Your audience is your biggest asset when it comes to building a strong following on social media. One of the best ways to engage with them is to get involved in their conversations about your brand. This can be done via social media listening.
Social media listening is essentially looking for mentions and conversations about your brand. It is done with the aim to understand your customers’ preferences and opinions and respond accordingly.
This kind of customer feedback is really valuable for a business so as to adjust according to its target demographic. Knowing what people are saying about your brand should be one of your top priorities.
It allows you to track the kind of impression you are leaving behind. This is where social media listening comes really handy. With the help of feedback and analysis, you can take the necessary actions.
Social Media Monitoring vs. Social Media Listening
At first glance, Social Media Listening seems no different than Social Media Monitoring. However, there is one major difference.
Social Monitoring is a simple one-step process.
It is only concerned with tracking and collecting metrics and data such as brand mentions, UGC, and relevant hashtags.
Social Media Listening is a two-step process.
It not only gathers and collects the data but also analyzes it and takes actions accordingly to achieve specific objectives.
Why social media listening is useful
Boosts direct engagement with customers
Reading and responding to your customers directly is one of the best ways to interact with them. Why? Because your interactions are often visible to other people on social media.
When people see that a brand is really active, the natural response is to try to engage with it. This stimulates them into wanting to try out your products.
Promotes a healthy relationship with your audience
It’s a simple fact that people like it when brands respond to them. By solving their problems, you are indirectly giving out the message that you care about your customers.
This, as a result, creates a good image and makes it easier for people to recommend your brand. Not to mention that it also helps, consequently, in increasing sales.
Helps avoid spreading of rumors
Every brand thrives in popularity, but only when it is gained through positive mediums and word-of-mouth.
If people start spreading rumors about your brand, social media listening helps you track it and correct people. This helps you to avoid ending up with a bad image and protect your brand reputation.
Helps optimize content
If your content doesn’t add value to your customers, then there’s no point in spending time and resources on it.
Social media listening helps you know what kind of content they actually want. With their feedback, you can optimize your content accordingly and spend your resources more effectively.
How it helps you compete
Social Media Listening is more than just listening to what people are saying about your brand. It’s also about listening to what people are saying about your competitors and the industry as a whole.
“Hey, did you see that new Samsung ad? It was like a slap in the face of Apple for putting a notch in their phones.”
“Yeah I did, but I don’t think companies should practice that kind of hyper-aggressive marketing. It kinda makes Samsung look bad, to be honest.”
Conversations like this are absolutely essential for you to listen to. It helps you see and learn from your competitors and their audience as well.
This helps you to know why your competitors are gaining popularity and learn from that. You can also see why they are facing negative judgment and avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Identify Influencers and Keep Track of their Following
It’s not just regular people who you need to listen to. Influencers also play a major role in social media listening. This is so because what influencers say reaches to a wid audience.
People usually prefer hearing what they should believe from their favorite influencers instead of forming their own opinions by actually trying out a product.
This is why what influencers say has such powerful value. You need to find such influencers and keep track of them and what they say about your product.
If one of your customers is an influencer, we advise you to listen to their complaints and requests as a priority and respond immediately.
Because if you don’t, they might end up complaining about your brand on their social channels instead. To avoid this, make sure to keep them as a priority.
The influencers in your niche can largely affect how people see your brand. This, as a result, can affect your sales drastically. This is why it is essential to keep track of these influencers.
If some influencers really like your brand and they help spread a positive word for your brand, you can even partner with them and practice Influencer Marketing.
How to Take the right Actions after Social Listening
Keep in mind that taking action is a crucial part of social media listening. However, those actions need to be properly planned before sending them out on the internet.
In this case, your tone of voice will play a very important role. For instance, let’s suppose you come across fake news about your brand and you notice that it is being spread rapidly.
In a situation like this, it can be quite tempting to reply to those comments/posts as if you are actively trying to defend your brand image. That’s not a very good idea because what you say won’t sound that believable.
Instead, what people expect from you as a company is a professional yet simple tone of voice. In response, you need to state the facts, not opinions.
You need to write your responses in such a way that people don’t think that you are just doing so for the sake of protecting your brand image. You need to respond as if you just want to set things clear and not let any misinformation spread.
For that to happen, you need to be transparent with your audience and let them know WHY this news isn’t true and how things work instead. This, as a result, builds trust among people for your brand.
How to Use Social Listening as a Marketing Strategy
This is something that tech brands of today really believe in: using social media listening as a marketing strategy. Brands like OnePlus and Redmi do it quite often. Other brands are catching up fast as well.
They present their brand philosophy as being one that believes in listening to people and what they truly want from them and then delivering the same.
This is why they end up building a very loyal and active fan base. You too can display this idea in your social media marketing campaigns through clever and creative videos.
But do keep in mind that you will have to live up to those standards that you set for yourself in the eyes of your audience. If you fail to meet those expectations, then your actions can backfire and make people not want to trust you again.
So make sure to be careful with your words.
The 3 Best Tools for Social Listening
Luckily, there are some really great tools out there that you can use to undertake your social media listening activities. We have picked out the 3 best ones for you to make things easier and give you a head start.
Take a look!
HootSuite already has quite a reputation in the industry for being one of the best social media automation tools. What it does just as good is social media listening.
Through HootSuite, you’ll be able to track your brand mentions, hashtags, conversations, and keywords relevant to you, all in real-time.
What’s even better is that you can respond to those mentions right from your Hootsuite dashboard! You don’t have to go to each social account individually.
While other tools focus more on the essentials, SproutSocial takes it to the next level. It tells you everything you need to know from trend reports to hashtags to inbox and more.
It helps you visualize your efforts, track engagement, respond to mentions and keep everything organized at the same time.
If you are looking for something that will handle everything, SproutSocial is an easy recommendation for sure.
Apart from being on Neil Patel’s favorite list, Mention is known for a lot more. You can select which sources/social media channels you want to monitor specifically.
Mention will even suggest you brands that are related to yours so that you can monitor their engagements too. Pretty cool, huh?
Through Mention, you can learn from which social channels you receive the highest engagement and active interactions. This way, you can spend your resources where they would bring real results.
All of these tools offer a free trial. Go ahead and try them out and see which one works for you!
We hope this blog post was able to help you and guide you regarding learning what social media listening is, how it works, why it is important, and how to practice it.
If you still have any more questions, feel free to comment down below and let us know. We are happy to help.
Debbie Moran is a Digital marketing strategist with 5+ years of experience producing advertising for brands and helping leaders showcase their brand to the correct audience. She has been a part of RecurPost since 2019 and handles all the activities required to grow our brand’s online presence.