It would hard to find a marketer who doesn’t recognize that knowledge is power. The kind of power that can be a critical factor in shepherding your brand message through a raucously noisy online space.
Truth is, nailing down who, what, when and where works best to promote your business can be a heavy lift. There is a bit of good news, however: your target customers are giving you the information you need to gain their loyalty—in real time, all the time—via their Social Media profiles.
Social channels offer a rich, quantifiable pool of demography for those who know how to tap into it. Yet, despite its proven effectiveness, social listening is a still-underused tactic.
Measuring–and rapidly adapting to–which marketing campaigns generate the most interest overall, and with which segments those campaigns resonate most meaningfully, really is your direct line to top of mind. In short, social listening makes reaching your target audience quicker and much more effective.
Social media listening is an incredibly valuable process for every business. Yes, even yours. If you’re not doing it, you should be. Seeing around the next industry curve, while recognizing and exceeding your customers’ immediate needs is an earned skill, one that social listening let’s you master.
Simply put, social listening is collecting conversations, converting those conversations to data points and using the aggregate data for better targeting. Done well, it can help pinpoint audience segments, amplify current opportunities, and forecast future needs.
Read on for 6 ways social listening has been proven to benefit business:
1. Major Key.
Because social listening gathers information from real, organic conversations, it can also uncover the terms your audiences uses most when thinking and communicating.
That means as a marketer, you’re able to shape your content to match the voice of your audience. Not only does that mean more relevant keyword targeting, it can also help tailor your tone to resonate with your audience.
2. Crystal Ballin’.
Paying attention to the trending content in the categories around your brand and goals can help you quickly identify the topics everyone is talking about, keep up on important conversations, and spotlight current issues and more importantly anticipate future issues. Every marketer knows how extraordinarily important the ability to predict the future is to dominating whichever orbit they’re in.
3. But do they really, really like you?
There is no better way to understand the opinions of, and attitudes toward, your product or service than listening to what is being said on social media. You absolutely need to know what people are saying about you and your product. And, just as valuable from a competitive standpoint, what’s being said about your rivals. Yes, it can sometimes be humbling, but it means that you’ll know what you’re doing right, and where you could probably use some work.
4. The target (market) whisperer.
You already know that creating personal connections leads to business opportunities, but did you know that you can create that kind of connection by listening for conversations that relate to people’s problems and needs or frustrations? Particularly when your business is the source of that frustration.
For example, one strategy might be to monitor phrases like “[your brand name] can’t” or “[your brand name] won’t” can identify pain points.
Once you identify these potential customers, reach out to them. Ask them what their expectations are for the product and where it’s falling short. Then explain your product’s benefits and added value, and make yourself available for questions.
5. Play your position.
What are your competitors saying about themselves – and is it resonating? Take a look at how your competition is positioning itself and its products, and see if they’re getting any feedback from their community that might inform your own marketing efforts.
6. Massage the message.
Social listening can give you the capability to gain insight into how to communicate your value. You get to learn about people and what makes them tick, on their terms, and then use that intelligence to get creative, reach more people, and build deeper relationships.
If you’re doing it right, listening can help you to reveal common questions or gripes that your audience has in relation to your product or service. You can then use these insights to develop content that addresses those issues. For example, if a lots of people voice confusion about using a particular feature of your product, write a how-to blog post or create an instructional video.
If the goal is a better understanding of what your target customer finds meaningful and valuable, you’ll want to start listening.