Social listening has become a powerful tool for marketers. The ability to listen to conversations happening around your brand allows you to gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour.
This information helps you better understand your audience and build stronger relationships through their preferred social media channel.
Social media listening tools (aka social media monitoring tools) allow you to monitor social media platforms such as Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. and listen to real-time online conversations taking place around your brand or competitors. These tools also provide real-time analytics and detailed social media report that enables you to measure the success of your social media campaigns and improve your social media strategy.
There are several ways to implement social listening strategies. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method and give you some ideas on choosing the best approach for your brand.
In a recent chat with a potential client, I asked them what social listening strategy they used.
I realised that even though they were active on social; they didn’t have a strategy. All that the client was doing concerning their social media post was a hit-or-miss affair.
Social media is here to stay. So having your social media marketer or social media customer service team adopt the right social listening strategy is key to growing your brand in our digital age.
The importance of social listening prompted me to write this article to explain what you need to do. So without further delay, let’s get started.Social media listening and social media monitoring are terms used interchangeably, but there's a subtle difference. Click To Tweet
Table of Contents
What is Social Listening?
According to this definition,
Social listening will help you identify trends you can use to grow your business.
Social media listening and social media monitoring are terms used interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference. Social media monitoring is about identifying all the likes, comments, shares, etc., related to your brand, etc.
Social listening takes social monitoring to greater heights. With social listening, you can discover industry trends and use these trends to build strategies and tactics.
Why You Need Social Listening
Proper social listening will help you identify and address:
An existing or potential customer or other social media users, either online or offline, can make claims about their experience with your brand. An appropriate social listening strategy will help to highlight these complaints. Then you can take steps in reputation management to address these complaints adequately.
Customers compliment your brand, not always in your presence or as a testimonial. Sometimes these compliments are made behind your back. But with a robust social listening strategy in place, you’ll be able to fish out such compliments.
Then, thank the person (where appropriate) for sharing a positive experience with your brand. Taking the time to appreciate customer feedback might even help you win more clients over to your brand.
Social listening will also help you discover backlinks to your site or content. These types of backlinks are invaluable in helping you find out content your customers like. You can then produce more of that type of material.
Re-tweets and Mentions
It’s a good practice to note re-tweets and mentions. Knowing the source of these retweets and mentions on social will help you identify your advocates. Reach out to thank them and build stable business relationships with them.
Doing so will also make it possible for you to seek their help in the future. For example, when promoting any new content or product idea, you’ve made that appeal to your advocates’ followers.
Social listening will also help you discover conversations where people have questions and concerns about you. Hearing these conversations allows you to address these questions promptly. Some of our followers like to pose questions directly to us on their preferred platform.
Their questions sometimes form the basis of new content we create. For instance, one of our followers on X (Twitter) posted a question. The answers to the question formed the basis of a blog post. You can learn more about this here.
When You Need Social Listening
Having a robust social listing strategy in place 24/7 is ideal as part of your overall business strategy. An excellent social listening strategy is not to miss any mention of your brand in any social conversation. It can lead to a new customer or an opportunity to address a complaint. An excellent social listening strategy does not mean that you’re on your computer 24/7.
There are powerful social listening tools available these days that you can invest in. I don’t like to mention specific products here on my blog. Instead, I leave such recommendations to my one-on-one consultation sessions with my clients.
Over the years, I’ve seen some great tools come and go. And like I usually tell my clients, it’s not the tool in particular that matters. The skill of the person wielding it makes all the difference.
Contact us if you want to know some tools we use and recommend.
Use @yourbrandname (replace ‘yourbrandname’ with your actual brand name) in search fields. This is a direct mention of your brand, product name, a real person or a key person in your organisation. It may be a negative or positive mention. On social platforms like X (Twitter), etc., this can show you the results of users who mentioned your brand. And don’t forget to use common misspellings of your brand name too. But this method alone will not give you the complete picture!
Only a tiny percentage of users on social media talking about your brand will use this method.
Another way you can listen for mentions of your brand on social is to use hashtags, i.e. #yourbrandname (replace ‘yourbrandname’ with your actual brand name). This method and the at-mention method above are the two most simple and most popular methods.
Brands use these methods for social listening and customer engagement.
Most social media platforms allow users to use the above two methods for social listening. However, these two methods alone don’t give you the complete picture. To get the big picture of your brand mentions on social media, you must aggregate.
Use the above methods together with standalone mentions of your brand, i.e., mentions of your brand without using the @ and # symbols.
Standalone + Location:
Using the standalone method above and mentioning your location also helps to yield better results.
This way, you will weed out any brand mentions similar to yours. But not within the exact location. Removing identical brand names makes your social listening more accurate to your brand alone.An excellent social listening strategy does not mean that you're on your computer 24/7. There are significant social listening tools available these days that you can invest. Click To Tweet
How Do You Develop a Social Listening Strategy?
Social listening is the process of monitoring conversations about your company or product on any social media networks such as Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, YouTube, and other online sources, etc. The goal is to understand what people think about your business and how they talk about it. This information can from social media conversations be used to create new strategies for your business. You need to adopt a social listening platform with a robust analytic feature for best results.
What Are the Steps in the Social Listening Process?
The social listening process should be a cyclical one. Once you’ve conducted your research and found the questions that need answering, you can then extract insights from the data to learn and understand your audience better. Then, once you’ve taken action on those findings, you can go back to the beginning and start all over again.
The steps in the social listening process are as follows:
– Identify an issue about your product, service or brand that you want to know what people are saying about it on social media. Set up your desired tool and define the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to gauge your efforts to resolve the issue.
– Find out who is talking about the issue on social media. Depending on your chosen social network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), do thorough research using search operators and sentiment analysis to identify relevant conversations and influencers talking about the issue.
– Follow people who talk about it on social media. (This will help you listen to them and understand how they think.) Track brand mentions across all online channels, including social media, review sites, forums and blogs.
– Using various measurement and analytics tools, analyse their tweets, posts, reviews and comments to gauge your performance and extract insights to optimise marketing strategy.Most social media platforms allow users to use the above two methods for social listening. Click To Tweet
What Is a Social Listening Tool?
A social listening tool is a software application that allows users to search for keywords and phrases in various social networks such as X (Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Social listening tools enable marketers to discover what people say about their brands, competitors, and products. They also provide insights into how customers feel about a product or service.
The Next Steps
Using all four methods mentioned above will help you get a complete picture of your brand. Combining all these four methods is what proper social listening is all about.
Doing social listening is not easy. A lot of social media managers rely on tools to automate the process.
Tools yield more accurate results and reports. Using excellent social listening tools is ideal for best results.
Adopting a comprehensive social listening strategy and tactics will help you discover potential negative impressions. Either from existing or potential customers of your brand.
A robust social listening strategy gives you a chance to address any issues before they blossom into something more embarrassing for you.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews of their experience with your brand on social platforms. Reviews will help to create an awareness of your brand. They will also spur your staff to give customers the best experience they can with your brand.
It may also provide new social media content creation ideas on your social channel to boost your online presence, social media presence and meet your business goal. It may even help you discover a valuable social media influencer you can collaborate with to promote your brand.Removing identical brand names makes your social listening more accurate to your brand alone. Click To Tweet
Social media has become a source constantly being monitored by businesses for any social mention of the brand, product or service. Every day, companies are trying to collect relevant data related to their consumers. Social listening is an essential tool for any company to be more effective in its marketing strategies, customer experience and customer satisfaction. It helps companies make sense of the web and its variety of information, primarily directly related to them.
Social media is a great place to increase visibility, gather feedback and build relationships with your audience. It is invaluable for evaluating the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts and brand awareness. It can also direct audience flow toward your business website and drive sales. This article has mentioned several little-known steps to create a successful social listening strategy for your brand. Try these out and see what changes you can make regarding increased traffic and sales on your website.
So what makes social listening work? First, you have to do it consistently. There’s an adage that says, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” The same applies when building a social listening strategy — if you want to be heard and make an impact, don’t outsource the task to someone who doesn’t understand your brand and its objectives. Consider outsourcing it to a reputable agency like Mauco Enterprises.
The key to social listening is to analyse and segment your data. From there, you can decide which data points are the most accurate representations of your target audience and focus your efforts around those data points. This will allow you to spend more time testing and refining your social media marketing campaigns instead of getting constantly overwhelmed by the amount of content to process.
Most businesses are not even aware of the possibilities of social listening, and therefore they can’t find to get value out of social media. To summarise, social media listening: If you want to be successful at it, it’s essential to understand the medium you are using.
In short, building a proper social media monitoring strategy takes time, but it’s time well spent. You can’t take any shortcuts, or else you may end up taking a misstep and get nothing out of the strategy at all.
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