Most online marketers swear by social listening and if you don’t already have a strategy in place to leverage it, you’re seriously missing out. It will provide you with some of the most valuable data about your business and how it’s being perceived online, enabling you to make more informed decisions regarding your online marketing efforts.
Social listening is a great way to increase interaction with your existing and potential customers online. People tend to appreciate when the businesses they support interact with them online. This lets them know that you care about what they think and believe in providing them with great service.
There’s another aspect to social listening that makes it so powerful. Don’t just leverage it to find out what people are saying about your business. Utilize it to find out what they’re saying about your competition. This will let you identify gaps that you can fill in order to compete more effectively.
What is social listening?
Social listening is the process through which you gain valuable insight by analyzing the mentions and conversations about your brand on social media networks so that you can make more informed marketing decisions.
It shouldn’t just be limited to the conversations that are taking place online about your brand only. Keep an eye on the conversations and trends concerning your particular industry. Also pay attention to what people are saying about your competition online. If they’re doing something better than you are, you’ll likely hear about it online.
Why is social listening important?
There’s a reason why social listening has proven to be so important. The insights that you obtain from this exercise will allow you to understand what’s the driving force behind the conversation about your brand online. Think of it as a window into the mind of your customer, allowing you to figure out what perception people have formed about your brand.
These are valuable insights that can help fine tune your online marketing efforts. For example, are you seeing a lot of mentions online regarding your blog content not adequately explaining the product? This is how you find out that you need to make improvements.
Perhaps the copy of your recent ad campaign has got people feeling not so good about your brand, so now you can quickly make amends and turn a campaign around. The possibilities here are endless.
How social listening can help generate more leads
- Elevate your engagement
Increasing your social media engagement is just one part of the story. It’s always great when the content you post online gets a lot of likes, comments, shares and retweets. That alone is never enough to generate leads and grow your organic reach.
With social listening, you can be mindful of what your customers and others online are looking for. For example, you could spot a conversation online where people are searching for a product or solution.
You could pop into that conversation either with a recommendation or a relevant comment. It should never be a hard sell as that tends to put off people. Just a proactive approach that lets people know you have a product that can help solve a problem for them will do wonders.
Similarly, you might find that your customers are recommending your brand online to their peers. This presents yet another opportunity to generate leads. Become a part of that conversation through a reply that serves as positive encouragement and you might just get a new customer.
- Pounce on the competition
Social media is now the first place people turn to when they have a complaint about a brand or its products. This presents companies with an incredible opportunity to generate leads at the expense of their rivals.
Brands must realize that social listening goes far beyond what people are saying about you. Approach it with a view to help people who might benefit from your product. Is your competitor’s product not helping people achieve their goals? Does yours have better functionality?
Chime into conversations where such topics are being discovered with a gentle reminder about your product’s salient features. People who are already frustrated with the competition are more likely to consider an alternative, thereby possibly generating a new lead for your business.
- Create powerful collaborations
Collaborations tend to be very effective on social media. It’s something that people who use social media are already quite accustomed to. That’s because many of their favorite social media content creators will definitely be “collabing” with other creators.
Social listening can unlock new opportunities to strike collaborations like thought leaders, industry titans and tight knit online communities that have meaningful conversations about something that you might be able to help with.
Online collaborations require a certain level of finesse, though. It shouldn’t appear that this has been done for the sole purpose of making a hard sell or trying to force a product on people who don’t seem to be receptive to it.
Through collaborations, you can add value to the content that the other creators present to their audience. This opens up new demographics and audiences that your brand can benefit from. The increased brand awareness that collaborations will bring is going to help generate new leads.
- Use social media as a tool for customer support
Nobody wants to go through tedious methods of getting a response when they run into a problem with a product or service. The internet has made people expect instant resolution of such issues, therefore, it’s important to have a robust customer support operation on social media.
Proactive customer support through social media helps build brand equity. People are likely going to notice online when brands are doing a good job with providing their customers support for any issues they might be facing.
The elevated brand equity can be great for generating leads as people will feel confident about trusting a business that’s visibly investing in ensuring that their customers are well looked after.
Social listening can make your online campaigns incredibly effective
To maximize any online marketing campaign you need data. Even the advertising tools that marketers use, such as Facebook and Google Ads, rely on sophisticated algorithms that optimize campaigns using the data generated from serving ads.
Social listening is effectively a way to pool the data that’s being generated by you and about you on various social media networks. This data provides an incredible amount of insight about your customers and potential leads who might be better served by your service or product.
By simply leveraging the power of social media and spending some time on these networks to listen to what people are saying about your brand and responding in an effective manner, you can gain valuable insights that can be used to fine tune all subsequent paid and organic marketing campaigns.