It is said, if you’re not engaged in social listening, you’re creating your business strategy with blinders on. You’re missing out on mountains of actionable insights from real people talking about you or your industry. So, if you don’t care about social listening, you don’t really care about your customers, and that’s just bad business.
Though listening is not a traditional step, it is an important step while planning, analyzing and measuring brand campaigns. You listen, you track brand mentions and sentiments, and you see how these metrics behave over time. But brands that build value and generate ROI with social media listening go beyond passive tracking – they base their strategy on specific business goals, collect data intelligently, and know how to act in a result-oriented manner.
The goal of social listening is not just to research and identify how consumers perceive a brand on social media but to provide actionable insights as a foundation for impactful campaigns. It is half awareness and half response – with the response part being critical.
Social listening is a great way to know the market, and according to a study recently published by the agency Five by Five, 64% of the people surveyed said they use social listening to support new product development. Furthermore, many companies take advantage of social media to beta test their products and gain feedback to tweak them before fully launching.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of Listening for a new product launch –
1. Helps to build content that compels
The listening tool set to process the social conversations around the topics of your concern, can come back with a precise word cloud of consumer preference, behaviour and grievance. Based on this, you could create beautiful, aptly connecting content pieces that will tell your audience that you know what they are thinking, and you have just what they need.
Intelligence gathered from listening can help your content team develop content, tailor-made for your audience. Listening includes predictive analytics that uses data mining and behavioural research to foretell trends that have the potential to be translated into effective content pieces.
2. Identifying key brand advocates
Social media listening can enable you to profile your existing audience, and look for customers, prospects, partners and potential advocates. You’ll also start identifying key influencers – people who already love your brand and trigger positive sentiments on social media. It’s worthwhile to also monitor which influencers are following and engaging with your competitors.
3. Acting on Consumer-perception which actually is brand-reality
By monitoring important keywords related to your industry, you can start uncovering conversations people are having about products, services, and features that aren’t working for them which you can funnel straight through to your product development team. People tend to go-through product reviews from blog, forums and social media before making a decision on what to purchase. You can’t stop social media users from talking about your company, but you have an opportunity to steer the conversation towards a positive direction. Here listening would play a huge role as it will track conversations about your brand, no matter where they are in the whole world.
4. Measure ROI on marketing campaigns
The measurement of return on investment (ROI) has been a constant challenge. Social media listening ROI needs to be measurable in relation to key business activities such as, informing the best time for a product launch, measuring intent to purchase etc.
Social listening enables brands to monitor the impact that a campaign is having or has had. By learning about what was and wasn’t received well, marketers can optimize future campaigns, streamline operations and save money.
5. Your competition’s business
The smartest brands are the ones whose eyes aren’t just focused on the prize but on those around them. By using social media listening strategies, you can gain so much more than a hunch about your competitors’ tactics.
Listening to competitors helps paint a fuller picture of both positive and negative social media conversations within the industry and provides insights into the content competitors are creating. It’s a lot less painful to learn a hard lesson by watching your competitors make a mistake than by making it yourself. Social monitoring identifies your competitors’ weaknesses as well as their strengths. If you find, for example, that your main competitor has a very strong presence on Facebook but hasn’t done much on Twitter, this may be an opportunity for you to dominate on this platform.
Social listening is an activity that is rich with insights relevant to every area of your business. By keeping tabs on what’s being said about your brand, you can improve your interactions and build a positive brand image on social media, which goes a long way in establishing your brand as a major industry force.
Social listening is required to stay on top of consumers’ shifting preferences and to spot problems early on. With insights from listening, you can turn consumer conversations into knowledge – and let it guide you to become one of their favourite brands.
Listening to conversations around current products can uncover ideas for the development of those products, as well as new product ideas.
Consumers airing their frustrations are common on social media, and may be one of the richest sources for new product development ideas. Analysing conversation types in conjunction with sentiment analysis can quickly surface common issues with the current product. Once you have discovered repeated themes, you can conduct a deeper analysis of each topic to understand the issue in more detail.
When it comes to product launch marketing, social listening offers an effective and inexpensive solution for marketers. Social monitoring is a great way to raise awareness and excitement, build a fan base, and thus develop interest in your product before it even hits the shelves.