There are many ways to gather data for more effective and efficient digital marketing. Google analytics, HubSpot analytics, Twitter analytics - heck, most social platforms have their very own analytics. Data capturing capabilities of all sorts exist with email marketing, content distribution, and the gamut of methods used for content marketing in the digital realm. But, are the insights gathered at each medium enough to sustain a productive and successful marketing mix? Can you gain the information needed to provide what your customers with what they want, when they want it, in a manner that helps solve their problems and guide them through the buyer's journey? Not always.
Here’s why. Data-capturing analytics are only able to gather insight according to a website user’s on-page activity, their previous browsing history, and the places to which they flock for education and information. Social listening is a behavior analysis process where community and customer feedback take first priority. The way you gather this information may differ depending on your product, service, and industry. Your business goals and KPIs will inform the way in which you gather social intelligence.
Let’s review some of the ways you can gather valuable insight and feedback from your customers and content community through social listening.
Track industry trends.
This is especially important because the digital world is always changing. In the world of marketing, shiny new objects are not only a burden but very time consuming. Once you have established a strategy, it is important to stick with it and make minor adjustments along the way. If you constantly change your strategy, you will not have a concrete way to track progress nor success. You can stay better focused on your strategy by listening to what your customers are saying. Understand what their needs and wants are. Fill the gaps and help answer their most plaguing challenges. Stick to your strategy and adjust your content production to fill gaps and better serve your customers.
Follow prominent #hashtags used within your social community.
#Hashtags are a great way to find the most popular news about a specific topic or trend.
Understand who your target audience is and where you can find them. Each platform will gather a new community organically—that is one of the beauties of social media. You will have some overlapping community members, but this is not a bad thing. It's actually better to have more interaction on different platforms. The overlap will ensure you are keeping your messages targeted and should help prevent your team from sending out blanket posts that scream “not enough time, compassion, or effort.”
Periodically sleuth your competitors sites and profiles.
There is no reason to obsess, but you can use this to make inferences about issues within your business that may need more attention. Find out what their customers are asking, conversing about, and struggles they may be facing.
Establish a social media voice and tone guide.
Be sure to include your data and behavior captures within the guide. This will help you build a streamlined brand message. Keep in mind that although you need a general voice and tone guideline, each of the social platforms will vary in the target audience, conversations, and methods of engagement. It is important to speak to each platform individually to ensure your message is clear, concise and speaks directly to the community in particular.
Understand the importance of engagement.
If you are looking for answers, you will need to ask questions. Don’t expect your community, leads, and customers to shout from the rooftops if you haven’t established brand presence and are not addressing their most pressing issues.
The insight you can gather from social listening is invaluable. What you do with the information can make or break your performance. Start slow. Understand what is happening within your community, and strive to know what is important in the lives of your content community members.
The power of social listening is in the palm of your hand. Go forth and prospect. For a more extensive review of social listening download, The Social Prospecting Workbook below.
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