There are millions of consumers who discuss brands, products, and customer service issues on social media. The evolution of traditional marketing into digital marketing has led to customers trusting the experiences of other customers they read on social media, blogs, or discussion boards more than traditional advertising messages.
It is incredibly important for all B2C companies that understand the significance of customer experience to actively listen to user-generated content through social media. That’s why today we’re going to talk about…
Why Social Listening Is So Important
You’ve probably already figured out that you need to build a solid reputation and following on social media for your brand to become a household name and achieve high brand recognition.
Despite this, things are not always as black and white as they seem. A bad reputation on social media can result from a range of issues, including service issues, scandals, and other issues.
Due to the unpredictable nature of social media, it is vital to continually track your brand’s channels and be on the lookout for any red flags. This is where social listening comes in.
By conducting social listening, you will be able to create content that your followers actually want, generate new ideas based on industry trends, refine customer interaction by directly interacting with them, and continuously adjust your customer strategy to meet their needs.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why social listening is so critical for businesses!
First, What is Social Listening, Anyway?
Monitoring the social media channels of your brand for customer feedback, direct mentions of your brand, or discussion of specific keywords, topics, competitors, or industries, and then analyzing the results to gain insights and act upon the opportunities.
The Difference Between Social Listening and Social Monitoring
Social listening encompasses a broader range of activities than social monitoring. Through social listening, you can track brand mentions, customer feedback, industry trends, and more. However, social monitoring is more focused. This involves tracking a particular campaign or keyword.
Social listening is a two-step process, unlike social monitoring. Monitoring social media merely keeps track of social media mentions and conversations. However, without analysis and actionable responses, your brand cannot satisfactorily meet the needs of its consumers. By listening to social conversations, you can identify the root causes behind them and implement long-term changes to your strategy.
What Are the Benefits of Social Listening for Brands?
Rather than assuming what your customers want or need, pay attention to what they tell you. People frequently share opinions about national politics or the latest memes, so it’s no surprise that they do the same when it comes to brands.
Customer-Centric Brands are Appreciated
With social media, you can give your customers a sense that they are being heard.
Responsiveness on social media makes a difference. Marketers can positively influence consumer behavior by prioritizing responsiveness and relevance on social media. Among consumers who follow brands on social media, 90% are likely to make a purchase.
They expect a response from you. However, it’s more than that. It’s about using social listening to craft thoughtfully crafted responses that are valuable. It is those kinds of responses that will elicit brand loyalty and increase customer retention rates.
Keep Track of Your Brand’s Growth
Occasionally, brands face scandals or serious issues. Every now and then, there will be something that will cause a wave of negativity to flood your social media. Ignoring a few rude comments here and there isn’t a big deal, but it’s troubling if the negative comments outweigh the positive ones.
Now is a great time to use social listening. By analyzing the recent incident, you can find out if the increase in negative comments has caused a decrease in sales, followers, or whatever metric you decide to analyze. When you know whether you need to take serious action, or if it’s just a phase, you can decide whether a response is required.
New Opportunities Can Be Discovered
The work is often done for you by your customers. When many customers complain about the same problem — or cheering for the same victory — it’s a sign to take note of. By using social listening, you can innovate on these changes rather than simply monitoring them.
You may work for a gym, for example. Fitness classes always fill up quickly, which is frustrating for your customers. It might be worth considering creating more classes, opening up more spots in each class – which may require moving to larger spaces – or placing a limit on how many classes an individual can take each week. Each of these options may have pros and cons, but experimenting with different methods may provide you with useful results and, hopefully, increase customer satisfaction.
Increase Customer Acquisition
Your reach to prospects can be greatly expanded through social media. You should never forget that your followers aren’t just your loyal customers; they’re also people who enjoy your content or found you through social media. These are the types of people you should be targeting.
Content that provides value to people is an essential element of inbound marketing. By doing this, you attract them to your brand and do not have to bombard them with annoying ads. The process of converting your content viewers and followers into leads and, eventually, customers is much easier than approaching random strangers and hoping they’ll be interested in your products or services.
By viewing the posts, shares, hashtags, and photos of those who follow and mention you, you can discover the kinds of content they like. Then, you can accordingly create relevant content that matches their taste and will ultimately draw them into your brand.
About The Social Media Strategy
You should definitely incorporate social listening into your social media strategy if your company is serious about social media. An effective social media strategy starts with understanding what people are saying about your brand or industry.
With focused listening, you can discover which social networks your audience is most active on, and you can analyze sentiment regarding your brands, products, competitors, or industry. Your company will save both time and money by determining your social media strategy using social listening.
Identify the social landscape of your brand by creating a conversation map. It should include:
- What is the most common conversation on that network?
- What is the sentiment of the conversation?
- What is the most popular topic that most people associate your brand with?
In addition to enabling you to measure and evaluate your social media strategy, social listening can also help you measure tactics for shorter-term campaigns. It is possible for you to analyze quantitative metrics (e.g. volume of conversation) and qualitative metrics (e.g. sentiment of conversation).
Your social performance for above-the-line, below-the-line, and integrated campaigns can be determined by this analysis.
Analyze how many times your brand or product is mentioned before, during, and after a campaign. Understand which content was effective and which content was not by looking at the days with the most and least mentions.
In addition, monitor the sentiment of the conversation about your brand or product and adjust the content you post accordingly.
The Reputation of A Brand
A brand, a product, or an industry’s reputation is determined by its customers in today’s social age. Many brands are learning the best practices for how to manage customer service issues on social media.
With active social listening, your brand can identify potentially harmful conversations and remedy the situation before it has a drastic impact on your brand’s reputation. Furthermore, social listening can also be used to develop a brand reputation strategy and engage customers through social media.
Develop a management plan for social media issues as well as a crisis management plan. Direct action is part of both plans, but the methods and levels of involvement are different. In the event of a large social media crisis, be prepared to switch to 24/7 monitoring.
Development of New Products
Having the ability to receive customer feedback about your products, brand, or industry is one of the greatest benefits of social listening. The feedback here should be treated in the same way as feedback from a focus group.
You can gain valuable insights into your consumers’ needs by analyzing what they have to say and adjusting your business strategies. Prepare yourself to receive honest feedback that may criticize some aspects of your business.
You can use criticism to improve your product, customer service, or business strategy in general.
Be open to constructive criticism of your business from users. Many of these users are willing to provide meaningful feedback if you engage them.
Further, if you nurture these relationships, you may discover high-quality prospects, up-selling opportunities, or brand ambassadors.
Perspectives on The Competitive Environment
In social listening campaigns, monitoring only your company’s or your competitors’ conversations is insufficient. Invest time and resources into monitoring more general discussions about your industry as a whole.
When monitoring industry conversations, ask yourself these questions:
- Why are customers typically unhappy in your field?
- Are there any products or services that consumers desire but don’t have access to?
- Are there any topics that are frequently discussed in your industry that your brand could use as a communication tool?
If you receive feedback about your industry, you may be surprised, and this insight is often the most helpful for developing your overall business strategy.
Learn which topics are most common in customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Address customer dissatisfaction by identifying any problems they are satisfied with.
Further, if a recent topic is frequently discussed, join the conversation to get direct feedback from customers about what they want from your industry or brand.
Benchmarking your brand against your competitors is easy with social listening tools. You can benchmark your social media performance by measuring how many comments your brand receives compared to your competitors.
It is important to consider the volume of conversation surrounding your brand. Seeing what other consumers have to say about your product or service is an important part of the consumer decision process. A potential customer may search for a company that has generated more social media conversation if there are no reviews or relevant mentions about your product or service.
Consider both the volume of conversation and the sentiment surrounding your product or service. By actively participating in the conversation, you can also influence the volume of the discussion as well as the sentiment.
Do not remove negative reviews if you find them. As an alternative, acknowledge that there is a problem, adjust your business plans accordingly, and reward satisfied customers for positive publicity.
Online and off, influencers love talking about products, services, and customer service issues. Active social listening can help you identify key influencers so you can gather valuable insight about your products, brand, or industry.
Once you identify your key influencers, you should create an influencer management plan by developing these crucial relationships.
You should look at the following criteria primarily when identifying influencers:
- Social media reach of the influencer.
- How frequently and how much they post on social media.
- The engagement rate of their posts.
Secondly, you should find out how many platforms they are actively using online and how they rank offline.
Here are a few final tips…
Identify Your Pain Points
Before you begin social listening, you should figure out what troubles your audience. By listening to social media, you can identify gaps in your product or industry.
Social media monitoring and listening tools provide insights into sentiment, reach, demographics, and user behavior trends.
It is important to listen directly to your audience in order to identify the problem they are experiencing. Many users share their pain points on social media. You will be able to see if your competitors and your company offer similar products or services.
Monitor Strategic Keywords and Topics
Choosing strategic keywords and topics to monitor is essential for getting started with social listening. In the future, these will evolve, but you can use social listening tools (examples below) to discover what topics are being discussed across the internet.
To engage in the conversation happening online, it’s important to follow mentions of your brand as well as topics that pertain to your industry.
Improve Your Customer Feedback Process By Using It
As a business, you use social listening primarily to respond to customer feedback (whether positive or negative). Social listening will give you an opportunity to improve the way you respond to your customers. As you iterate on your social media process, consider how you handle feedback and complaints.
Follow Recommendation Posts In Your Industry To Generate Leads
Engage your audience by using social listening. Find accounts related to your niche using social listening, competitor research, and hashtag research, and comment on them. Offer your expertise or start a conversation about relevant topics.
You can, for example, follow “recommendations” posts in your industry and offer tips, tricks, and recommend your product where it makes sense.
We’ll take a look at the step-by-step process for implementing a social listening strategy soon.
What to Take Away
Hopefully, with this, you have gained a better understanding of why social listening is important and some guidance on how you can implement social listening into your existing marketing plan following these steps. For all of your marketing needs, we here at Dalex Design would love to work with you. Learn more at www.dalexdesigngroup.com or www.dalexsocials.com.