working which can improve a product or service your
brand offers. This information is a goldmine for your product development,
customer service, and marketing teams.
How does it work?
Social listening is a process that requires two steps.
Step 1: This step involves monitoring multiple social media platforms for topics, mentions of brand names, and products in social conversions as well as that of competitors. This can be done manually by trawling social media sites daily or using analytical tools to help you.
It is important to mention that many people do tend to mix up social monitoring and social media listening. Social media monitoring is all about the numbers and focuses more so on the short-term solutions. For example, looking at how we are responding to a customer complaint. Whereas social listening is more a proactive process that creates long-term solutions. So it would note the customer complaint and go about fixing the problem, so it doesn’t happen again and also creates a better user experience in the process.
Step 2: Once you have gathered this data, it can be then put into action. This may include observing trends in what customers like and don’t like about a product or service and also it may also involve looking for patterns and trends and noting whether you can you implement these to your own setting. There are also a variety of customer sentiment analysis tools that are available such as Hootsuite which allows you to monitor and respond to conversations immediately from a number of dashboards rather than logging in and out of different social media sites.
So, there you have it social listening doesn’t mean your phone is
listening to you but it is instead an invaluable marketing strategy that can
help you keep an eye on the competition, assists in avoiding crises and improve products and services. All of which will ultimately help your brand