What Is Social Listening…And How Can It Help Your Business? | Social Joey

Social media provides a wonderful way to connect with your customers—between sharing things they’ll love and responding to their inquiries, connecting to consumers on social is an incredible tool for getting involved in the community.

However, with so much on social, it can be hard to know what to pay attention to. While you’re likely tuned into your newsfeed and notifications tab, studies show that over 30 percent of tweets containing company names don’t include their direct Twitter handle—meaning there’s an entire segment of social your brand might not be seeing.

So how do you tap into these undercover comments and reach more people through the power of social? Social listening, that’s how!

Read on to discover what this means, how you can do it—and (most importantly) how it can help set your business apart from the competition:

What does social listening mean?

Social listening allows your brand to monitor and get involved in conversations outside of your notifications tab that are influencing your industry as a whole. It’s the process of interacting with customers, responding to comments and keeping a general “ear to the ground” for what’s happening in the outskirts of your social media sphere. Simply put, social listening is the process of monitoring the conversation and responding to consumers as they discuss things relevant to your business.

How do I start social listening?

If one thing is for sure, it’s that there’s a lot going on in the social media world—so how do you know what to listen for? You don’t want to spend unnecessary resources monitoring things that don’t matter, but you also want to be able to listen to what does. Here are some good things to search for as you’re first getting started:

  • Your brand name and some variations with typos
  • Your social media handles
  • Names of products you sell or services you offer
  • Buzzwords for your industry
  • Your slogan
  • Names of key leaders within your company
  • Hashtags related to your industry (i.e. #socialmediamarketing, #marketingtips)
  • Branded hashtags your company has created

How can social listening help my business?

As with any new strategy, it’s important to understand the pros and cons it brings to the business before you dive in. Here are some ways social listening can help your business succeed:

  • Join the conversation. Social listening is about more than just lurking—it’s about joining the conversation, too! Not only will you be able to talk to consumers directly about your product, but you’ll also have a chance to discuss general topics that pertain to your business. Maybe you’re an outdoors company that stumbles across a discussion about hiking recommendations and you have the perfect one to share, or you’re a local business that can share recommendations with someone who’s talking about visiting your town—social listening allows you to know when things like this are happening, so you can put your brand front and center in the discussion.

  • Address complaints. While providing stellar customer service is probably a top priority for your business, if you don’t know the issue, there is no way to resolve it. Additionally, in the world of social, many people see no response as a response on its own—therefore, it’s always a good idea to respond when you can. Social listening allows you to find customers that are talking about your business instead of to it and gives you the opportunity to turn a negative experience around!

  • Appear more approachable. Consumers want to interact with brands they relate to and know they can chat with—and considering nearly 90 percent of messages to brand social accounts go ignored, a simple response can really set your business apart! By responding to questions and replies both in public comments and private inboxes, you’ll pose your brand as one that people will want to talk to—not only when they have questions, but also when they’re ready to make a purchase.

  • Understand your customers more. People spend a good portion of their time sharing what they’re up to on social media, so if you’re looking for insight into who your customers are, it’s the place to be. Buyer personas and target markets are useful when creating your marketing strategy, but really knowing your customer will make all the difference in its execution. Keeping up with what’s being said on social will give you insight into the lingo your customers use, the things they’re likely to share and what they want to see out of a business or product, allowing your business to be the solution to whatever they need.

  • Better understand what works. Because you’re actively keeping a pulse on everything happening, in time, you’ll become an expert on what resonates with your customers. From posts that pull high engagement to ads that aren’t showing results, you’ll know exactly what’s working and what isn’t, which can translate to smarter marketing decisions in the future.

  • Know what content people want to see. In a perfect world, all content companies produce would be exactly what their targeted consumers are asking to see—unfortunately, it’s not so easy to get an idea of what every person at every stage of the buyer’s funnel will want on their newsfeed. However, a social listening strategy will show you more of what’s important to potential customers, so you can make more educated guesses on what content they’d like to see. By listening for pain points and topics people are discussing surrounding your industry, you’ll be able to produce content that solves problems and educates at the exact time people are searching for it.

  • Think outside the box. By keeping an open mind (and ear) when it comes to social listening, you’ll have the opportunity to get creative with your marketing efforts based on what people are already discussing. Maybe you’ve noticed that your customers are rather fond of gifs or are more likely to share videos than they are images—those might be good things to start incorporating into your posting strategy. By not getting too tethered to what you think consumers want, you’ll be able to get creative and show them new things they’re going to love!

If you’d like more information on how Social Joey can help you connect with customers and produce content they’ll love, get in touch with us today!