Most of us know that a social media presence is all about creating a dialogue through relevant content that will engage your target audience. But similar to real life conversations, social media marketers of today must be equally eager and prepared to listen, as they are to lead the conversation. In the following we will shed light on the benefits you can reap from social listening.
Why should you listen?
Though it is a valued skill in our interpersonal lives, listening is often perceived as a passive process when it comes to social media – when in fact, it is the exact opposite. With an increasingly amount of information retrieved from online channels, listening is indisputably an attribute which has the power to transform online chatter into insights on our target group’s opinion, current trends as well as their wants and needs. Actionable listening should be perceived as an interactive tool that can help prevent negative conversation, which in worst-case scenario could demolish a brand’s image completely. Listening allows you to follow key influencers as well as keep a close watch on your competitors every move. In addition monitoring news platforms will give you an edge and help you spot upcoming trends or even eye out those hot conversational topics as they are actually happening. This will enable you to adapt your campaign to match the moment – wait; did someone say real time marketing? Here’s our guide on how to become the ultimate listener.
1: Listen for more than brand and product names
Your audience may be driving conversation through relevant topics that are linked with your brand but with no specific namedropping. Alternatively you may discover that your brand is mentioned but with misspellings or nicknames. Make sure to always be on the look out for keywords and other valuable information from i.e. competitors. Stay current with any events or happenings that your brand could benefit from.
2: Revealing your brand’s key influencers
Every brand has its own super fans – someone who engages frequently and contributes in creating a positive buzz around your product or company. Try to monitor these interactions by keeping a logbook on which key influencers engage with your brand across multiple channels before you choose your allies.
3: Respond to your audience
Don’t ignore feedback; after all this is what you are listening for in the first place. Be thankful for that there are customers who have felt strongly enough for your brand to voice their opinion out to the world – whether it is a positive or negative comment, social media allows you to communicate with your audience in real-time. Make sure you take advantage of that.
4: Prepare your response
Thinking through the type of feedback you might expect to receive will allow you to discuss your official position with your team before you respond. Bear in mind that you want your response to have a personal feel, rather than replying in a corporate business-like tone. Your tone of voice should go hand in hand with your brand’s image.
5: Collect data – and learn from it
Whatever your goal is, you can always learn from the conversations surrounding your brand. Social listening can produce immediate data from a much larger sample that surpasses the performance of other, more traditional surveys. This is a golden opportunity to improve your online branding efforts so make sure you take advantage of it.