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Listening is a skill that is all too often overlooked in today’s world. This fact is even more apparent when you look out at the sea of social media. With so many brands, businesses, and content creators vying for consumer attention, it appears that authentic listening has become a mere relic of the past.
But what if that’s not true? What if the methods of listening have shifted to meet the demands of the modern world? If you’re looking to improve your social media strategy, then you’re going to have to learn how to listen in a new way.
What Does Social Listening Mean?
Social listening refers to the process of analyzing technical reports of your social media profiles. With a comprehensive social listening strategy, you’re looking at everything from brand mentions, comments, hashtags, and locations. Data pulled from your social media profiles provides valuable insights on brand perception and customer engagement. Social listening illuminates everything from trends in replies to new followers and the success of your calls to action.
Proper social listening allows you to improve your brand reach and influence to create long-lasting business success. Besides, social listening gives you the insights you need to tweak your strategy and output. Any business active on social media in the modern-day should be using social listening as an integral part of their social media strategy. But why is it so important?
Genuine Social Listening Leads to Genuine Engagement
How many times have you seen businesses on social media not interacting with their followers? There is nothing worse than a cold, faceless entity posting to social media with no human touch. While there are many ways to combat this in your social media usage, implementing genuine social listening is one of the best strategies.
If you’ve ever wondered why your social media profiles aren’t receiving the kind of engagement you want, then it’s a good idea to start listening. As in face to face conversation, there is no overstating the value of genuine listening. The same applies to the social media landscape. As brands and businesses flood social media platforms, it’s easy to forget that these platforms are still being used by other human beings with a need to be heard.
A perfect example of genuine listening leading to real engagement lies in the application of social media listening when rolling out a new campaign or call to action. Sure, you can simply post your campaign and wait for responses. Depending on the nature of your brand or product, you may experience some mild success with this approach.
But it’s far more preferable to analyze consumer reactions to your campaign. How many people are commenting and replying? Furthermore, why are they engaging with one piece of content rather than another? Using social listening tools to analyze this kind of data allows you to understand your audience and craft future campaigns better to meet their needs.
Social Listening Provides Value to Current Followers
While many businesses view social media as a way to garner new attention, you should never overlook the importance of providing value to your current followers. It may be alluring to watch your numbers rise, but you should always remember that your core customers are the ones who will support you through good times and bad.
Appeasing your current followers with social media listening is an excellent way to ensure they stick around. Think about it in terms of engagement. What kinds of people are commenting most on your posts and campaigns? Are their comments trending toward a specific theme or subject?
Asking the right kinds of questions creates valuable knowledge around your engagement on social media. Listening to your followers shows you, with clarity, what types of complaints are most common, and what you can do to improve in future iterations. Real listening also reminds you of what people love about your business, brand, or product. This type of involvement is a necessary prerequisite to creating lasting, positive changes in your social media strategy.
How Can You Use Social Listening?
Different strategies are required for various social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram, for example, offer a wide range of metrics that make analysis quite simple and straightforward. However, when it comes to delving into the nuts and bolts of social listening, there are some tools that make the process much more comfortable.
No social listening checklist would be complete without mentioning Hootsuite. Hootsuite lets you view all your social media channels in one easy-to-use dashboard. The tool also gives you access to additional features such as post scheduling. Add to that the ability to sort conversations by specific criteria such as hashtag and location, and it’s no wonder that so many businesses favour Hootsuite.
As a social listening tool, Hootsuite is quite powerful. The dashboard displays all comments, replies, and mentions of your brand across every social media platform. This gives you the flexibility you need to monitor everything in precise detail. The platform also gives you the chance to respond to each and every mention without the hassle of flipping between social media profiles.
Other popular social listening tools include Sumall.com, Sproutsocial.com, and HubSpot. Regardless of your tools, the key is to use them in a way that provides value to your followers. In doing this, you’re also creating valuable data that you can use moving forward. There has never been a better time for brands to listen and respond to their customers directly. Social listening tools improve your ability to adjust your social media strategy.
Social Media Listening Guides Your Brand’s Future
It’s nearly impossible to get an accurate public perception of your brand without social listening. Social media listening strengthens your long term strategy for analyzing your business perception over time. These types of insights help you guide your future.
The social listening tools discussed above provide trends and data that prove even more valuable with each passing day. Take, for example, a case in which you notice that customers are having trouble with one aspect of your product time and time again. By noticing such a trend, you are able to take customer opinions into account to address the issue in a future update. You can then choose to social media to inform your customers of the change. This further demonstrates your commitment to building a community built on the feedback and authentic communication.
As you can see, social listening is a great way to create a brand that is lively and dynamic rather than impersonal and transactional. But social listening isn’t just great for specific issues. It’s also a productive way to observe more general perceptions of your business. By looking at all the engagements you get across any given period on all social media channels, you can see how customers feel about your brand. Take this a step further by breaking the data down to demographics. For example, you may discover that what a particular demographic says about your product on Facebook is wildly different from the opinions on Twitter.
Social Listening Keeps You Relevant in Your Market
It doesn’t matter how unique your product or service is, and there are always competitors on social media. While many people see this fact as a disadvantage, you can actually leverage competition to create an even better social media strategy. But you have to use social listening correctly. Social listening helps you analyze trends in your market so you can adjust to meet consumer sentiment in a meaningful, timely manner.
The Twitter Trends page is an excellent example of this concept playing out in real-time. If you are keen on your listening strategy, you can monitor Twitter trends to take note of any times that social issues related to your product or service are popping up in the news. You can then see what kinds of engagement these topics are getting. Who is commenting? What are they saying? What is the general public consensus? These kinds of insights keep you relevant in your market. But they’re only possible when you’re committed to listening.
When a much larger competitor rolls out a new campaign, monitoring their social media shows how people are responding. This helps you analyze what kinds of adjustments you may want to make in your own campaigns. With regular tweaking and adjusting, you can make your business more relevant to your customers.
Relevancy also extends to the realm of social media influencers. There is no more significant way to track the up and coming influencers in your industry than to pay attention to social media. Partnering with the right influencers can have an incredible impact on the growth of your business. A unique collaboration with the proper account can lead to untold numbers of new followers and even further engagement.
In conclusion, paying attention and listening to social media has widespread benefits for your brand. Whether you’re looking to attract new business opportunities or strengthen existing connections, it all starts with listening. Get started today and make social listening an integral part of your social media strategy. Nostop.net
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