Actionable Insights From Social Listening Intel
If both sides are talking, who's listening? Enter what enables dialogue. Social listening!
Social listening is basically tracking and analyzing conversations on social media platforms about your brand, competitors, or the industry as a whole, to gain actionable insights.
Listening helps discover who your audience are, and what your market or industry looks like. You can get intel on what industry-related topics your audience is interested in. It reveals what they follow on a moment to moment basis with trending topics, what they truly want, and how you can improve their experience with your brand, a well as communicate effectively.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. have become a world where if a customer is not happy with your product or service, they don't call customer service to be put on hold before getting resolve. Instead, they vent on social media and if you are not listening you have no idea how your brand image is being affected.
The key to social listening is to have a plan. Consider first, your brand voice. Does it resonate with what people are saying about it on social media? If not, then you need to device ways to listen and respond to get the social media voices on the same page with your brand.
To begin with, you'll need to decide what tool/s to obtain the intel from social listening. There are various tools available such as Meltwater, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, BuzzSumo, etc. You want one that provides a mix of social and web mentions. Most of the tools available track mentions using keywords that you provide. Evaluate tools based on how well they fulfill your social media strategy requirements.
Chose a listening tool, that will find relevant social posts your brand can engage with. This typically means, like, comment, follow, share relevant posts. You also want to get intel to engage with micro-influencers who will amplify your brand and drive even more traffic to your message.
Social listening tools have a built-in feature that shows how well your brand is doing on social media. You can measure brand awareness by looking at volumes of mentions about your product, service or mission.
The sentiment analysis feature shows the positive, negative and neutral mix of comments about your brand. You can get solid insights on brand health with the help of this data. See how users interact and talk about your brand. Do they associate you with your brand image or are you viewed entirely differently?
Knowing your audience is the most important part of social listening. You get to know them on a personal level. What region they live, interests, following, friends and family etc. Find out which topics resonate with them, and structure your communication to start building a community of followers around your offering.
Listening isn't only about learning your current audience; it's insightful for identifying new ones too. You can discover the influencers (users with a high following and engagement) in your audience, that can help spread the word.
It's also a way to get feedback to improve your products, service or messaging. You'll hear from the horse's mouth whether they like your brand or not. This is intel for areas that can be improved.
Monitoring & Responding
Social monitoring is the act of identifying, tracking, and responding to users about your brand mentions on social media. It allows you to learn what they are saying about your brand, products, and competitors. With the help of keyword relevance you can listen to what is trending and respond accordingly.
To get the most out of your social media efforts, you should engage with posts or pages that already have a sizable following. Comment, post, and collaborate with them. Find people that are talking about the same issues as you, following the same conversations as you, and interacting with the same type of information as you because it will take a lot less effort to convert them.
Competitor analysis is an important aspect of any social listening. You can add your competitors to receive notifications about their social media postings and campaigns. Pay attention to the tone of what they are saying. See what their brand perception is, compared to yours. What's working for them and what isn't. What differentiates you from them on social media. You may find opportunities to help develop more relevant social media campaigns and posts.
Listening to industry-related topics is important because it keeps you up to date on what is going on in your industry. Participating in those topics on social media can help strengthen your brand authority. It gives you an idea of the tone of the conversation and what gaps your brand voice can fill.
Social is here to stay. It isn't going away anytime soon. A growing number of brands are engaging their audiences on social media. So, why not get ahead of the game by paying close attention through social listening? More than listen better, it promotes more real engagement.
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