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What is Social Listening and Do You Need It?

Posted by Sabra Mwaura on July 02, 2020 • ... comments

Social listening

Did you know that 63% of social media marketers believe that social listening will only get more critical in the coming months? Well, they’re right.

Social listening is a valuable strategy to interact with your audience that wasn’t possible before social media.

Social media marketers have learned that social listening can make a significant impact on your overall marketing strategy. So if you’re not doing social listening now, it’s time to get started.

 

What is social listening?

Let’s first talk about what we mean when we say social listening. Social listening is the process of tracking and analyzing keywords, phrases, and mentions on the Internet.

Despite the name, social listening looks at more than just comments on social media platforms. Social listening also looks at blogs, news, forums, and other websites.

But why do businesses bother with social listening?

Look at it this way: there are millions of people on the Internet, and they are all sharing their opinion either on their blog or writing a social post. This is a vast gold mine of information.

You can find the desires and pain points of your target audience, even if they don’t know about your brand. All of this information can translate into personalized marketing campaigns and new products that match your target audience’s needs.

Let’s take a look at how to turn social listening into a profitable strategy for your business.

 

The benefits of social listening

You can use social listening to find new information on your target audience. Social listening is like market research on steroids because you have access to thousands, if not millions, of people.

Here are a few ways to use social listening.

 

Customer Service

With the rise of chatbots, many businesses use social media to implement customer service. You can also use social listening to improve your customer service experience.

Not everyone will tag your business when they complain about you online. That’s where social listening comes in and saves the day.

Social listening monitors your business name, and it can show you when a person made a comment online about you. Then you can adequately respond to fix any issues.

 

Reputation Management

You may be doing this already without knowing it. Reputation management is monitoring your social media channels and responding to positive and negative feedback from your customers.

Reputation management can help you avoid crises by finding a problem early-on and responding quickly.

This closely falls in the line of customer service. You should actively listen to customers on social media to improve their experience.

 

Competitor Research

Social listening is a great way to monitor the competition and see how they are doing. You can discover if their audience is happy or not, if an influencer wrote a bad review, or if their content is resonating with their audience.

Knowing this information can help you find new opportunities or even threats to your business. You can then adjust your marketing plan to meet real-time demands.

 

Market Research

Do you want to discover the latest trends? Social listening can help with that.

Monitoring and analyzing specific keywords can help you identify what content your audience is interested in and what content they found engaging.

You can take this information and start creating your content that follows the trends of your audience.

 

Get Feedback

Along with market research, you can also get feedback from your current audience. Do they like your writing style or your competitors’? Is there a topic that they want to learn that you haven’t covered?

You can use social listening to gauge your audience’s reaction to your content. Did a specific blog post gain a lot of retweets? Find out why and then give your audience more of that type of content.

 

Creating a social listening strategy

There are many different opportunities to use social listening to grow your business. Avoid the newbie mistake of going in with no strategy.

When you start social listening, identify objectives and goals. Creating a strategy will ensure that you will get the most out of your efforts.

 

The most important aspect of a social listening strategy is to choose the right keywords to follow.

Here are some keywords and topics that you may want to consider for your strategy:

  • Your brand name
  • Common misspellings of your brand name and products
  • Industry keywords
  • Your competitors’ brand names
  • Niche hashtags

The biggest mistake people make is to gather all the data, and then don’t analyze it. Taking a look at the data helps you spot trends, which you can use for your marketing.

You might be thinking, “That sounds like a lot of data.” You’re right. You could end up with thousands of tweets and not even look at other social media platforms.

Luckily, there are many tools to help you gather data and analyze it effectively.

 

Social listening tools

There are many social listening tools available. Some only monitor one platform, and others are comprehensive of the entire Internet.

You can do your research about what would work best for you. These are some of the popular social listening tools you can use. All of these tools are paid platforms and monitor multiple platforms on the Internet.

  • Brandwatch
  • Talkwalker
  • Sprout Social

If you’re tight on a budget, Google Alerts is a free way to at least track mentions across the internet.

 

What now?

Social listening may not be part of your marketing strategy. But you should consider that your competitors are doing social listening.

And your competitors can create better marketing campaigns than you because they’re learning more about your shared target audience.

You don’t want to fall behind!

Social listening can help you stay ahead of your competitors, stay up to date with current trends, and find people to become your brand ambassadors.

You can start social listening by creating an objective, choosing the right keywords, and using a social listening tool to track the data.

Did you learn anything about social listening in this post? Tell us below in the comments!

 

 

 

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