Social Listening: be silent, the audience speaks

Social listening: what it is and why it is essential for your brand

Social listening: if you want consumers to listen to you, listen to them first. It is only in this way that you can truly understand their needs and be able to satisfy them. Every person online, whether consciously or not, produces data that is of vital importance to your brand. Being online means being constantly exposed to public opinion. This means that every day you need to ask yourself questions, and your online presence cannot be left to chance.

What do people think about your brand or your product? Do they talk about it positively or not? You need to engage in listening and research, you need to do social listening. This way, you will benefit from feedback about your brand and improve your offering, gaining an advantage over your competitors.

Let’s define social listening

We can think of social listening as a continuous and constant monitoring process, identification, and evaluation of online conversations relevant to specific keywords and phrases, your brand or competitors, your product, and your industry.

introduction to social listening
This continuous and constant process aims to analyze people’s behaviors and market trends, enabling the development of listening-oriented strategies.

Why is it strategically important?

Using a social listening system allows you to know what your audience likes or dislikes in relation to:

  1. mentions of your brand
  2. industry trends
  3. competitors
  4. product/service

Social listening has significant strategic potential, not only online but also offline. This allows for implementing digital strategies to optimize social marketing campaigns and increase consumer engagement with your brand.
You will be able to make accurate evaluations of your company’s social marketing activities and understand how to enhance your social digital strategy.

Having access to a range of qualitative and quantitative data allows for answering social media marketing questions from a different perspective and potentially leads to better results.

Social listening is one of the skills of a Social Media Manager.
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Listen to the audience

In a reality where everyone is online, whether an individual or a company, and self-celebration is the order of the day, taking the time to listen seems to go against the trend. In reality, it is a winning move because your audience will only listen to you when you first listen to them.

Not just listening, but especially understanding consumer opinions. To do this, it is necessary to consider the context in which comments are made; when interacting with the public, your communication should be valuable and aimed at building relationships.

Being silent, doing social listening, listening to the market, and intercepting conversations is the basis of the circular process that leads to making decisions and implementing adjustments to the action plan.

Social listening: how to plan the strategy

Implementing an effective social listening strategy is important for your company to not miss any form of interaction with customers/users, to strengthen relationships with your customers, and to create new contact opportunities with prospects.
As previously highlighted, conversations on social networks generate a large amount of data.

strategy for listening socially

The social listening strategy serves to analyze and monitor conversations, to understand the level of affection users have for your brand and/or product. The main social channels for listening activities are Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc.

The social listening strategy can be summarized in 6 points:

  1. Define objectives: you need to ask yourself what you want to know from users. Do you want to know their opinion about your brand? About your products/services? Do you want to improve your company’s customer service? Do you want to know what they think about your competitors? Once you have decided the purpose of using social listening, you need to set up searches consistently.
  2. Identify keywords: determine the topics that are strategic for your business and identify the keywords to study for data to work with. For example, if you are working on a new social media campaign, it will be useful to find the most used hashtags and keywords that can help improve your content. Social listening will assist you with this and subsequently monitor performance. It is also possible to monitor entire phrases that may highlight brand-related issues so that you can intervene promptly.
  3. Social media monitoring: activities to collect data on mentions, likes, shares, sentiment, in order to compile a list and build our database. The most commonly used social media monitoring tools are Talkwalker and Mention.
  4. Conduct Reputation and Sentiment analysis: from the data extracted through social media monitoring, you can answer a series of important questions that will allow you to understand the context in which your brand was mentioned, how many times, whether positively or negatively, and whether users are satisfied or complaining.
  5. Choose influencers: this is an important step; finding the right influencers for your brand is a crucial element. Consumers perform extensive research on social networks before making purchasing decisions and rely on the opinions they find online. People listen to influencers, so you need to find those who are most suitable for your brand and your product/service and bring them on board.
  6. Develop an action plan: at this point, the analysis of conversations has been done, and you have obtained data that gives you a clear and accurate picture of how people perceive you and what aspects need improvement or opportunities to seize that may have escaped you so far. You can now move on to defining the actions that will allow you to achieve the objectives you set at the beginning.

 

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Applications of social listening

The analysis and control of the collected data have an immediate impact on certain business activities where there is direct contact with the public or in situations where being timely is an obligation.

Customer service activities

Social listening is a fundamental element in customer service because consumers are increasingly inclined to seek assistance, ask questions, make complaints, and provide suggestions through social media rather than the phone. What could be more immediate than opening Twitter or Facebook and writing in real-time, eliminating phone wait times?
In fact, more than 60% of users expect to receive support from brands through social channels and are inclined to speak positively about a brand that allows them to engage on a social network.

Customer service on social media is a tool you cannot do without for your company: since 2015, there has been an increase in the demand for assistance on social media, and Facebook and Twitter have proven to be the most effective platforms for customer service activities. Users expect a response to their complaints from brands very quickly, preferably within an hour.

Crisis Management

Effectively managing a crisis is crucial offline, but even more so online where everything happens in real-time. When facing a crisis management situation, it is good practice to have already planned the actions you need to take and established the tone of voice to use. You must not be caught unprepared. So, if you receive criticism or questions, you have limited options other than responding quickly, accurately, and relevantly. This way, the audience will have evidence that your brand listens to them and pays attention to their needs.

Competitor Analysis

Social listening is also very important for conducting a thorough analysis of your competitors, monitoring what they do and how consumers talk about them, what they think of their products, how their brand is perceived, and how they engage in social customer care activities. Having a tool that allows you to study the competition in real-time becomes a significant strategic factor for you and your brand.

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