It goes without saying that “a positive word of mouth about your product or service is what will turn your progress into reputation.” Having said that, if your product or service is being appreciated by your target audience, then you are on the right track of business intelligence. Word of mouth marketing can be used to boost your business sales. But then how can you monitor what people are saying about your brand online? How can you track live conversations that are revolved around your name or your brand name? Well, that is where role of social listening comes into play.
What is social listening?
Social listening, also known as ‘social media listening’ is the process of tracking and responding to online conversations about specific words, phrases or brands. The main idea is to identify what your customers are saying about you so that you can leverage the positive comments in the right way. Jennifer Beese, the author at Sprout Social opines that “Social Media Listening is not just being a watchdog for all the social mentions, comments etc but it is way more than it”.
Social Listening vs Social Monitoring – the difference
Many brands mistakenly conflate both the terms – social listening and social monitoring which is an incorrect practice. Though semantically both looks like same but in reality, they both have their own meaning and sense.Lets try to understand both the terms:
Social monitoring is the process of collecting or compiling different instances of a social engagement for e.g: mentions, tweets, comments etc. It lets you monitor these instances without being reflected as an action.
On the other hand, social listening is more about analyzing and taking action to every social monitoring tasks. With social media listening, you can measure, evaluate and also draw conclusions on the basis of conservations you received. Putting in a more simple sense, social listening is the next step to social monitoring where you can understand your target audience in a better way.
The importance of social listening
Social listening is as equally important as social media marketing when it comes to building a brand. Obviously, it is a pretty much obvious thing for a brand to watch out for its social mentions online. But, then how important is social media listening in your marketing strategy?
According to SproutSocial, 31% of tweets about any brand or company lacks username mentioned in it. This means consumers are tweeting about brands even without mentioning their Twitter handles. This does not mean they don’t want you to know about what they are tweeting. Perhaps, it might so happen that they have not found their twitter handle.
Moreover, a consumer insight published on twitter blog reports that the first thing 80 % Millennials do in the morning after waking up is to check their twitter accounts. That’s an important opportunity for brands to grab. Right?
This is where listening works like charm. If you don’t want to stay left out in grabbing opportunities provided by your consumers, then you should consider using social media listening as a part of your social media strategy. Moreover, if your competitor does not rely on social listening then it might be an opportunity for you to grab. Henceforth, it will be a wiser idea for you to rely on social media listening to scrutinize behavior of your target audience.
Benefits of social listening for your business
When it comes to maintaining social media reputation of your business, social listening can act as a catalyst. Building social media reputation without implementing an effective social listening strategy is like riding a vehicle without having enough of fuel. Your social media marketing strategy might work in few areas but when it comes to a longer run, it will not be much effective. If you focus on social listening, indirectly you are focusing on your customers which are your highest priority.
Following are different ways in which social media listening can benefit your brand:
Providing a better customer service support – Having focused on social media listening, you are gaining an insight into the behavior of your customers. This, in turn, will make you understand your customers in a better way. Moreover, people now rely more on social networking sites like twitter and facebook to address their problems or for sharing their reviews which is an amazing opportunity to be leveraged for. You can ensure providing them necessary support related to your product/ service. Henceforth, in this way you are not only retaining your old customers but also you will be gaining more.
Helps in identifying leads that convert into customers – Your customers are what that drive your business strategy. Having said that, with an effective social listening strategy, you will be able to identify those customers that can probably turn into lead. Social listening will make you connect with your potential customer directly on social media which is an advantage for your business.
Helps in identifying influencers in your market segment – Influencers are a set of people in your business that can play key roles in establishing a niche in your market segment. That being said, you can reach out to some of the renowned influencers in your market segment with the help of social listening. This is important and crucial for your business as influencers are renowned for having significant influence among their fans and followers which you can take an advantage of.
Helps in competing with your competitors – Needless to say, when you are listening to social media, you are keeping an eye on your consumers which are also on the prowl of your competitors. Henceforth, you can easily outsmart your competitors through an effective competitive analysis strategy.
Final thoughts on social listening – To sum up, social listening is an effective way to keep track of conversions related to your brand or your market segment. In case, you have not incorporated it yet in your social media marketing strategy than now, it is the time for you to take an action.
All the best!Tags: Horizontal Image, Social Media Reputation