Social Listening. Well, Are You?
Sometimes we get so focused on posting great content, boosting visibility and generating leads that we forget one very important aspect of being a great marketer: listening. We can learn so much about our audience and what they’re looking for if we just tune in and listen. While questionnaires and surveys are effective at gathering opinions and feedback, you don’t have to do anything formal to hear your audience’s voices. Instead, you can engage in something called social listening.
In a nutshell, social listening is reading your audience’s comments on social media so that you can hear what others are saying about you. But there’s more. In order to be effective at social listening, you must act on the discussions.
Benefits to Social Listening
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits to social listening.
- Perceive how others think of your product or service
- Respond to customer problems
- Manage your social reputation
- Improve customer service
- Generate new leads
- Increase sales
- Identify thought leaders and brand advocates
- Keep tabs on the competition
- Encourage more feedback
Becoming a social listener doesn’t require a formal education, so you have no excuse not to start listening today.
The first step in social listening is monitoring, which involves looking at your social channels and reading feedback, comments, suggestions, opinions, etc. about your products, services and brand. This is something that you should do regularly, so think about where you can build it into your schedule.
Once you take part in monitoring, it’s time to join the conversation. Luckily, you can now contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way since you’ve taken the time to read what people are saying and understand their intent. One of the ways you can contribute is by offering help for customers who need it. Others may need more direction or clarity, while others will need you to step in to correct a misunderstanding before other customers are misinformed.
Asking for Feedback
A final way to keep the conversation going is to ask for feedback directly. This shows that your brand does care and that you are listening to what others have to say. Ask customers what they want, what they think and what they like. And be ready for all types of comments. You did ask for it, after all.
Social listening takes time and work, but communication is a two-way street. To be successful, you must be a good listener and a good communicator.