Social media have truly become a phenomenon of an unprecedented scale. It’s a very powerful weapon in the hands of digital marketers. There are plenty of ways to make great use of various social media channels. One of the ways of taking advantage of the power of social media is social listening. Essentially, it’s the practice of monitoring the mentions of your business/product online. This can lead to invaluable insights, improve your knowledge about your brand, help you with building a community, and many more benefits.
What is Social Listening?
There are two steps to social listening. Firstly, you’ll need to use tools to gather mentions of your business online. That’s called media monitoring. Now, social listening goes beyond just that. It consists of analysing the mentions and comments to give you insight and help you draw conclusions. Apart from the mentions, social listening will also provide you with:
- Social media reach – this can help you with assessing how big of an audience a post gets.
- Influencer score – this metric can help you with identifying influencers in your particular niche.
- Sentiment analysis – that’s where the juice’s at. Sentiment analysis tells you whether the mention was in a positive, negative, or a neutral tone. By analysing words and phrases, the software can determine that. While it’s certainly not perfect, it can surely provide you with lots of valuable data.
- Active websites – this tracks the most active sites, which should be the focal point of your marketing efforts.
In which areas can it be utilised?
Social listening has plenty of uses in planning a marketing strategy. It can help you identify the best possible moves that you should make. Social listening should be one of the aspects of your marketing campaigns, too, due to the fact that it provides so much information.
By tracking the online mentions of your competition, you get to know their activity online, what’s their sentiment and compare them to yourself. This is perhaps the biggest advantage of social listening. Any marketer knows how important it is to have an understanding of your competition’s strategies and credibility. Moreover, it’s a great way of finding new opportunities for participating in roundups, media coverage, getting backlinks, or guest posting. If your competition managed to get there, then why can’t you?
Social listening is one of the aspects that can help you build your brand awareness. By knowing exactly what your customers expect of you by engaging with them, you build trust and, ultimately, a loyal community. Now, another thing building brand awareness is tracking topics and hashtags associated with your niche. Then, it’s as easy as engaging the people who post under those hashtags. Quora is a great way to build brand awareness as well. By tracking questions that are connected with your business and answer them quickly, you get to build lots of awareness and credibility. These questions often have more than 5K views, so it’s a ripe, low-hanging fruit for you to pick.
Here, you can assume that a businessman is looking for the answer on how SEO can benefit him. Now, there are plenty of ways you can market yourself here. Apart from only answering his question, you can plug your business, if you’re an SEO agency, in this case. Such questions are being posted daily and for virtually any industry.
Customer Feedback and Engagement
By tracking the mentions of your brand on social media, you get to interact with your customers. Whether you reply to their concerns, thank them for their praises or respond to negative comments, your presence does count. Furthermore, with media monitoring, you get invaluable feedback as to what works and what doesn’t. Engaging with your customers makes you come across as active and invested.
By following the mentions, you can quickly respond to various blunders on social media. Things like that are bound to happen, as everybody makes mistakes. Sometimes you can even find issues with your product or service via social media before you can spot them yourself. By looking at changes in the sentiment of the mentions allows you to react quickly to any PR mistakes.
Building relationships becomes much easier with social listening. Having a healthy community and being responsive is key to generating more leads. Your potential customers want their problems solved and engaging them with a solution is what usually does the trick. For example, on Twitter, there are plenty of people who ask for a recommendation of a particular service or product. Why not market yourself there? Don’t hesitate with reaching out and proving that you’re the solution to their problems.
Recognizing Your Niche’s Influencers
Sometimes it’s tricky to find influencers, especially at particularly small niches. Monitoring your niche’s keywords lets you identify who the most prominent influencers in the industry are. If you see them talking about your competition and, for example, praising them, reach out. Make an effort to connect and show that your product/service is worth their while to check out. Influencers provide an incredibly powerful impact on your marketing efforts. Your regular customers look up to them for guidance most of the time.
Social listening is definitely a powerful tool in the arsenal of any marketer. Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, social media usage is skyrocketing. I believe that taking advantage of social listening is a must for any aspiring digital marketer. If you’re using any task management software, be sure to allocate plenty of time for social listening analysis.