If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, did it really make a sound? The answer is very similar to that if someone complained about your brand on a platform that you’re not on, did they really complain? (Hint: The answer is yes!) The most dangerous thing a brand can do is to not practice Social Listening.
What is social listening?
Social listening is the practice of monitoring social media channels and the web for mentions of terms that are relevant to your brand (brand name, competitors, products, etc.)
Why is this important you ask?
Besides the fact that you’ll be aware of issues that might be arising and can curb them before it becomes something bigger? Well practicing social listening can have you stumble upon happy, perspective, and unsatisfied customers that leave you with an opportunity to see what is working for your brand and what your customers are left wanting. Doing so can either direct focus or shift brand strategy overall, based on what is resonating with users.
What are some of the uses of Social Listening?
Generating new leads
- By monitoring keywords that relate to the problem your brand solves or that have to do with your competitor’s product.
- After identifying potential customers, reach out to them to pitch your product, offer a demo, or see what their expectations are.
Attract a new customer base
- Search terms that your buyer persona might search when researching a product or problem that your brand solves.
- Join in on conversations, offer your expertise or service on the topic, remain genuine in your interactions.
Find out where your fans are
- Do you know where people talk about your brand or product? Where the community support is? Who knows, it could be reddit or Twitter, or maybe even a Facebook group. It might be worth knowing what people are saying about your brand and if there are any gaps
Find influencers and brand advocates
- Who’s raving about your product or who do people turn to for expertise in your industry? Have you done the work to identify these influencers? If so, build those relationships! Get them on your side or introduce them to your brand if they don’t know already.
- I can honestly say, I’m guilty of a Twitter rant or two. While I was highly unhappy with the brand, I decided not to @ them, but to my surprise they still saw my tweet and reached out to fix the issue.
- Social listening gives you the opportunity to see what users are saying about your brand, whether it’s positive or negative, it gives you a chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one or see what they loved about it.
- While you could conduct market research and get answers on what the next big thing should be. Why not just listen to your customers and their conversations, there is nothing more honest than a Twitter Rant or Rave.
How do you get started?
Cool, so you know what social listening is and its function. Now, where do you start? Below I’ve listed some free options to help get you started.
- Set up Google Alerts for your brand name, products, services, competitors, and any keywords you want to track. Similar to Google Search, you’ll get results showing up in your inbox for these terms and will be able to see what’s happening on the inter-webs.
- Keep an eye on what’s trending, if it’s relevant to your industry, if there is seasonality to your product or your competitors. It can also be a wonderful tool for discovering other terms that you should add to your list to monitor.
- Use this site to track what people are saying about your brand or services. Be sure to set up your feed and get email notifications to stay up to date on what consumers are talking about.
- I love Twitter search! You’re already on the social network, which makes it easier to join in on the conversation. Twitter, while it lets you search for accounts or topics, you can take your listening further by focusing in on a certain location, or adding users to your list to keep track of what they’re saying (Use for influencers)
Now that you know enough to be dangerous, get out there and start seeing what people are saying about your brand. If you have any questions or need help on getting your brands social listening up or what the next step might be, contact us!