As a business executive or social media marketer, we know your schedule can be busy, but it’s worth dedicating some time each week to social listening.
What is social listening?
Social listening involves actively monitoring your social media pages and various online forums for conversations about your brand and products or services. It’s all about hearing what your audience is expressing, learning how they are referring to and talking about your industry, and understanding what concerns they might have.
Social listening can provide so many benefits such as:
1. Gaining insight about your audience
There’s no better way to learn about your target audience than straight from the source.
Some helpful free tools for social listening include:
- Facebook interest groups & the comments sections of your posts
- LinkedIn interest groups
- Reddit communities
- Google Trends
- Mention.com (Free trial)
Pay attention to what your customers have to say and how they say it. Have you noticed a lot of similar suggestions and requests? Are there multiple complaints about the same issues? Analyze your findings, and use these ideas to make sure your communication strategy is aligned with your audience.
In these ever changing times, it’s critical to have a consistent social listening strategy in place.
2. Communicate more effectively
First, make sure to respond to every single comment on social media, even if it’s just a Like. When comments go unnoticed, customers/prospects may feel ignored and get the wrong impression of your business, which can negatively impact your brand image.
Second, act human. It’s important to be empathetic. Your messaging should always communicate that you care. Customers are humans, not numbers.
Third, avoid using the same comment for each reply, but rather respond in a thoughtful and effective manner that addresses their concerns.
Fourth, continually engage with your customers and prospects. Always make an effort to understand the challenges they’re facing.
Creating a buyer persona for each target market is very helpful when figuring out how to communicate. You can find a downloadable worksheet here.
3. Stay on top of your game by identifying industry trends
Social listening can help you identify trends and keywords that emerge within your industry’s discourse. Be the first to jump on trending topics or hashtags, share educational articles, and get involved in the conversation.
4. Glean unique content ideas
Have you ever wondered how to come up with new content ideas?
Social listening is the perfect tactic to guide you. You can learn what your target audience is engaging with and responding to. Pivot your marketing strategy to build off of this, and develop more content that focuses on these topics in new, exciting ways.
5. Keep tabs on your competitors
Take note of what those within your industry are saying about your competitors. See if you can determine what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are. Keeping tabs on the competition can help you assess ways in which your business can maintain a clear differentiation in the marketplace.
Periodically check up on your competitors’ websites, email marketing campaigns, online educational content, and social media channels. See how their audiences are reacting to their campaigns, content, customer service, and products/services.
Use this research to help you learn how to stand out from your competition and discover ways to connect with your audience more effectively.
Need assistance with social listening? Give us a call at 631-842-4600.