Developing a sound process for social listening is a must. It can be difficult to learn where to find your most valuable feedback, what to listen for, and how to turn what you hear into assets to better your marketing performance. You are not alone—many marketers struggle with information overload and the changing of the times as it pertains to the digital world. Let’s take a step back and look at some of the ways you can improve your marketing mix with social listening.
If you are looking for ways to connect to your audience on a more personal level and you are not utilizing social listening strategies, you may be letting valuable information and customer feedback go to waste in the digital world.
Before you begin your social listening tactics, you should understand where your social media performance is currently. This is what we like to call benchmarking your current process. Setting a starting point will help you fill the gaps where necessary. Your current social media performance is a good indicator of where you should begin listening.
If you are just starting out in the world of social media, social intelligence will be focused more on industry level feedback, influencer tracking, and measuring engagement.Industry monitoring: This is a great place to start. Familiarize yourself with the industry talk, topics, and trends.
Influencer tracking: By keeping your eye on the individuals who are leading an innovative or thought-leading discussion regarding your industry, you can help aggregate insight and methods of communication you may not be savvy to at this point.
Measuring engagement: Most brands have a few target markets with buyer personas who have different wants needs and pain points. Tracking the engagement on each platform and the engagement surrounding your content topics will point you in the direction of the most valuable communities. These are the communities you should focus on first. Sometimes there are low-hanging fruit that present ways to easily listen and track. Its a good idea to grab those along the way.
At this point, you should have a good idea of where to start. Once you know what you are listening for, you can begin to assign listening duties to each of your team members. Include your whole team in the process—it helps to ensure everyone is on the same page. You should also have a weekly or monthly meeting to discuss the information and insights gathered from your social intelligence initiative. Remember that social listening is about learning, not reacting. Keeping a steady tone and voice for a single platform is crucial to social media success.
Social listening will help build your community on social media, but it should also provide a look into the effectiveness of your current content marketing efforts as well. Be sure you are tracking the standard social media performance metrics to monitor your social progress and community engagement.
At this point, most companies are not actively listening on social media. Rather, they are distributing information at fast rates and high volume. But, is that effective? It is not for sure one way or the other. However it is for sure that social listening can assist with the following marketing actions:
Organic community engagement
Real time customer feedback
Customer service improvement
Effective word-of-mouth marketing
Understanding your community, leads, website visitors, and of course, customers
Painting a clear picture of your digital marketing presence
Thought leadership positioning
Gleaning innovative ideas through crowdsourcing
Understanding your buyer personas
On a deeper level, the understanding you can extract from an investment of time and logic will provide numerous ways for you to sell more products. The bottom line for any marketer is to move the needle on ROI for the company. If you are outputting resources that could be used other place and you are not seeing the results you hoped for, social listening may be for you.
Social listening will effectively help you establish a clear view of your digital marketing landscape, the sentiment your customers carry for your business, and ways to improve their customer experience. There is no exact way to roll out a social listening campaign. It is for certain that socially aware businesses see a dramatic increase in content marketing and social media marketing performances. It doesn’t matter how you do it at this point, only that you do it.
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