Maintaining a solid reputation on social media has become more important for brands than ever before. With ratings, reviews and customer feedback becoming the centre of attraction, a positive social media presence is all that a brand can ask for. That’s why businesses are turning towards social listening and monitoring to check the pulse of their audience, their interactions with the brand and get valuable insights through audience research.
Here’s more about social media listening and social media monitoring.
What is social listening?
Social media listening is keeping tabs on what is being said about your brand, product or service, company and team or a keyword relevant to your business on social media channels and using this data to gain insights to create a suitable action plan.
We can say that social media listening is a 2-way process-
First, you monitor all social media channels and see who is saying what about your brand or a trending keyword/topic that is relevant to your business.
Second, you collate the data and analyze how you can use this data as an opportunity to build something big. This part plays an important role because your activity will define your overall brand positioning.
So, what’s social media monitoring?
Social media monitoring is a subset of social media listening. It’s basically the first part of social media listening that we discussed above. It helps-
- Measure the engagement level of the audience on your social media posts and through various activities.
- Collect customer feedback, responses and mentions and create an engaging response.
- Keep a note of how the audience perceives your brand as well as competitor brands.
- Allocate appropriate budget to your paid social media activities
- Prove the value of your social media activities by mentioning the exact ROI
All in all, social media monitoring tells you what has already happened. Just like data analysis.
Social media listening tells you what to do next on the basis of what has already happened. Just like data science.
Social media listening helps identify customer sentiment too
Reviewing customer sentiment is a key part of social media listening. It helps you understand how your audience and other social media members feel about your brand. With this, you get an upper hand on how you want to create a positive impact with an appropriate response to customer comments.
Take a look at this-
How do you think Connie is feeling right now? What do you think other bride-to-be’s would be feeling 109 days before their wedding?
It’s a simple and plain gesture with which you respond to such tweets or mentions on social media. You can choose to not respond to it but it’s always better to build a connection and a relationship with the audience.
Moreover, you become aware of negative comments as well, if any, and make improvements wherever necessary. As a result, you are always looking forward to how you want to devise a new social media strategy to stay ahead of the curve.
Social media listening can help you improve your customer service. Read more about it here.
Importance of social media listening
Social media listening has now become a crucial part of the marketing automation strategy for every business. If you haven’t yet included social media listening to your marketing strategy, then you might be missing out on a bulk load of important insights.
2019 recorded close to a whopping 3.5 billion social media users. It’s a 9% growth from last year and now you can only imagine what the numbers would be in 2020.
Customer engagement doesn’t start and end at engaging with customers on your social media handles. It is about taking a deep look at what customers are talking about the topics that are relevant to your business. It’s also about being aware of industry keywords and buzzwords that attract user attention and hook them.
For example, let’s say you are the business owner of an automobile industry and F1 race is just about to begin. So, you can leverage this event and share posts on your social media handles. You can also keep close tabs on what customers are saying on other platforms and leverage this data to engage with them more!
Change is the only constant and social media shows us Live examples of that.
In less than a minute something quirky goes viral, stays like that for days and then loses its charm. On the other hand, something extremely unique and meaningful gets recognition at a later generation. (Bob Marley will turn in his grave.)
So, times change and so do social media trends. Social media listening helps you keep track of these changing trends and modify your communication accordingly.
Although every social media handle gives you useful insights like this-
However, as a business you need deeper real-time insights to create meaningful engagement with your audience. You have to know the exact time, location, gender, company, intent, etc., behind every user action. This is how you go the extra mile to create engaging content and marketing campaigns for users.
Learn from your competition
It’s good to win a battle but it’s great to win the final war. And to win the war you can never think less of your competitors. Social media listening helps you exactly with that.
Since you and your competitors are targeting a similar set of audience, using a similar set of keywords and sharing articles about common topics, it’s best to keep tabs on their social media activities.
This way you can create your own marketing strategy that is at par or better than what they are doing. When you share unique content that is better than that of your competitors, it’s a sure shot win for you as well as your customers.
Be the first to become a problem solver
Staying active on social media helps you stay on top of all activities. The minute you find a hashtag that is trending or a problem that your audience is worried about, take advantage of this situation and be the first one to solve the problem.
You will find a lot of your competitors and other businesses talking about the problem but this will give you an opportunity to rise as the Hero! The true problem solver..
Identify influencers through social media reach outs
Social media monitoring will help you identify powerful influencers who have great influence on your target audience.
Reaching out to them or requesting them to talk a bit about your brand and your company will help you create a greater impact because your audience will be more hooked. There’s more trust when an already established person sends out a message.
With social media listening and monitoring you will be able to find out if an influencer is already talking about your brand. Or if any influencer is talking about a competitor. It gives you all sorts of insights.
Generate new leads
Social media listening is one of the many important lead generation tools.
Just to be clear, we do not encourage companies to peep into private customer conversations or interactions that are not relevant to your company. But yes, if a user is talking about your brand or keywords relevant to your brand, it is always a good practice to reach out and make your presence felt.
A lot of users appreciate it, especially when they are seeking a solution to a specific problem. And if you’re the one solving it before any of your competitors, you’ve earned a genuine lead!
Tips to master social media listening
Mastering social media listening takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Take a look at the following tips and see how you would like to get started with your own social strategy.
Identify your target audience and listen to what they are talking about
Listening is a key skill in marketing. It is crucial to listen to what your customers have to say and what is it that they are looking for.
Festivals, holidays, events and famous occasions are the best times to engage with your audience because they are definitely going to tweet or share an insta post about it.
Tesla created an absolutely sensational insta video for its audience. Surely, the viewers must have been booked right from the beginning of the video. Tesla captured the essence of Halloween and totally nailed it with its plan for social media marketing!
Learn from what data tells you
It’s good to track data and metrics from the beginning and right till the end. However, don’t just stop there. You have an important action to take after you recover this data because that’s why you collected it in the first place.
If you don’t take action, then it would only mean that you are focusing on social media monitoring. Take the extra leap, focus on taking action from the data that you collect.
Keep a close eye on your competition
You learn a lot from your competitors so keep a close eye on what campaigns they are working on. Just like you, they too want to be industry leaders and that’s why it’s important to know what they are upto.
It could be a case where they think of something totally unique but you figure out a way to do it better. That’s why social media monitoring helps you find out these ‘unique’ ideas and social listening empowers you to take necessary action.
Be ready for instant changes
Social media monitoring and listening gives you real-time data and analysis. At times there is definite consistency but there are other times in which you have to take immediate action. It requires great amount of presence of mind and social listening will help you get there.
There’s a lot more that you can do with social media listening and monitoring. You only have to get started to uncover multiple tips, tricks, hacks and growth strategies.
Social media has a large pool of potential customers that you must conquer. Once you do, you will see how less hectic it is to manage and engage this pool of target audience through technology, marketing automation and social media listening.