How social listening can boost your brand
Updated: Jan 8
Having a well-thought-out social media strategy is essential to your marketing efforts. In today’s digital world, social media can help you drive word-of-mouth advertising, attract buyers and prospects, and increase brand awareness like no other channel. There are a few key elements to social media strategies that are worth paying attention to in particular, and this blog focuses on an important one – social listening.
Designed to give you a better understanding of your customers’ and prospects’ wants and needs, social listening delivers just that – an opportunity to “hear” what your customers are saying on social media platforms. Social listening is the practice of tracking, analyzing, and responding to posts about your products, company, or industry. While social monitoring focuses just on comments about your brand, social listening gives you insights into competitors and entire industries as well, potentially clueing you in to new product enhancements, customer segments, and market opportunities.
Social listening platforms
However, as you can imagine, constantly scanning social channels for mentions of your brand, your competitors, and your industry is nearly an impossible task. Thankfully, social listening platforms do the heavy lifting for you. They aggregate social media streams into a dashboard for easy viewing and track retweets and mentions of your brand. Some apply analytics to help you gain insights, such as spotting trending keywords; some can even determine and categorize the sentiment of posts.
Read this review by Content Marketing Institute to learn more about social listening platforms and their features.
How to do it
Once you decide on a social listening platform, here are some tips to help you get started:
Track keywords that are relevant to your product or industry to learn what people are talking about. It’s a wide social media world out there and it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus – start small with the most relevant terms to your brand and see where they take you.
Join ongoing online conversations about relevant issues, instead of attempting to start your own. As you begin participating in social media threads, resist the urge to try to sell people in these groups initially; your input will be more valuable as a member of the industry with relevant thoughts and experiences to share. The idea is to build trust and establish relationships with people.
Hear both the good and the bad. People who praise your products in social media conversations could be worth approaching as brand evangelists to help spread the word about your offerings; negative feedback from people with legitimate concerns should be shared with departments in the company (product management, customer service, etc.) that may be able to rectify troublesome issues.
Use the insights gained through social listening to improve not only your offerings but also your customer communications. Reuse the language your prospects and customers are using in their posts and clearly state how your offerings address the problems they have. And let what you learn through social listening inform your campaign topics and targets so you’re sure they are timely and relevant.
Looking to learn how an effective social listening strategy can boost your brand? Visit our services page. And check out my new book, The Principles of Inbound Marketing for Small and Start-Up Businesses, to learn more about how marketing can help grow your organization.