Social listening is the process of gathering information from social media channels through monitoring for mentions of your brand. The information gathered can then be analyzed to gain deeper insights into how customers view your business.
Its benefits include improving customer service, identifying key influencers and brand advocates, and helping you outperform your competition. It can work wonders for your business considering there are 3.78 billion social media users who spend an average of 2.5 hours (per day) on social networks.
Here, we’ll discuss how you can make the most out of social listening to improve your business.
Gain a deeper understanding of customers
Customer experience is becoming increasingly important to consumers, with 73% of customers stating that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision. Although keeping customers satisfied is essential for businesses, many miss the mark simply because they don’t know what their customers want and appreciate.
Understanding customer needs helps businesses provide them with better services, which will ultimately result in improved loyalty and retention.
Social listening can be helpful when it comes to understanding your customers better. Here are some of the reasons why:
- It allows your business to get a sense of what customers are saying about you: Follow, add as a friend, or like their posts. By plugging into a day in the life of your target audience, you can see your business from the perspective of your customers.
- It allows your business to anticipate demand and provide customer satisfaction: Identify trends in user behavior, sentiment, and attitude. You can use the data you collect to provide the quality of services your customers want and maximize your profitability.
- It helps your business understand who your customers are: Dig deep into your follower list or use tracking software. Identifying the demographic they belong to allows you to accommodate them better.
- It helps your business understand what your customers value: Pay attention to what your customers say to each other about your business. You can use their genuine responses as tips to help you with product development.
To maximize the benefits of social listening, make sure you listen to your customers regularly. Otherwise, you might miss out on important clues.
Beyond that, here are other tips for using social listening to understand customers:
- Understand beyond words: Listen to what your customers are saying beyond words. The underlying theme in their messages can be valuable in improving your product or your business.
- Spend time on emerging social media platforms: Don’t settle for a myopic view. Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms are great, but so are the less common communities.
- Use technology wisely: Always interpret the data you gather before using them. While it can automate some processes, using technology carelessly can backfire.
- Use social media data for all your departments: Allow all your departments to access social media data. You can use the data you gathered to improve customer service, pricing, product development, and more.
Improve your marketing efforts
Marketing is a crucial process for any business. An effective marketing strategy will help brands increase sales, build brand awareness and trust, and gain a deeper insight into the industry as a whole.
A great way of improving your marketing strategy is by taking advantage of social listening. Here are the ways social listening helps with your marketing efforts:
- It helps find potential influencers for influencer marketing: Find out who are the biggest and most significant influencers in your industry. You can use brand monitoring software to streamline this process.
- It helps you determine the type of content your customers appreciate: Learn about the factors that increase clicks and get social shares, the preferred content formats, topics of interest, and more. Identifying these things allows you to craft more relatable and effective content.
- It helps with branded hashtags: Set up a search for unique hashtags and your brand name. This allows you to know what people are saying about you even if they didn’t tag you in their post.
- It helps to see if your existing customers are engaged: Learn about your customers and create accounts on their social hangouts. Hanging out with them allows you to provide a better user experience.
Some tips for using social listening to improve marketing campaigns include:
- Present User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage and incentivize users to post content relevant to your business. UGC shows authenticity, and in turn, helps build lasting trust with potential customers.
- Learn from influencers: Determine how influencers are marketing to their target audiences. Because these people know what tone of voice to use, best word choices, and other effective strategies, think of them as your advisers; so recreate and improve their marketing strategies.
- Rebrand: Use your customers’ negative feedback for the better. So as you see fit, change your logo, colors, design, and messages.
- Develop partnerships: Set up tracking software to help identify businesses with similar goals and are interested in collaborative projects. Then reach out to them and express your agenda.
Discover industry trends
Trend analysis is important for your business because it allows you to be aware of how your customers are responding to what’s happening in your industry. As a result of peeking into the real deal, you have a sense of what’s working and what areas need improvement.
For example, let’s say that the trends are showing you that your marketing approach is about to lose relevance a month from now. By knowing this, you can look closely into it and use it as the basis for course-correcting or planning your next marketing activities.
Here are more ways that trends can help with business growth:
- They encourage to generate better ideas: Monitor consistent user behavior as you review trends. It lets you in on what would make a customer want to do business with you.
- They measure your success: Interpret data from Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to know how well your business is going. Metrics like reach, social shares, and the number of followers are crucial to your success.
- They lower advertising costs: Leverage information from social listening to modify advertising campaigns. By learning about your customers’ preferred advertising mediums or channels, you can achieve better responses from your advertisements.
- They point out early warning signs and maximize your profitability: Identify issues with your business’ financial department. Make changes or pivot as needed.
You can also use trends to outperform your competitors with the help of tracking software to monitor people’s responses to your competitors. Then based on feedback, excel on points your competitors are not exceeding at and engage in a more solid strategy.
Here are ways on how to use social listening and trend analysis to outperform your competitors:
- Offer better value – You can sell more affordable products that have as much quality as your competitors’ products. You can also devise a plan that allows you to serve customers better.
- Differentiate your business – Market your business as an entity that presents exclusive offers. More customers will come to you if you can offer something no other business can.
- Emphasize any unique strengths – Focus on what your business does best. Then figure out a way to let these strengths work well in response to what target audiences are saying on social media.
- Be more communicative – Determine what the customers of your competitors are complaining about then provide solutions to these worries. Have better response times and always follow up on your customers, for example.
But while trends can do wonders for your business, some trends aren’t the right fit for you — they don’t carry the same personality and tone as your brand. If this is the case, they will do more harm than good. So always look past a trend’s popularity before jumping in.
Here are more tips for using social listening to discover the best industry trends:
- Trace a trend’s origin: Only follow trends that don’t have questionable origins. Strong and long-lasting trends are more likely rooted in authoritative sources.
- Narrow down on relevant trends: Pursue trends that are relevant to your niche. And be creative in embedding them into your content. For example, cloud IT companies like Venyu may want to keep up to date with cloud computing trends, whilst marketing agencies may be more focused on SEO trends.
- Check out your industry’s leaders: Find out the trends that the popular people in your industry are following. If these trends match well with your business and your customers, jump on them.
- Keep up with current events: Determine what’s happening around the world and understand their effect on your customers. Then jump in on them in a direction that will evoke emotions and warrant responses.
Like many people, your customers enjoy socializing. And with your business out in the open, it’s normal to talk about you. So use their chatter, along with the most effective social listening tools, to help you sift through all the noise and reshape your business for the better.