When it comes to brands and businesses on social media right now, a lot of the conversation is about content: creating content, curating content, making content spread. There is a lot of talking being done on the Internet. But what about listening? If you can learn how stop talking and start digging into the noise, you are likely to hear a lot of things that can bring a lot of value to your business.
Who is talking about you?
Tracking mentions of your brand or company name online can help you identify who is talking about you. You might get acquainted with influencers who recommend your product, and those are people you would definitely be able to get in touch with. Brand advocates, people who are willing to say out loud how much they like a product, are a rare breed. You want to treat them well.
You might also hear negative things from people who don’t like your product. As the expression says: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." There is a lot to be learned from someone who doesn’t like you and wants to share why online.
What are they saying?
What do your clients think about your products? Are they happy or not? If they contacted your customer service, did they have a good experience with it?
Social gives you great opportunities to get client's feedback and reviews, and to learn what you are doing good or not so good. Customer insights on how to improve products are generally hard and expensive to get, but social listening can definitely help you with that.
What about my competition?
If people are talking about you online, they are probably talking about your competitors as well. How interested would you be in knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, compared to competitors, and from a client point of view? This could give you very interesting insights your sales staff can take advantage of when pitching.
How can I innovate?
Clients are often useless at coming up with great product ideas (as Henri Ford said, people just wanted faster horses) —but they are great at expressing their daily struggles. Which means it gives you an opportunity to find recurring problems your company could solve. Social listening can be a source of insights for your R&D as well.
Who could be my next client?
Every day, many people ask for advice on social in order to find the products and services they are looking for. Talk about finding hot prospects! If you can start a conversation with them and give them value at that time, there is a high chance they will seriously consider your product when making the final purchase decision.
How to get started with social listening?
There are many tools that can help you with social listening, from simple free ones to the most sophisticated and expensive ones.
Upping the game a bit, Brand24 allows you to look for your chosen keywords, across multiple languages and with a sentiment analysis.
For high demanding industries that need to closely monitor their customer experience, or need to get a detailed reporting on their campaigns’ results, there are more complex and costly products on the market, such as Lexalytics and Crimson Hexagon. Those can help you drill into huge huge databases of online comments.
The main takeaway here is that no matter what industry you are in, social listening should be part of your sales and marketing toolbox, and there are tools out there to help you do that.
Have you started your social listening program yet?