While running your business, it was difficult to know what was happening behind your back just under a decade ago. It can be very beneficial to anyone with money on the line to know what is being said (or even thought!) about them behind closed doors. The practice of social listening monitors all your channels for any type of content that is relevant to your business, which is useful for strategy and promotion.
It was once enough just to monitor your Facebook feed to see what customers and others are saying about you, but now it is imperative to reach way beyond your specific comments or direct messages to effectively “plan and pivot” for every changing day.
Here are a few of the ways you can benefit from a well planned social listening strategy:
- Finding out When you Are Mentioned: when this happens out in the vast digital expanse, it is so very important to know as fast as you possibly can. You can find out if you are gaining popularity and look for trends that correlate with product releases or other news stories about your brand.
- Take Consumer’s General Temperature: using social listening can clue you into if there is positive or negative buzz out there regarding what you’re offering. It’s not just prescriptions, cosmetics, and foods that have vitals at stake here: anyone with a presence should know what people are saying on the web, even if it might not necessarily be true.
- Catastrophe Preventing Potential: there are so many events you can prevent when you get wind of the shutter a little bit earlier than average. When you use social media listening, you can take care of quality control issues and opinions before things get way out of hand. This can be especially true in the restaurant and delivery businesses.
- Learn More about Who’s Buying: a huge advantage to listening in during customer conversations is to see what inspires and motivates them. Conversations that don’t involve your brand can still provide insight into what traits they are looking for. Even customers that are loyal and satisfied sometimes will bring up what kind of things they want to see from you next when they think you’re not listening.
- Making Strides to Improve Messaging Effect: As social listening provides you with opportunities to gain more knowledge about your customers, you can make a very comprehensive plan for improvement and future development. You can take to heart the challenges, ultimate goals, and dissatisfaction they mentioned to change everything from your copywriting to packaging and do it much faster than you would without this advantage.
- Digital Shining Stars as Brand Ambassadors: as you become more and more focused on social listening, you will find individuals who are incredibly passionate about everything you’re doing! In some cases, it’s going to make perfect sense to ask them to join loyalty or brand ambassador programs, where their adoration for you and their lifestyle can boost your growth.
- Cloak & Dagger Sans Competition: while you are learning in depth about what your customers think about your brand, you’re going to come across other very valuable snippets of information as well. Sometimes it will trickle and sometimes it will flood in, but it’s incredibly beneficial to see what customers think about the competition. When your social listening strategy becomes very deeply engaged, you’ll even be able to uncover the moves your competitors are planning on making.
What are Some of the Best Social Listening Tools?
When we eagerly boot up our laptops and prepare to boost your digital presence here at Farfetched Studios, there are now a good variety of options available for social listening. If your operation is on the smaller side, you might be able to accomplish this task manually. But if your effort involves national or global brands that see many engaging conversations at once, a tool such as one of these along with an expert team will be a great help.
Meta Business Suite is situated directly on their content dashboard, and then under the Mentions and Tags tab. This very useful platform efficiently compiles the mentions and tags across your linked Facebook and Instagram accounts. The tools offered here are a little basic, but you can still use them to measure factors like the topic or the commenter’s sentiment. One of the business suites’ best features is the benchmarking tool, which shows you how competitors are doing while retaining their followers.
Instagram provides a useful mention tool under “notifications”, where there is a filter option in the upper-right corner. Here you can scroll through and review new engagements in detail and save tagged content to an Instagram folder. You can also use Instagram search to monitor relevant hashtags manually, which is a bit more time-consuming but will still offer you vital information about what followers are saying with each separate search.
LinkedIn offers some of the most thorough and practical tools for listening on any platform. It is possible to search for any keyword or hashtag related to your social listing tool and then quickly sort by date. With just a bit of practice, you can even view specific content from certain users or companies to render the results more relevant. LinkedIn also provides competitive analytics that allows you to monitor trending topics and engagement levels on your competitors’ pages. The Trending Competitors Post section is an excellent and straightforward tool that allows you to dig in and see what your competitors are talking about.
TweetDeck offers a good deal of very useful control, wherein you can save searches and add them to various decks to stay up to date. You can monitor competitors by creating dedicated lists of key Twitter accounts and create separate decks for listening. Twitter raises one important advantage over a few other social listening tools in that you can use several decks for separate listening goals.
A Proactive Regimen Armed W/ Results:
If you are using a dedicated social listening tool such as Sprout Social or Meltwater, they are easily accessible on your social listening dashboard. These are excellent tools for collecting data on customer sentiment, your vital mentioned volume, and share of voice. One of the most valuable traits of these tools is that they chart metrics over time, and can help you with changes that will allow you to improve immediately.
A comprehensive and always-poised team of professionals can be of great help for social listening, as an external database with a list of your mentions and hashtags is our top priority. What our team has found after many times implementing the strategy is that customer service needs to be improved, or shipping processes need to be streamlined and more efficient. Once you have a social listening workflow in place, you can gather insights that will help you strengthen your brand and avoid the unproductive distance between you and your target audience.