Social listening is the most effective method for acquiring information on changing trends, behaviors, and customer expectations.
Events such as the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated that social media listening is an essential data source for public relations and marketing professionals. Yet, only 51 percent of marketing executives globally use it.
In 2021, more than 4.26 billion individuals were using social media globally; by 2027, this figure is predicted to reach over six billion. So, this is the right time to leverage the social listening strategy. It allows us to follow what our buyers say about our business across many platforms.
Further, it lets us communicate with our consumer base, understand more about them, and listen to their feedback. Additionally, we may uncover potential new clients and get an insight into our industry or rivals. Social listening must be practical. We must make the best of conversations about our brand and market well to benefit from them.
But how to get started? What are the actionable strategies? We tell all in this blog.
Understanding Social Listening
Social listening, also known as social media listening, is the identifying and analyzing online conversations regarding a business, person, product, or brand.
Internet conversations generate massive amounts of unstructured data. Therefore, a company needs to understand its goals for a social media listening effort.
Moreover, social listening is most beneficial when monitoring online discussions regarding subjects of interest. In addition, businesses will be able to discover what people online are discussing about the following:
- Corporation or brand.
- Products and services.
- Leading players.
- PR and marketing initiatives (press releases, campaigns, hashtags, etc.).
- Business news, trends, and buzzwords.
- Other stakeholders.
However, applying social listening implies that we need to also comprehend the meaning behind the information, as opposed to merely collecting it.
How Are Industries Using Social Listening Strategy
Keeping up with social listening might take much work due to its numerous moving regions. And if we are disorganized in our technique, we may miss out on vital information that could have contributed to our organization’s growth. Here is how various industries implement their social listening strategy and reap its benefits.
Keep scrolling and reading until the end.
1. Understanding the value of social listening
Social listening is gathering customer conversations on social media and analyzing them to get insights and guide business choices.
It is more than simply monitoring sentiment and brand references. It involves using what we hear and learn from digital conversations to enhance the overall brand experience.
Listening should be a component of our social media strategy since it lets us focus on the social interactions that benefit our business the most.
It is also helpful in gathering competitive information. Social listening is ideal for determining the kind of content our competitor is creating and how well it connects with potential customers.
Social listening may be a beneficial form of market research, leading to increased sales, marketing, product development, consumer experience, and engineering. It is because the more knowledge a business gains about how customers perceive it, the more it can focus on offering more value to them.
2. Identify goals
To develop the most effective social listening strategy for a business, it must establish the goals it would like to accomplish with the plan.
since the tools used and the assessment outcomes may vary based on company objectives.
The following departments and functions may benefit from social listening assistance:
- Product design.
- Content marketing.
- Customer support.
- Event management.
- Crisis and standing.
- Sales enablement.
- Lead development.
- Competitive intelligence.
- Audience monitoring.
- Digital marketing.
Social listening also involves communicating with other departments about their difficulties in deciding the best goals to accomplish.
Some businesses want to focus on boosting audience involvement. At the same time, others concentrate on producing excellent content for their clients and prospects.
Another objective may be to increase the number of leads and followers on brand platforms.
There are several advantages for businesses that implement an effective social listening approach, so determining business objectives helps direct strategy and planning.
3. Gain industry insight
Social listening allows us to identify market trends before they become popular. It helps better understand the relevant market’s direction by monitoring hashtags or conversations within the industry. Industry insight can assist businesses in creating or positioning products, content, and an overall message that will be the focal point of discussion as trends emerge.
4. Follow business followers
This is a great starting point for social listening since it involves two aspects that may seem obvious: following followers back immediately. Second, research and search for influencers among those followers. Next, follow them back to understand what they’re communicating. This allows businesses to connect with their audiences’ worlds and view the brand through their eyes. Remember that social listening revolves around understanding the concerns of our audience. Following someone back is the easiest and fastest method to get acquainted with followers.
The next thing is to follow brand followers on all those platforms where they are active. This is because businesses are only active on Instagram and Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that audiences are only active on these platforms. Most individuals are engaged on several social media networks. Go where the business audience is, even on Snapchat. Upon landing, observe their behavior and habits. It might be a chance to learn anything about followers or to promote the brand on a new platform—a win-win scenario.
5. Using a social listening tool
Companies are serious about maximizing their social listening strategy and use solutions that facilitate monitoring.
These solutions allow teams to monitor keywords, subject areas, and mentions in a single place, which helps make social listening far more efficient.
6. Creating an engagement plan
Once businesses have set their goals and procedures for observing conversations, they will need a strategy for responding and engaging on social media. Moreover, the most valuable element of a social listening strategy is that they will get real-time updates that allow them to reply immediately and join discussions as they occur.
Customers like brands that engage in dialogue with them or react to their concerns. 76% of US customers anticipate a response within 24 hours of their social media contact. 13% want a response within the first hour. Moreover, responsive and proactive brands on social media inspire confidence and provide a more real and holistic customer experience. Having the tools and systems to participate in discussions quickly and effectively can increase brand loyalty and business sentiment.
7. Measure results
Reporting may aid in demonstrating the efficacy of social listening activities. We can measure and evaluate engagement, conversation volume, mentions, opinions, and reaction time, among other metrics. We can also consider any influencer discussions that may be occurring regarding our brand when measuring brand awareness via mentions.
By monitoring our performance, we can change our efforts and maximize the value we deliver to consumers and prospects.
8. Applying what is learned
The application of social listening makes it more impactful. Social listening may help better place our goods and services by uncovering new questions, problems, and interest areas.
Using a social listening approach, content marketers may generate more relevant content for their audiences. Recruiting teams may utilize these discussions to discover the perks and values that are most important to candidates. This might contribute to the enhancement of our employer brand and talent stream.
Social listening presents companies with several potentials if used properly. Using the appropriate tools and a social listening strategy, we can capitalize on real-time discussions and trends to significantly influence brand image and performance.
Why a Social Listening Strategy Is So Important
We miss out on critical business-building data if we don’t have a social listening strategy. Yet, after implementing our process, we will better understand what our consumers and followers are saying about us and what they desire.
Thus, we may use social listening insights for a wide variety of commercial use cases, including:
- Identifying new supporters (customers and employees).
- Identifying more possible sales opportunities.
- Engaging and delighting clients through several mediums.
- Follow competitors and examine their social media postings.
- Anticipate and avoid brand issues and unfavorable brand sentiment.
Instead of assuming things about the desires and requirements of our consumers, social listening enables us to hear what consumers are saying. People are used to sharing their thoughts openly, so it should be no surprise that they do so with the brands they deal with regularly. Social listening is not limited to only monitoring metrics. It involves understanding what our consumers and future customers want from us and how we can better meet their demands. We must analyze patterns and trends over time instead of relying solely on individual comments. These broad insights may have the most influence on our future approach.