As children, we’re taught to listen.
Some of us took that advice, others didn’t. But now that we’re all grownups in the big, bad world, it’s important to remember what we were taught as kids. It is important to listen, how else are you going to understand what the other person wants? The same rule applies to brands.
Social media provides you with the opportunity to engage your brand’s audience, and discover more about what your audience wants - you just need to open your ears and hear what they are saying, the information is right there.
Listening doesn’t just work for learning what your audience wants. With social media listening tools, you can also discover what is being said about your company, industry and brand. This is really interesting stuff that you can find out here! You can track the times your brand is mentioned and by who, keep an eye on industry trends and make sure that your competitors aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves.
Just as you wouldn’t send your child off to university and not check in on how they’re doing to make sure they stay on track. Following that logic, you shouldn’t then post content on social channels and not keep an eye on the world’s reaction.
Sure, we all record how many likes, clicks, and shares we’ve got, but does everyone go that step further and actually try to monitor conversations outside of their reach?
So why should you spend time doing this, when there are already not enough hours in the day?
Because using social media listening tools (like we do!) will provide a stronger return on investment.
1- You’ll be able to cater your content to your audience in a much more specific way, knowing what types of language they respond to, if there are particular topics that get them really riled up, or whether they prefer to engage with casual, relaxed content.
2- You’ll be able to resolve a negative crisis much faster, and you’ll know more about the situation and context.
*Did you know that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience? That’s a whole lot of effort. Instead, be ahead of the game and catch the complaint before it even is one.
OR, you could just go all out like Zappo does - see this epic letter from a staff member to an unhappy shoe wearer here! - (thanks to @Kissmetrics for the blog post).
This situation is slightly different to what we’re talking about, in terms of social listening, in that this customer clearly reached out to Zappos to complain - but the same sentiment can be applied. Listen to your audience, and if you hear that someone is unhappy with what you’re doing, do your best to turn it round.
3- You’re going to get to know your audience's thoughts, for no additional cost. Something as simple as monitoring your hashtag/s is really useful to find out opinions and thoughts.
Apple for example closely monitors the hashtags used on a product release day - that gives them massive insights into the public’s thoughts on their product. And hey, If it works for Apple, it’ll work for you.
It’s really quite simple; if you aren’t listening to your audience, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone else is. And they’ll be the ones profiting from all those juicy insights so carelessly overlooked by you.
👆 That’s your competitor
For our clients, this is something we do every week. We’re across brand mentions (when they involve our clients directly, and when they are not tagged in the post) - we can even track down who the person is who made a complaint about you verbally in a cafe. It’s true - we did it last week when we physically overheard a loud conversation.
We’re always listening...
👆 That’s us
You can learn more about how to listen to your audience on social media online, or get in touch with us to talk about how we can do it for you.