Today, social media is where most, if not all your customers have a presence in. This makes it an incredibly powerful tool you can use to gain valuable insight into what your customers think about your brand.
And how exactly can you do that? The answer lies in what is commonly known as social media listening, or social media analytics.
Like what its name implies, the act of social listening is tuning in to what people are saying about your brand on the different social media platforms.
As social sharing data skyrockets, so too does the difficulty of monitoring conversations taking place around your brand.
Twitter - 6000 posts per second
Facebook - 520 million posts per second
Instagram - 66000 posts per second
However, that’s a good thing. Even though collecting this much data is extremely tedious, the payoff is worth it.
Through this data, you can obtain precise insights into your customers, prospects, existing products, and even competitors.
An example of why it’s important, can be seen from the recent United Airlines fiasco involving the rough treatment of a passenger.
Following this incident, there was a massive outlash from the public on all major social media platforms. Even without social listening, you’ll know that public sentiment was negative, and that measures had to be taken.
However, on a small scale, social listening will be able to help you pinpoint customer sentiment, so that you can devise ways to enhance or reduce said sentiment accordingly - even when your company is not facing a crisis.
When used right, social listening can help boost your brand’s reputation. Here’s how you can get social listening to start working for you.
1. Identify conversations about your brand and competition.
Monitoring areas related to your brand can help you understand what your customers (and potential customers) want, and if your competitors can provide it. By having this information, you will be able to strategise your approach based on the product (or service). This helps to align understanding between customer and brand, and takes you one step further towards a better user experience.
2. Identify problems - so you can go solve them.
Identifying problems that your customers are facing gives you a chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one. There might be issues plaguing your customers that you and your customer service team are not aware of - and may hurt your business in the long run if not addressed. This can help you improve on your own products and services to meet customer expectations and demands. You can then follow-up by joining in the conversation to explain more about the value of your products and services, and how they can help your customers.
3. Receive feedback about new products and services.
For new businesses or companies launching new products/services, this use case can prove invaluable. It is particularly useful in controlled scenarios like soft launches of products and services. This lets you identify the monitoring parameters before launch, so that you’re fully prepared to examine and implement the feedback well before an actual launch. By tweaking, adjusting or upgrading the products or services you’re planning to launch, you would be in the advantageous position of being able to give your customers exactly (or close to) what they want and need.
4. Catalyst for innovation in new services or products.
Fact: Customers don’t always know what they want. This means simply asking them what they want in your products and services is not enough. Through social listening, you can gather insight from their conversations to gauge what they need - before they know it themselves. Sometimes these conversations might not be about your brand, but on the industry you are in. By analysing it, you will be able to better understand your customers and the industry as a whole. Such valuable insight lets you develop new new products and services that will not only delight your customers, but also add value to the industry your business is in.
Lastly, put your "ear" to the "ground". The 4 use cases that we have suggested are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. However, they have the potential to vastly improve the way your business operates. Unfortunately, many companies often underestimate its potential to provide actionable market intelligence.
This is not because businesses do not require the benefits that it brings, because they do. The problem with social listening is that it’s severely misunderstood. In the grand scheme of things, social listening is not just about marketing your brand or enhancing your social media presence. It’s also about creating value for almost every area in your business, from product and services, to marketing, branding, and even corporate strategy.
We hope that you now have the knowledge needed to start using this immensely underutilised tool to transform your business.
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