Good listening is the key to developing fresh insights and ideas that fuel success. If you talk less than you listen, are respectful and pick the right time to challenge assumptions, you display the characteristics of an effective listener; one that usually succeeds at what they set out to do.
The benefits of being a good listener apply to social media marketing. If you find social media too time consuming, too big to manage and question its business contributions to the bottom line, the chances are you haven’t done enough good listening.
What should you do? How does it benefit your business? Here are 22 practical tips on how social media listening builds business.
- REACH: Start by determining the size of your audience adding up how many people you reach – the number of all the people who you are connected, follow you or like you.
- KEYWORD AND CONTENT IMPROVEMENT: Use keywords, topics and conversions from social media listening to improve not only social media engagement but branded content, SEO and SEM strategies and programs.
- SENTIMENT ANALYSIS: Is used to measure opinions about topics you would consider or are talking about by scoring text in comments as positive or negative. It is the social equivalent of an opinion poll.
- COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: Do the same exercises for your primary competitors and determine your competitive advantage.
- TAG CLOUD: Is
- CONVERSATION MAPPING: Is an efficient way of collecting a large amount of data from a diverse group of experts and/or stakeholders in a short period of time. The purpose is to provide clarity on key issues.
- COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY: With these building blocks, you have the tool to create a Communication Strategy, your blueprint for exchanging relevant information with your target audience.
- KEY INFLUENCES: Need to how to reach Key Influencers? Use social media listening to see who is engaging on social media and the size of their social following. Look at their their Klout Score as a ranking tool. Start a Twitter Chat to accelerate the process. Build relationships with the people you’ve identified.
- COMMUNITY BUILDING: Interact with customers in a way that builds a positive image of your brand and fosters better relationships, which eventually form a tight community of loyal followers.
- LIST BUILDING: Create a list of those who have an interest in your industry, category, competition or brand that is authentic, more reliable and less costly through social media listening.
- CRM INTEGRATION: If your business uses a CRM system, integrate your list with your CRM system to make social media listening work with marketing automation and prove cost savings.
- TARGET AUDIENCE IDENTIFICATION: Whether you are a B2C or B2B business, these social media listening activities help create a high value target audience.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND ENGAGEMENT
- ANSWER AUDIENCE QUESTIONS: Connect people with questions to people with answers.
- RESPOND TO COMPLAINTS: Quickly address a gripe before it snowballs into a bigger undertaking.
- SHARE COMPLIMENTS: Find compliments and leverage them to position yourself as a trusted information source. Don’t forget to say “thanks.”
- AGILITY: Time of reaction is also important for building a positive brand image. A recent study from Lithium Technologies shows 53% of consumers who tweet a brand expect a response within an hour. Things get even more extreme when the tweet in question is a complaint – the figure above rises to 72%,
- CRISIS MANAGEMENT: If a sudden peak occurs, or a conversation appears to be increasing at an unusual rate, it’s a good idea to monitor conversations about your brand and respond to negative posts on a regular basis. Customers who are angry or dissatisfied are likely to be get more indignant and angry when they feel they are being ignored.
- READY PROSPECTS: Know who’s looking for what you offer right now. Only social media gives you this kind of instant insight into the habits of your best prospects.
- SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION: Connect all of your social media accounts in a cohesive, consistently branded network that points your potential customers where you want them to go. By connecting with people in various online venues, you extend the reach of your business and increase opportunities for people to link to your main business page.
- CONSUMER BEHAVIOR: Understand the main problems, motivations and issues customers might have with their products or services. This in turn helps them to come up with more efficient customer service.
- PRODUCT IMPROVEMENT: By intelligently listening in social media, you can uncover various problems consumers experience when using your product and then address them when releasing a corrected version. Monitoring the reviews of your product, you’ll gain additional input and lots of ideas on how to improve it.
- KEY INFLUENCER RECRUITING: Uncover new key experts and influencers and build the social currency of your brand on a continuous basis.
- EVALUATION: Determine how the use of social media listening has helped not business results directly and indirectly. Plan for social media listening to be a part of your operation based on the value it provides.
Do these reasons prove the value of social media listening to you? Does it convince you to do it? Does your business need help being a good social media listener?