What is Social Listening and Why it is Important?

Listen before you speak. This phrase is something you heard when you were younger. Back then, it may not have made much sense but as you got older, this phrase has probably come to mind more than once, particularly after you’ve said something that came out the wrong way.

Even though we’re taught to practice active listening, many brands still don’t understand the importance of doing so. Listening to your audience does more than increase your ROI. Understanding what your audience wants and helping them solve a problems creates brand loyalty.

What is Social Media Listening?

If you don’t listen to your audience, you can’t effectively connect with them, and without a connection, you have no influence. Unfortunately, many brands are so preoccupied with making tactical moves that they forget to focus on strategic ones.

Social media listening involves monitoring your social media platforms for valuable feedback, discussions and direct mentions about you. It also involves analyzing what your competition is doing and specific topics that help you gain insight into possibly overlooked opportunities.

Unlike social media monitoring, social listening is a two-part process. While monitoring your accounts is simply keeping track of conversation and mentions, social listening dives deeper. It allows you to analyze data and then act upon it. Without actionable responses, it’s nearly impossible to meet the needs of your customers.

Social medial listening finds the root behind online conversations and then implements long-term strategies that are as diverse as your target audience.

The Value of Social Listening

Imagine you are the creative director at Netflix. You have access to important data on the most popular genres, most watched actors and content viewership rates. Armed with this you’re able to create marketing strategies that hone in on what viewers want and keep them coming back for more.

But what if you didn’t have this information at your disposal? How would you know what viewers are watching, what they want and how to create strategy that delivers?

Active listening provides you with more than numerical data. It also allows you to:

  • Conduct content research and gather valuable insight from your niche industry competitors and your audience to generate fresh content.
  • Competitor comparison examines consumer attitudes and identify any gaps in your marketing plan.
  • Research the customer experience and uncover any issues they have. You gain valuable insight into the most common wants and needs around your product or service.
  • Campaign analysis allows you to monitor your target audience’s reactions to your marketing campaigns in real time.

Strategies

Being part of the online conversation helps build brand intelligence. But before you sneak a peek at what your competition is doing, you need to first monitor your own brand. Using social media listening for your own organization identifies the most common complaints and compliments. It also gives you insight into market segmentation within your target audience and the general sentiment around your brand.

Once you understand the data about your organization, you can then focus on these tactical strategies:

  • Create a FAQ sheet for frequently asked questions.
  • Resolve your customers’ most common complaints.
  • Discover what your target audience loves and leverage this information to create content that causes a commotion.

Getting Started

Customer trends can change in the blink of an eye. If you aren’t paying attention and digging deep into what’s being said, your brand may suffer. Just like you, your customers want to do business with a brand that’s interactive and provides them with the service and support they’ve come to expect. Finally, they want genuine content that is not only useful, but engaging as well.

From active listening tools to becoming part of the conversation yourself, a little empathy can go a long way.

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Author: Kim Figor

Kim Figor has over 13 years’ experience in a plethora of marketing disciplines that encompass SEO & Paid Search Online Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Project Management. Her educational background includes a BABM and MBA in Marketing as well as Certifications in AdCenter, Adwords and Market Motive (Paid Search, Display, SEO, and Conversions). In addition to working at Google, where she assisted thousands of companies succeed online, Kim has been a key player in the start-up and growth of several technology and marketing companies. Kim’s exceptional analytical skills relating to online marketing has proven to be instrumental in the success of online campaigns for companies in all industries and sizes.