Reputation Defenders

What Is Social Listening?

What Is Social Listening?
Amy Bess
Reputation Defenders Team
11 min
Reputation

What Is Social Listening & Why Is It Important?

Social listening is one of the most effective ways to monitor what people say about your brand online. By tracking mentions of your brand across multiple platforms, you can gain insight into how customers perceive your products and services. This information helps you identify opportunities to improve customer experience and increase sales.

In addition to monitoring mentions of your brand, you can use social listening to find potential problems with your marketing efforts. For example, if someone posts something negative about your product or service, you can respond quickly to address the issue.

Why Is Social Listening Important?

Social listening is monitoring your brand's social media accounts for any customer feedback and direct mentions of your brand, then analyzing what people say about your brand or industry and acting on those opportunities.

Customer service social listening is different because your goal is to better serve your customers through understanding how people are talking about your products or services online, responding to customers who directly mention your brand, and collecting feedback that helps you improve your processes to serve your customers best.

Social Listening vs. Social Monitoring

Social listening is a broad term used to track social media conversations about brands, products, and companies. This includes everything from monitoring Twitter hashtags to looking for mentions of competitors' names.

On the other hand, social monitoring focuses specifically on a campaign or keyword. For example, it could include monitoring tweets that mention a certain product or hashtag.

The difference between the two is important because each one serves different purposes. Social listening helps marketers understand what people are saying about their brand, while social monitoring provides insight into how consumers feel about a particular topic.

4 Reasons to Start Using Social Listening

Social listening is one of those things you either love or hate. If you're like me, you may fall somewhere in the middle. I'm unsure how often I've had someone tell me, "I don't do social media." But people understand why it's important once we start discussing social media.

The truth is social media isn't just another marketing channel. It's a way to listen to customers and prospects. You'll learn much about your target audience by watching what they say about your brand online. And you'll find out where they have problems and frustrations. This information helps you identify pain points and opportunities to improve your products and services.

Here are reasons to start using social listening today:

1. Understand Your Audience Better

When you know what your customers want, you can better serve them. For example, let's say you sell lawnmowers. Most of your sales happen during certain seasons. So, you decide to make a special offer for springtime buyers. Or you may notice that women buy more mowers than men. Based on this insight, you could develop a new product feature that makes your mower easier for women.

2. Identify Opportunities to Improve Products and Services

You can also use social listening to help identify areas where your products and services could improve. You may have noticed that some of your customers needed to realize a warranty was included with their purchase. Or they needed to know the benefits of buying your mower online. By identifying these issues, you can take steps to address them.

Why is social listening important for brands?

Social media platforms are fantastic tools for connecting with potential customers. However, knowing how much information we need to take advantage of those connections often takes a lot of work. Social listening lets us listen in real time to conversations happening online. We can determine what our customers think about our products and services without asking them directly.

With social listening, we can learn what consumers say about our brand and competitors, and even better, we can uncover insights into consumer behavior. For example, many people prefer to buy from free shipping companies, while others are willing to pay extra for expedited delivery. This knowledge allows us to tailor our marketing efforts to meet customer needs.

Social media platforms are great tools for connecting with potential customers. However, knowing how much information we need to take advantage of those connections often takes a lot of work. Social listening lets us listen in real time to conversations happening online. We can determine what our customers think about our products and services without asking them directly.

1. Customers like it when brands respond.

Customers want to feel heard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and even Periscope. According to research done by our partners and us, 46% of customers think engaging with your customer base on social media separates a great brand from a good one. And according to Sprout Social, 90% of consumers say that following brands on social media help them decide whether or not to buy something.

But it's more than just responding.

It's about using social listening tools to help you understand how people are talking about you and your competitors. Then, use those insights to craft thoughtful responses that provide real value to your followers.

2. You can keep track of your brand's development.

Social listening helps brands identify potential problems early on. A recent example of a brand facing a scandal is Starbucks. In late 2017, customers noticed that some stores had sold drinks without milk. This caused quite a stir because people needed to realize that Starbucks' espresso drinks are meant to be served hot. As a result, many customers complained about the lack of milk in their coffee.

The issue needed to be resolved quickly enough, but the backlash continued. Some customers posted pictures of their receipts showing that they paid extra for milk. Others claimed it was impossible to buy a coffee without milk.

Starbucks responded by offering free refills and discounts on milk purchases. But some customers still felt that Starbucks needed to do more to address the problem. They took to Twitter to complain about the situation. And while most customers weren't rude, some were. One customer called out Starbucks for being "fake and dishonest," while another tweeted that she wouldn't go into a Starbucks again unless it offered free water.

In addition to the backlash, Starbucks lost sales during the controversy. People stopped buying lattes and cappuccinos altogether. Sales dropped by $1 billion.

By monitoring social media, Starbucks could have seen the scandal's impact before it happened. Instead, the company waited until it was too late to fix the problem.

3. You can discover new opportunities.

Social listening helps you identify potential issues within your business. This includes both internal and external conversations. Customer complaints are one example of an issue that could arise. You might see a spike in negative reviews if someone posts a negative review online. Social listening allows you to track those comments, read them, and respond accordingly.

You can also listen to conversations about your brand and products on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. These conversations can give you insights into what people are saying about your business, products, and services.

For instance, let's say you sell gym memberships. A customer might post something like "I'm excited about my upcoming membership" or "My workout today went well." Both statements provide insight into what the customer thinks about your gym. They're talking about your gym, and you can take advantage of that information.

If you notice a lot of chatter about your gym, you could ask yourself why. Some customers may not be happy with the location or feel like they need to receive more attention from employees. By understanding what customers say about your gym, you can address any concerns before they become big problems.

4. You can increase customer acquisition.

Social media offers many opportunities to target prospects. After all, your followers are not just your loyal customers; they enjoy your content and find it helpful. They are people who are looking for information about your product or service. They are people who like what you do and want to learn more about how you can help them. And they are people who are likely to become your future customers.

In fact, according to HubSpot research, social media accounts for nearly half of all traffic to B2C companies' websites. So, if you have a presence on social media, you're getting all the potential sales. But there's another reason why social media is important: it makes it easy to connect with your audience.

The best way to attract attention is to provide interesting, useful content that gives value to people. This initial attraction gets them to see what else you've got to offer. Then, once they start engaging with your content, you can use social media to turn them into leads and, ultimately, customers.

Social Listening Tips

1. Identify pain points.

Aleh Barysevich is an expert digital marketer based in New York City. He helps companies use data science to build better products and improve customer experience. In addition to his work as a consultant, he runs a blog called Marketing Data Science, where he shares insights into marketing analytics and how it can be used to solve real-world problems.

In an interview with Business Insider, he shared some tips on identifying pain points in your industry or product. Here are three ways to do it:

Ask yourself questions.

Start by asking yourself questions like, "What are my competitors doing?" Or "Why aren't people buying our product?" Ask your customers if you need to know why someone isn't buying your product.

Look at the competition.

To find pain points in your industry, look at your competitors' products and services. You might notice something missing from theirs that could make yours even better.

Use data.

You can use data to uncover pain points in your industry. For example, you can analyze your competitor's sales numbers to determine whether they're growing or shrinking. Then you can compare those figures against your sales numbers to see if you can learn anything.

2. Choose strategic keywords and topics to monitor.

Social listening isn't just about monitoring what people say about your brand; it's about understanding how people talk about it. You want to know what people say about your product, competitors, and even yourself. This helps you understand what customers think about your brand and whether there are any issues that you need to address.

You can use keyword research tools like BuzzSumo to find out what terms people are searching for and then use those terms as keywords to monitor conversations on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. These tools allow you to set up alerts based on specific keywords, hashtags, or phrases.

For example, let's say you sell dog food. If someone posts something about their dog eating too much, you can see that and respond accordingly. Or if someone posts a video of their dog playing fetch, you can see that, too.

3. Use it to enhance your customer feedback process.

Social intelligence tools are becoming increasingly popular among small businesses because they give employees insight into how customers feel about their products and services. But there are some drawbacks to relying solely on social media to gather feedback.

For one thing, many companies need help figuring out where to start. "You're trying to figure out what to say to someone," says John Pescatore, director of emerging technologies at Gartner. "How do I ask my customers questions?"

That's why it makes sense to use social listening tools to help you understand what customers want and need. And once you've got that information, you can use it to improve your customer service process.

4. Generate leads by following advice posts in your industry.

Social listening is a great way to keep tabs on what people say about your brand online. You can learn much about how customers perceive your products and services and uncover great ideas for future campaigns.

But there are many ways to approach social media listening, and one of the most common mistakes companies make is focusing solely on monitoring competitors' mentions. While this is important, it only gives you the full picture of what's happening in your market.

In fact, according to HubSpot, 73% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over reviews posted by strangers. So why limit yourself to just watching what others say about your competition? Instead, focus on generating leads by following recommendation posts within your industry.

Here's how to do it...

Social Listening in Action

To truly understand what people are saying about your brand, it helps to know who they are. You need to find out what type of customers you want to target, how they like to communicate, and where they hang out online. Once you've got those insights, you can tailor your marketing efforts to reach your ideal audience.

Start by identifying your customer persona. A persona is a fictional character based on real data. For example, let's say you sell dog food. Your persona might be "Joe Smith," a middle-aged man who owns three dogs. Joe loves his pets and ensures he gets the best care possible. He uses Facebook to keep up with friends and family and reads news articles about pet health.

Next, identify the social media channels your potential customers use most often. If you're selling dog food, you don't want to start advertising on Twitter. Instead, focus on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You can determine your objectives by knowing who your customers are. Do you want to increase sales? Engage existing customers? Get feedback? You should learn more about your customers' interests and habits. Whatever your goal, you'll need to decide how much information you want to gather.

Once you've determined your objectives, you can choose the tools that work best for each one.

What are social listening tools?

Social listening tools are software platforms that collect data from multiple sources across different social media networks. They provide insights into what people say about your brand online, including reviews, comments, tweets, images, videos, etc. These insights can help you understand how consumers perceive your products and services, identify potential problems, and improve your marketing efforts.

The best social listening tools offer a single inbox to view all messages from all channels, allowing you to respond quickly and effectively. Some even include automated responses, so you don't have to send out replies manually. You can set up filters to automatically follow certain keywords, hashtags, or accounts, making it easy to track everything being discussed about your brand.

What do you think?

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., are great tools for businesses to connect with their audience. But it's important to remember that social media isn't just about posting pictures of your product or promoting your latest blog posts. There are many ways that social media can help your business grow and thrive.

For example, social media can provide insight into your customers' thoughts about your brand. By analyzing data from your followers, you can see how people react to different aspects of your brand, such as your logo, colors, messaging, etc. You can use this information to change your branding strategy and improve your overall marketing efforts.

You can also leverage social media to gain insights into your competitors. For instance, you might discover that one of your competitors needs help keeping up with the demand for a particular product. Or someone else is offering better prices than you. These things can give you ideas for future promotions or even lead to partnerships with your competitors.

Finally, social media can be used to promote your brand. You can encourage your followers to engage with your brand by sharing relevant content. And you can let them know about upcoming events and special offers.

There are countless ways that social media can benefit your business. So why aren't you already using it?

Updated

December 30, 2022

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