Thanks to social media there have been a lot of changes in how people communicate and interact with each other. It has revolutionized the Internet into something that is more personal and hands-on. For entrepreneurs, freelancers and those looking to expand their personal brand, social media has created a portal to engage with potential clients, access leads or create an online visual identity. But engagement is a two-way communication. One has to listen while the other is talking. In social media marketing — this is referred to as social listening.
By definition, social listening is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, product or brand on the Internet. It should be an important part of your overall marketing strategy. The insights you gather about your clients, followers, prospects, products or competitors with social listening can be invaluable.
There are several ways to use social media to gain insight about your brand or business with social listening. It can come in the form of a free online tool like Google Alerts or a fully integrated and expensive software application that you can integrate with your existing digital marketing systems. Below are 5 reasons why social listening should be a part of your marketing strategy.
Discover Where Your Community Hangs Out
Social listening enables you to find out where your potential and current community members carry on important conversations — Twitter, Facebook, comments on blogs or somewhere else. Track these conversations, and when the time is right, join in.
Attract New Clients
To attract new clients for your business, brainstorm for keywords that people might use when researching a product or service and track these terms across forums and social groups. Join the conversations and find out more about any potential customers’ needs and expectations. Be genuine in your interactions.
Generate Leads by Solving Problems
One way to find new business opportunities is to monitor keywords that relate to people’s problems and needs or their frustrations with a competitor’s product. Monitor terms like “[competitor’s brand name] can’t” or “[competitor’s brand name] won’t” to identify pain points. Once you identify these potential customers, reach out to them. Ask them what their expectations are for the product and where it’s falling short. Then explain your product’s benefits and added value, and make yourself available for questions. You may also want to provide a demo of your product.
Identify Influencers and Advocates
After a big product launch or update, track the link to or the title of your press release to see who’s sharing it. This information helps you identify influencers in your industry. Reach out to them to start building relationships. You’ll also want to identify your biggest brand advocates. Find and reward them with giveaways or special offers. Continue to keep them engaged as your brand grows, because satisfied customers are one of your greatest marketing resources.
Social listening can also help you identify potential issues early in your business’ growth. Track your brand’s mentions and if someone posts a bug about your product or service, resolve it as quickly as possible. Then, respond directly to your client to nurture transparency.
Social listening goes well beyond just monitoring your brand’s reputation. You can use social listening insights to improve many aspects of your business, including business and product development, human resources and customer care.
What do you think? How are you using social listening to improve your business? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!