Whether you’re new to social listening or you’ve been using a social listening tool for some time now, there’s always new things to learn and ways to improve your online presence. To be fair, the best way you can take advantage of your social listening tool is to jump into the conversation as soon as possible.
Many companies invest in social listening tools but are simply monitoring what’s being said — watching from afar — and not really taking action. If you really want to make a difference in how your brand is perceived online, it’s time to actively listen and engage with your customers. This is how you’re going to resolve any problems right away, while also generating new leads and customers. We’ve outlined the best ways you can truly utilize your social listening tool to improve your business, in the ways of reputation and making more sales.
Know Your Target Audience and How They Talk
Depending on how long your company has been around, you may or may not be really familiar with your target audience. You should know every detail about them — not individuals — but know what kinds of things they like, what their daily lives are like, what they like to do on the weekends, and most importantly, what kinds of content and language do they respond to?
The more you know, the better you’ll be able to present your message in a way that gets them interested. If just jump in out of nowhere and aren’t speaking to your target audience, they’re going to keep on moving. Pay attention to the words you’re using, images you’re putting out there, and even the tone. All of these details should go with your brand, but should also attract your target audience.
Create a Method to Consistently Listen
As with all digital marketing efforts, consistency is key when it comes to social listening. You can’t expect to find success if you’re really involved for one week and then disappear for two weeks. Believe it or not, people like to know what to expect — whether it’s with a brand, a company, a service, a product, even a restaurant. If a customer knows they can count on your company for quality customer service, that’s a really great reason for them to stick around.
The best way to get consistent with social listening is to use quality keywords that are relevant to your brand and stick with them. If you change the keywords you’re following, then you might miss out on conversations. Once you find what people are saying (and how they’re saying it), start jumping into the conversation — don’t be shy!
Offer Better Customer Service Than Ever Before
Through social listening, you can offer the best customer service than you ever have before. This isn’t just about resolving customer’s problems as they arise, it’s about listening and being there for whenever your customers need you.
Use your social listening tool to respond to any questions or complaints. Be sure to respond to these with a genuine, unique response and not a stock answer. You can also listen to gather honest feedback about your brand. No need for customer surveys here! Finally, you can offer to solve problems. Say someone is asking for recommendations about a service or product you offer — you can jump right in and say, “We’re here!” (and offer more details) and right away you’re likely to get a new interaction.
Reach Out to Influencers
The longer you’re listening to people, you’ll probably come across brand influencers. These are people that your target audience looks to for recommendations on anything from clothing and style to diet and fitness. Once an audience trusts an influencer, that influencer is likely to be able to sell them on anything. So, why not reach out to the influencer and share your product and offer them a deal to share it with their audience. You might be surprised how well this goes for your brand.
Pay Attention to Hashtags
Aside from quality, relevant keywords, you should be paying attention to hashtags related to your company, brand, and industry. Remember, there are conversations happening in so many different places and people talk about them in different ways — you’ve got to be there to hear what they’re saying!
Look for New Opportunities
Once you start to get a feel for the conversations happening surrounding your brand, start to reach out and find new opportunities. This could mean venturing into a new market, or seeing what people are saying about your competition. Is there an opportunity there for you to step in and present your brand?
Perhaps you start paying attention to what your customers are saying even when they’re NOT talking about your product or service. Are they all talking about things they need? Problems they’re looking to solve? Is this information something you can take and incorporate into your marketing campaigns or even create a new product or service. The opportunities are endless!
Always Keep Learning
Never stop learning. Your customers are evolving and you should, too. Markets change. People’s needs and wants evolve. Pay attention to the change so that your company can keep up! If you stay hungry and always keep learning, you’ll always be on the cutting edge and in-the-know of what’s happening. This is how you actively listen and use that information to improve your business.