In today’s digital world it is much easier to reach your customers and clients through social media. But being on Facebook or Twitter isn’t enough; you must take the time to tune in to your followers through social listening.
So What Is Social Listening?
Well, think of social media as a two-way street. This street is used to converse, build relationships, and share ideas with one another. The worst thing you could do as a business is talking to your followers. Who knows if what you are blabbering on about is even relevant to them! This is where social listening comes into play. Basically, social listening is the process in which you reach out to your followers on a personal level by interacting with them, answering their questions, asking them questions, and much more.
Why You Should Use Social Listening
There are endless benefits from using social listening, but the following three are the most important, especially if you are just starting out on social media.
1. Discover Content Ideas
Before you even start implementing a social media strategy, posting to Facebook, or tweeting away on Twitter, a brand must first find out what they can provide to that community; if they can’t provide new information or a new perspective, then maybe social media isn’t the right platform for them. The idea is to create content that followers will engage with and share.
So how do you figure out what content to share on social media?
Do I even have to say it? Okay, I will: social listening!
In order to find and create the right content to share, a brand must interact and listen to their followers on the specific platform (i.e. Facebook or Pinterest) they want to be apart of. If you are a smartphone company on Twitter, you would want to use Twitter’s search function to find out what people want to know about your devices, or just smartphones in general. Maybe they are curious which phone cases work best with your phone. In this scenario, you could create an infographic explaining the different cases and what their pros and cons are.
You can also interact with people who directly tag you on social media sites. For example, a customer could tweet at your tech company about an issue they have with a phone they recently bought from you. Not only can you save your brand by interacting with that person and helping them out, you can also find out if this issue is happening a lot with other users. This way, you can fix the problem, or create content that will explain to users how to take care of it.
2. Find Communities On and Offline
Finding where your customers spend their time can be a daunting task. If you aren’t in the trenches with them, chances are you will be marketing in the wrong places. Using social media can make this search much easier. By simply using the search functions on most social media platforms, marketers can use buzz words to see if potential customers are on that specific platform talking about their industry. If you aren’t finding people talking about your industry on a certain platform, then it’s time to move on to something else.
Social listening can also take you to places outside of social media where your customers reside. You may find that many potential customers are posting links to a forum where people in the industry are sharing thoughts and ideas. If this is the case, your business should join in on that conversation.
These outside locations could even be offline. Social media is a great place for people to share about events and locations where like-minded individuals can meet and share their interests. Say your that same smartphone company from before; you may find that people are discussing an upcoming showcase for a new device that you may want to attend to share your product.
The possibilities are endless.
3. Recognize Brand Advocates
This is your bread and butter – brand advocates are one of the best assets you can have when it comes to social media marketing. By doing basic research, or by using different tools for social listening, you can find advocates who profess their undying love for your product or service through social media. Ideally you would want influencer’s in your specific industry. Once you have identified these advocates, you can reach out to them for help in specific ways. They can share your content, or they can also assist in answering questions for your brand on social media.