Not to be confused with Social Monitoring, the act of Social Listening is a way of using your social channels to gain valuable insights from your customers and implement your findings through responses and evolving social strategy. In more simple terms, Social Monitoring is keeping track of conversations and mentions whereas Social Listening means actively getting involved by interacting and seeking out conversations that you may not have been directly tagged in. But why bother with all this? Well, we’ll tell you...
You may think that you don’t need to do Social Listening, you get on fine just through the direct mentions and comments from your fans. You’d be wrong! Here’s why:
1. Customers LOVE brands that engage - In the age of endless ways to get in contact with someone, people just want to know that they’ve been heard but even more than that, they want to know that brands care. Through clever use of Social Listening, you can give well crafted responses that provide value and enhance brand love.
2. Track and tweak your brand strategy - Being ahead of the game is never a bad thing, especially when it can involve a possible scandal or damaging subject.
3. Develop new opportunities - Influencers and business ideas.
4. See how you size up to the competition.
5. Discover new sales leads.
Whether it’s a trending topic, a dedicated brand tag or perhaps a generic term that could relate to your business, being reactive to hashtags helps to create a responsive feel to your brand.
Anything you think your customers might be writing about are crucial things to look for when social listening. It could help you intervene in situations that have the potential to escalate at an earlier stage or find some great feedback that you may not have been tagged in.
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is a smart move. Don’t copy their strategy but let what they’re doing help to shape yours.
These will be different for everyone but some examples of VIPs you could consider are businesses you partner with, local charities or even members of your team. By keeping an eye on their social posts you can react to them or even share them to give your feed more heart and personality.
Making sure you have a platform that allows you to do social listening effectively is crucial. ‘TweetDeck’ is a free social listening site that is run by Twitter, making it perfect to use - you can also schedule tweets too! Content scheduling platforms such as Sprout Social also have built in social listening tools that are very useful, keeping all your content in one place. Do a bit of research to find what would work best for you and their value for money.
There’s no point just flitting in and out with this. For it to be worth doing, consistency is key and by keeping on top of it you won’t find the task so daunting when it comes to scrolling through your results.
The best thing that can come out of this is ROI or brand love, chime into relevant conversations, create some reactive content to a current Twitter trend and most importantly, find those conversations that you should know about, even though you haven’t been tagged.