How do you use social listening to understand your audience? Let me give you an example. Imagine that you have just walked into a restaurant and sat down next to a group of friends. They are busy talking about your brand. What is your probability to sit around quietly? Absolutely zero. Why don’t you do something different? Go and introduce yourself, thank them for their business, and join the conversation. The benefit of social listening is that it gives you the same opportunity, but online and at scale. Every mention on Twitter, hashtag, and comment on Instagram or Connected DM is yet another coffee shop conversation you must get to join.
These are some of the information you can track with social listening:
Name of your brand, business, and social media handles
Details of your products
Hashtags related to your brand
Your brand slogans
Unbranded relevant Hashtags
Keywords specific to your Industry
Names, handles, products, and slogans of competitors’ brand
Dissecting such information allows you to understand social sentiments, or how people react to your brand. The interesting part is, it lets you understand that in real-time. It is vital for your business, but let me put it into context.
Which is the most important tool typically to search something? You will say, Google. But if you ask me, the better option would be Twitter. Search on Twitter is the easiest way when it comes to social listening. Therefore, go to Twitter.com/search, and type your keyword, hit enter and you can easily see exactly what’s being said about your brand at any given moment. Go one step further, and respond! Google is awesome, but it’s not helpful in creating context and build real relationships with the consumer. If you wish to raise your social listening game, Twitter search is the key.
If you are looking to get consumer insights at scale, real-time search and real-time listening should be your go-to tools. You have plenty of resources available among the best social media listening tools.
SOCIAL LISTENING GUIDE
Let’s take a closer look into how social listening can dramatically affect your content, product, personal brand or business.
Find your FAQs
Your objective is not just to learn how great people think you are, it’s to gain information that will help you serve your community better. You should actually ask what people want to know:
For example, if one of your Instagram posts got over 5,000 comments. It’s equivalent to over 5,000 questions from your followers that can now fuel future content. Therefore, by sincerely reading and responding to the topics people want to hear about, you now have numerous potential topics for next blog posts, podcast episodes, Instagram lives, reels, and more.
Identify the most common issues of your customers
Social listening gives you a channel into your community’s biggest issues starting from general pain points to specific disillusions with your brand, product, or service. By identifying their problems, you also position yourself better to address their concerns or offer solutions. For instance, if you are creating content to motivate your audience to do something of their own instead of looking for a 9 to 5 job in the post-pandemic world. How do you know this would resonate?
It’s a no- brainer, by social listening. So, you may have read a lot of comments every single day, learning that more and more 20-30-year-olds were stressed or insecure about the fact that there are no jobs available in the market after what happened last year. You recognized that as a major paint point and used the insight to devise your content strategy.
Monitoring your brand wellbeing
The most crucial aspect of social listening is that the results are neutral. It enables you to monitor your brand health or to keep tabs on overall public perception — good or bad. People usually dismiss negative commenters as “trolls,” but there is another perspective. In almost 90% of cases, rude or negative comments come from people who are intentionally looking to get a reaction, and it’s only 10% of cases where something constructive happens and you need to hear it carefully.
The best social listening strategy is all about taking the bad with the good and using both to make your brand or product perform better. Good comments from your audience don’t mean everything is just perfect because public perception can change at any moment. The minute you go into your comfort zone is the minute you’re not actively listening. The objective of sentiment analysis isn’t to lift your ego, it’s to extract meaningful feedback to improve the customer experience.
Analysis of competition
Moreover, social listening gives access to insights about your competitors, or about your industry as a whole. It’s not very important what others are doing, what matters is how good an idea you have about where you stand. What do people think about comparable brands, products, or services? Where are they performing well and where are they falling short? These are the most important issues and insights that truly live in the comment sections and social feeds.
Who are the top influencers and ambassadors in your industry?
If you wish to know more about how to grow your business on social channels, you should consider influencer marketing. There are two ways to find influencers using native tools on social platforms. So, once you are on Instagram, enter the name of a town and you can see every single photo that was posted broken down further into most popular and most recent posts. Try to find someone in your niche and DM them: “Hello! We like your profile and would like to associate with you!” It’s that easy.
You can also find influencers or brand ambassadors through hashtags. Visit your Instagram page and search your branded hashtags and engage with people that are sharing posts. Make it a part of your daily routine and you’ll be surprised at the amount of underpriced distribution and awareness available to you.
Connect with your customers
In the end, social listening is all about giving back. We are living in the age of “Thank You Economy”, and the best marketing strategy is to empathize with your audience. One of the innovative ways to provide value is through surprise and delight. Actually, the most important takeaway is the revelation that social media is a great tool to find out about your community’s interests and build authentic connections. Connect to people, find out what they like, and figure out how you can use it to offer value, solve a problem, or just make someone’s day shine. It will go a long way in creating a lifelong relationship with your audience.