A social listening strategy provides valuable insights allowing companies to grow their business. It essentially addresses one of the fundamental issues hounding the management team – the need for more information.
As most consumers use social media networks, those platforms are a source of vital information that can be obtained using social media monitoring tools or services through what’s known as social listening.
What Is Social Listening?
Social media listening refers to monitoring social media mentions to understand the prevailing social sentiment. Usually, it involves using a tool, such as an online reputation management software, to track social mentions of specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries.
Companies can, of course, use the analysis of social sentiment in a variety of ways. For example, they can use it to improve their customer service. Or, they may tailor marketing campaigns based on the opinion of their target markets.
How Social Media Listening Helps Businesses
Social monitoring is a one-size-fits-all solution to a variety of concerns. It helps enhance marketing and branding strategies in the following ways:
1. Improve Customer Service
Most companies understand the importance of social media marketing. But unfortunately, only a few realize the essence of monitoring social media mentions. Hence, they do not know how customers feel about their products and services.
“Angry people will write negative reviews,” said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager.
If a company is unaware, two things can happen:
- Customers who expect a response will be angrier or more disappointed. As a result, they stop doing business with the company.
- Other people who see the negative post or review will see no response. So they would view the company as untrustworthy and take their business elsewhere.
While listening to social sentiments, companies can also do online review monitoring. This way, they can spot customer complaints and make the appropriate response.
Resolving issues is an excellent customer service strategy, considering that 80 percent feel more emotionally connected to a brand after a successful resolution.
2. Measure Marketing Campaigns
Monitoring social media mentions is essential to successful digital marketing campaigns. Marketers, for example, can analyze performance metrics to gauge the effectiveness of their strategies. Apart from social sentiment, the indicators usually also include reach and engagements.
In response, businesses can do any of the following:
- Continue the marketing campaign if the numbers are good.
- Make adjustments or optimize a campaign by using strategies such as A/B testing.
In essence, social media listening lets businesses and marketers take a data-driven approach to running their marketing and advertising campaigns.
3. Engage Customers To Build Stronger Relationships
Customer engagement plays a critical role in revenue generation. Fully engaged customers, for example, are more loyal and emotionally attached. As a result, they are likelier to go out of their way to patronize a favored brand.
One of the best ways to reach customers is through social media. Most companies, for example, would have one or more social media accounts. Posting on their channels is one way to engage with the audience, usually their followers/subscribers.
Such a strategy could be better by monitoring social media mentions. For instance, they can engage with users and build relationships after finding a post or comment about their products or services.
4. Gain Valuable Customer Insights
More consumers today share their experience with a brand. By tracking social mentions, companies can learn many things, such as customer preferences and factors that affect their purchasing behaviors and decisions.
Customer insights can help shape how a company runs its business or markets its products and services. Possibly, they may identify new market segments and create tailored value propositions.
5. Find Inspiration for New Content
Generating new topics is not as easy as it seems. Even the best content strategists and creators sometimes run out of ideas. But with social media monitoring, it is possible to find numerous insights and new ideas.
Usually, this process involves tracking keywords related to the product, service, or industry. From the flagged posts, companies can find the latest trends and stories. Besides preparing tailored content, they can also pick up keyphrases for use as tags and hashtags.
6. Find Social Media Influencers
Collaborating with social media influencers is one of the best social media marketing practices. These individuals, of course, would have a large number of followers/subscribers. Hence, brands can increase their reach by having them endorse or review products and services.
Companies can find the right influencers by using a social monitoring tool to track specific keywords related to a product/service, niche, or industry.
7. Find New Talents
The inability to fill positions is one of the problems experienced by many companies. Social listening, in this regard, might prove to be a helpful strategy for finding talents.
Usually, businesses would post openings on job portals. Many of them are now also posting on LinkedIn. Although there might be many applicants, it is still challenging to find a match. It is also possible that a qualified prospect may not come across a job posting.
So what companies can do is use a social listening strategy. Specifically, they can “listen” for mentions of keywords like “looking for a job.” Upon finding such posts, they can contact the user.
Companies must also consider Facebook monitoring as they track social mentions to find talent. In the United States, an estimated 240 million people use this network. It is therefore reasonable to expect that many top prospects are open for opportunities.
8. Protect Brand Reputation
Some people may cross the line by making false or inaccurate accusations about a product or service. These negative social sentiments have the potential to ruin a reputation. Unfortunately, some companies are unaware of such posts, causing them to fail to respond and protect their business.
So one of the intents when developing a social listening strategy is online review monitoring. Facebook monitoring, for example, can help companies find damaging posts, comments, or reviews. They can then take the necessary action to rectify the situation.
Businesses must never take the importance of review monitoring lightly. The harm caused by negative reviews, genuine or maliciously manufactured, can lead to customer attrition and significant financial losses.
9. Preventive Crisis Management
One of the often-stated goals of online review monitoring is to find negative feedback. This way, the customer service or support team can respond and help users solve their problems. Most customers, for sure, would appreciate the proactive approach taken by the company.
Tracking reviews, though, is only a part of social monitoring. On a broader scale, businesses can also analyze the data to find negative sentiments. They can then implement measures to prevent problems from occurring.
10. Spy on the Competition
In the Art of War, Sun Tzu stated, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” So how does it apply to a business? Simply, it means that a company must be aware of what competitors are doing to be competitive.
Social media monitoring allows businesses to track competitors. They can, for example, analyze the competitor’s marketing strategy. But more than that, they can also see the sentiments of their customers. These insights are invaluable in creating marketing strategies to counter the competitor’s campaigns.
Use Social Listening To Bolster Your Marketing Strategies
As you can see, companies can use social listening for various purposes. Most of them are helpful for developing solid marketing strategies and allow brands to protect their reputation.
So understanding what is social listening and using it to further your social media game is integral to building a positive and powerful online presence.
Contact us today for more information on how to incorporate social media monitoring in your business. Our specialists can explain how our online reputation management software works and how knowing customer sentiments can help you grow your business.