Why Location-Based Social Listening is Critical for Your Business
Thursday 21st April 2022by Beth Perrin
Why Location-Based Social Listening is Critical for Your Business
Thursday 21st April 2022
Social Listening, a key part of Community Management, is a highly valuable activity that often gets overlooked. It refers to the process of monitoring specific words and topics online that relate to your business and industry, as well as indirect mentions, so that you can see what’s being said publicly about your brand even when it hasn’t been tagged. Not only does this give you an overview of how your brand is perceived on social media, it also enables you to join relevant conversations that are taking place among users and introduce yourself to potential newcomers.
However, your Social Listening strategy doesn’t have to be limited to just keywords and phrases. For location-based businesses - especially those in the travel and tourism industry - geotags are another important element to keep an eye on. These are the geographical locations you often see beside or below a person’s username on a post on social media (or as a sticker on a Story). When you click or tap on a geotag, you’ll be taken to a page where you can see all of the posts that have been tagged there, and on some platforms, a map displaying where it is.
On Instagram in particular, posts tagged with a location receive 79% more engagement than those without, so if your business isn’t yet taking advantage of this simple but effective feature, you’re missing out on huge opportunities for interaction, audience analysis and community growth!
Geotagging is available on the following social platforms:
• Facebook (known as ‘Checking in’)
Location Monitoring: a Case Study
First and foremost, location-based Social Listening can fill in the gaps where the specific keywords you’ve chosen to track haven’t been used in relevant content, helping you pick up even more social media posts about your brand or industry that would have otherwise slipped through the net.
Here’s a great example, which, despite now being 10 years old, still demonstrates the true value of location-based Social Listening. During the 2012 London Olympics, digital media and consulting company Convince & Convert conducted an experiment to find out what would be the most efficient way to observe all of the content being posted about an event of this scale - standard keyword monitoring, location-based monitoring or a combination of the two.
Naturally, the words and phrases they chose to track included “olympics” and “London 2012”, as well as the #London2012 hashtag. Then, they used a location-based analytics platform to create virtual perimeters around 34 Olympic locations, before gathering geotagged content from 5 different sources: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and Picasa. The data they collected throughout the experiment’s 2 week duration revealed that:
• Around 170,000 geotagged posts were shared at the 34 locations
• 69% of them did not contain their target keywords
• Many geotagged Instagram and Flickr photos didn’t contain a caption at all
Therefore, without a location-based Social Listening strategy, more than 115,000 posts originating directly from Olympic venues would have been difficult to find (or missed entirely!).
Find New Keywords to Track
Another great advantage of location-based Social Listening is that it can reveal new words and phrases that your business had not previously thought to track, such as slang terms, abbreviations and colloquialisms like “Maccies” for McDonalds, “Sainos” for Sainsburys and “Marks and Sparks” for Marks & Spencer. You might notice a common trend of users sharing posts at your location which include a keyword or nickname you weren’t aware of, but thanks to the content being geotagged, you now know that this word is relevant to your business and can subsequently add it to your listening strategy.
Similarly, location monitoring can bring new competitors to your attention - for example, a geotagged post from a visitor which says something along the lines of “I’m at [your location] - it’s very similar to [competitor location] but a little more pricey!” These new brand references and competitor names can then be incorporated into your set of tracked keywords, so you can keep tabs on what they are offering to their own audiences, enabling you to stay one step ahead.
Location-based Social Listening isn’t just useful for collecting data and thanking guests once they’ve returned home - it also provides the opportunity to interact with customers while they’re still in your establishment or local area. 97% of Millennials post on social media while travelling (and 75% of them post at least once a day during their holidays!), so keeping an eye on your own geotag, as well as those for your town or city, will allow you to connect with visitors in real-time.
For instance, if you’re a restaurant owner, tracking generalised keywords such as “restaurant”, “hungry” and “food” will bring up a very broad spectrum of results from users all over the world, which won’t be of much use to your location-based business. However, when paired with location monitoring, these results will be narrowed down to your area specifically, meaning you can jump in, strike up conversations and invite prospective diners to pay you a visit while they are nearby.
Finding and collecting UGC (User-Generated Content) is another huge benefit of location-based Social Listening. Regularly checking your geotag, predominantly on visual platforms like Instagram, will allow you to build a bank of photos and videos taken at your location or in the surrounding area, which you can then repurpose into posts for your own page. Just remember to ask permission first before downloading other users’ content, and always make sure to tag and/or credit the original poster when sharing their media.
86% of people (and 92% of Gen Z) say they’ve become interested in a specific place after seeing UGC about it, so it’s a highly influential tool for enticing new customers to visit your business. Plus, sharing guests’ content makes them feel special and valued, creating a sense of collaboration and involvement with your brand. In fact, 51% of customers agree that they’re more likely to continue engaging with a business if it shares their videos, photos or posts on social media.
It’s worth noting that location-based monitoring shouldn’t completely replace your regular keyword monitoring. These two processes complement each other perfectly, so make sure to use them alongside each other in order to yield results that are broad enough to catch everything you need, but still refined enough to be relevant. If you need a helping hand from a dedicated team of Community Management experts, check out our Social Listening service to learn how we can track all of the content that’s being posted about your business, pick up any potential PR issues before they gain traction and connect with prospective customers to grow your community.
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