What is Social Media Listening?
Social Media Listening is the process of tracking and monitoring digital conversations around specific words to understand what customers are saying about a brand, product or a company. It’s more than watching @mentions and #Hashtags. If you’re only paying attention to notifications then you’re missing a large group of people that are talking about you, your brand and your product. Social Media Listening is not only applicable to Social Media Channels but to all kinds of online resources where information about your brand may appear. These includes any website, blogs, forums and social networks where the tools used for Social Listening can freely crawl and index – just like a search engine and represent that data in the form of metrics and dashboard for further analysis and research.
Why is Social Media Listening Important for Your Business?
Social Media channels and their popularity are growing fast. There are a number of online resources available for consumers to share feedback. Sometimes people do not mention twitter handle in their feedback. There might be a spelling mistake. Whatever be the reason for not mentioning a brand or product name properly, consumers still expect a response. By using Social Media Listening tools you can track all variations of your brand name, with and without the @symbol. With a little time and creativity, you can go beyond just monitoring your brand and use social listening to enhance business development, product quality, sales and customer support.
Important Objectives of Social Media Listening for Business:
Let’s look at some of the important Objectives of Social Media Listening for Business:
1. Customer Service:
It is very important to sustain existing customer and provide them best customer service. With Social Media Listening Tools, you can be in a position of helping your customers by knowing their problems. Monitor your brand name with and without the @ symbol. Track common auto-correct misspellings for your brand name. Social Listening helps to identify both positive and negative feedback. Look through the negative feedback. This gives you the opportunity to find and respond to disappointed customers. If people take the time to write about issues with your product and services then they’re definitely seeking your help. Using Social Listening Tools you can help to your customers by resolving their issues.
2. Generate New Leads:
Leads are typically obtained through the referral of an existing customer, or through a direct response to your ad campaign. Social Media Listening can be a powerful tool for generating leads and engaging with potential customers. To generate new leads for your business, brainstorm for keywords that people might use when researching a product or services similar to your product and services. Now using Social Media Listening tools track these keywords across all social media channels, forums, websites etc. This data helps you to understand customer need and expectation. Based on this data you can address their problems and start offering a free demo of your product/services or send them a link for trial version.
3. Understand your Competitors:
Keeping tabs on your competition is a great strategy for growing your business. Social Listening can provide good competitive analysis and monitoring system of your competitors. Choose keywords and terms related to your competitors and start tracking them. By Listening your competitors you well get to know their behavior and what is their next plan. Based on this data you can plan your strategies to sustain your customers and win customers from your competitors. This data also helps in setting competitive price of your product and services.
4. Identify Influencer:
More than 90% customers made their purchase based on reviews, feedback and recommendations. Using Social Media Listening tools you can track those peoples who are sharing your ad campaigns or giving positive reviews about your product and services. This information helps you to identify influencers of your business. Reach out to them to start building relationships. Give them special offers or rewards. Continue to keep them engaged as your brand grows because happy customers are one of your biggest brand advocates.
5. Drive Innovation:
Social Media Listening helps you to understand your customer, their need and behavior. Social Listening also helps you to understand your competitors. You can track keywords that are related to negative feedback of your existing product and services or customer’s frustration with a competitor’s product. This data will help you to create new opportunity for your business by implementing new ideas for creating dynamic product or improving your existing services.
6. Improve Promotion Strategy:
It is very important to understand your customer, their need and attitude before you offer them your services. With refine set of keywords you can listen demographics, which will help you to refine your target audience. When is the best time to engage with your potential audience, what makes them happy, what are there pain points with recent purchase etc. This data will help you to create your ad campaign strategy. For example if you are a travel agency and trying to reach our those people who are travel lovers. With Social Media Listening you can listen conversations of people who are talking about traveling and looking for trip packages. This data will give you better understanding of your target audience, their age, location, gender, best time to engage and their need. For example if you see people are more interested in knowing what are the famous places to visit in a famous city or country and when is the best time to visit those places (weather condition) etc. You can plan promotion strategy of your travel agency by showing pictures of places and mentioning other related information.
There are many Social Media Listening Tools available in market. Radian6 and Simplify360 are effective tools for Social Media Listening. They provide Dashboards for all tasks like monitoring, posting, responses, campaign analysis and task management. These are paid tools. There are also some free tools available in market like HootSuite, Keyhole and Hashtags.org. The first step is to decide which tool you are going to use. Further, the second step should be telling the tool what to listen for. A set of keywords could be generated for your brand, product and competition mentions. You can create your own dashboards for reporting, research, decision-making and data analysis.