Does your social media strategy involve taking time to listen to what others are saying about your brand? If not, you could be missing out on big marketing opportunities. If you’re not already familiar with the concept of social listening, it involves seeking out conversations that take place on social media and looking for chances to get involved.
Some of the benefits of social listening can ultimately lead to better customer service, higher sales and can even inform future content direction. Here is our guide to getting started with social listening.
The amount of ‘noise’ on most social media channels can make it very challenging to be able to focus on relevant discussions. You can cut through this more easily by using software that is designed with social listening in mind. Hootsuite is an obvious example of this, and allows you to set up multiple streams to track specific keywords or phrases, as well as your brand’s notifications.
The Benefits of Social Listening
Some of the advantages of social listening include:
- Deflecting Negative Attention
If you are not actively seeking out mentions of your brand on social media, you can easily miss out on seeing negative conversations that it would be in your best interests to address. Failing to respond to negative feedback reflects badly on your brand and increases the potential for the situation to escalate. Depending on the scenario, this could become a ‘crisis’ that has a devastating impact for your brand.
- Encouraging Sales
Social listening can alert you to pre-purchase questions that are being asked to which you can potentially respond. These are unlikely to be aimed at your brand so you’ll have to dig a bit deeper than just checking your @ mentions on Twitter, for example. Listening in around specific keywords that relate to your niche can be a good way to discover these type of conversations. Try not to come across as too ‘spammy’ in your responses; look to advise and be helpful as far as possible rather than promoting your products as sole priority.
- Building Trust
Many people use social media to get advice and this is another area that you can look to get involved in. Being useful to others is a great way to build trust for your brand and along with helpful content, this can help to position you as an expert.
- Improving Products and Services
Tracking what customers are saying about your products and/or services gives your business the opportunity to adjust your approach in line with the feedback. This won’t always be directed directly at your brand so it’s best to expand your listening to include non-direct mentions, as well as those that come directly to you.
- Informing Content Direction
Tracking what your audience (and others) are talking about on social media can help you to create content that will be prove interesting and relevant for them. If a particular user is seeking advice on something that you can help with, they’re probably not the only person that would benefit from knowing the answer or solution.