If you’re unfamiliar with social media listening, don’t worry! There are plenty of brands out there who aren’t aware of this technique too. Some brands confuse the term with “social media monitoring,” which is similar but different.
In short, social media listening (or social listening) occurs when you identify and assess what’s being said about your brand, products, or services online. It allows you to track consumers’ sentiments in real-time, knowing right away if people’s perceptions of your brand have changed based on what they’re saying about your company. Essentially, it’s an early warning system that alerts you when either a positive or a negative change in your brand’s perception occurs.
No matter how large or small, every company should participate in social listening. These days, consumers are very vocal about their opinions of companies of all sizes, and they’re ready and willing to take to social media channels to be heard.
Of course, you’re not expected to monitor all of your social mentions manually. There are plenty of tools available online to do this work for you. The more attentive you are to social listening, the more likely you will build trust with current and future customers.
In just the last year, nearly two-thirds of marketers report that social listening has increased in value in recent times, according to Hootsuite. if you’re not one of these marketers, it’s time to listen up (pun intended!)
What is Social Listening?
Social listening employs cloud-based technologies that show you what’s being said about your brand on social media – without you having to go seek it out. These tools allow you to:
- See what people are saying about your company in real-time.
- Observe social media mentions on the top social channels.
- Determine the tone, influence, and reach of each social message.
- Analyze important data and identify trends.
- Create aggregate reports that help you understand big-picture items that your team can share.
Social listening is a simple-yet-effective method that social media strategists use to ensure they’re on top of what consumers are saying about their brands.
There are a lot of benefits to social listening. Let’s dive deeper into that, shall we?
The Benefits of Social Listening
Now that you know a little bit more about what social listening is, let’s talk about how it can benefit your brand.
1. Gaining an Edge on Your Competition
With the right tools, you can set up a keyword tracker that can monitor all mentions related to your brand. Make sure you list all variations of your product and service names and any common misspellings.
You might find that consumers complain about one of your competitor’s products or customer service. If so, you can take advantage of that opportunity by stepping in and asking them to explain what shortcomings they’re finding. Once you gather that information, you have the option to show them how you’re better than your competitor while explaining your brand’s benefits. People will see that your company cares about current and future customers, even if they’re only lurking on social media.
2. Identifying Influencers and Brand Advocates
When you find out who’s talking about your brand and organically spreading good news related to your offerings, you’ll be better able to identify people you can build influencer relationships with. You’ll soon learn who your brand advocates are, and you can leverage that information to get them to spread the love about your brand. This is marketing gold!
3. Improving Customer Service
You’ll be exposed to both positive and negative feedback when you’re social listening. Sometimes, negative feedback can benefit you more because it usually provides clear guidance on how you can improve.
Great social media marketing agencies can help you navigate these waters to make sure you understand how your brand name is being used in the social sphere.
Social Listening Tools
There’s really no shortage of social listening tools, so when you’re ready to get started, you should be well on your way (with a bit of help from today’s technology!). Here’s a look at a few popular choices:
Falcon was designed to give you a solid picture of what’s happening and who’s involved. This tool can be used to find popular hashtags and topics so you can optimize your future content and campaigns.
As one of the best-known social media management platforms, this brand name has a lot of leverage in the social space. Hootsuite Insights is their social listening platform separate from their standard offerings. It enables you to gauge social sentiments around your business. It lets you spot trends in specific segments and gain multi-dimensional views of your market segments.
Sprout Social offers many collaborative tools, including social media listening capabilities. Its dashboard will provide you with suggestions regarding what you should do next each time you enter the platform. Within the company’s Smart Inbox, you can reply, retweet, repost, or re-pin items, all within the Sprout Social space. With the social listening feature, you can track mentions of your company, competition, or selected keywords.
Social Listening with ZGM
Don’t let the idea of social listening overwhelm you. With a little time (and the right tools), you’ll soon glean insights into your audience. Zero Gravity Marketing is here to help if you need assistance. Touch base with our team right away!