6 Ways Social Listening Can Grow Your Brand
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the business world, then you’ve heard of the term “word of mouth”. This is the most sought-after success for any marketer, as it’s the lowest cost yet highest ROI method of spreading the reach of your brand. If your product is so good that people are bringing it up in conversation, your business is already in good hands.
However, what exactly can a marketing team do to acquire this “word of mouth” state in the sea of the digital world? Well, listening for starters. More specifically, social listening.
What is Social Listening?
Social listening, shorthand for social media listening, is gauging what is being said about your brand, company, or products online.
It might seem as simple as looking at a social media feed, but that’s underestimating the sheer number of posts present on social media. Every single day, thousands of posts are posted every second. It’s an unprecedented amount of data.
To really understand social media, you need to start studying it deeply. The correct social media mantra should be –
“Don’t Just Look, Also Listen”
Oftentimes, many brands mistake monitoring for listening. After all, if you see the post, that means it’s been recorded. However, the journey shouldn’t stop there. Monitoring is simply acknowledging that a social media post exists. It doesn’t actually mean anything unless you do something with the information. That’s when you start to listen.
After tracking social media, that’s when you need to start gathering the effects of certain posts. Did a slew of positive reviews actually lead to a spike in sales? Was a viral video covered by the media?
Analyzing data past the surface level is the key to boosting customer engagement, and that’s exactly what social listening is. Monitor and listen to your social media feeds thoroughly and properly.
Benefits of Social Listening
Social listening provides several benefits, but these are the main ones you should consider.
1. Brand Exposure
Building a strong brand identity is crucial for all businesses, and to do that, you need to understand how your brand is perceived. All marketing plans begin and end on public consensus.
Social listening helps you extend the reach of your brand. From social listening, you can gather all the different opinions on your product and company.
Here are a few methods you can use to enhance your brand exposure.
Focus on FAQs
Every business will have its fair share of common questions and concerns. Before you start anything else, gather as many of these FAQs as possible. They will provide a handy set of data for you to analyze. From these FAQs, you can use data analysis tools to build a report on which FAQs should be prioritized first.
Cater To Positive Reception
When you notice a post getting some traction, and the reactions are positive, acknowledge it. Let the people know that you saw their reaction and that your brand will do its best to bring more of that content or product soon. This will be the basis of your campaign marketing strategies moving forward.
Immediately Resolve Negative Concerns
Vice versa, you must resolve negative concerts quickly and successfully. While it’s difficult to be viral from a positive post, it’s unfortunately very easy for bad reviews to pile up. The public is very susceptible to negativity.
To prevent this wildfire of bad press, immediately respond to concerns and find satisfactory answers. If possible, make these resolutions public as it gives the business an air of transparency to its customers.
Identify Your Niche
Once you have gathered what the customers like and don’t like, start analyzing the data to see what demographic your business is most successful towards.
From there, you can start deciding if you want to narrow your business to catering to this niche, or broadening the brand to have mass appeal. Both have their own challenges, so choose carefully.
2. Competitive Marketing
Social media is one of the most competitive fields of marketing, more so than traditional methods. Being able to track your own social media reports is not enough.
You also need to know how well (or not well) your competitors are doing on social media. Apply the same lessons you’ve learned about social listening to their brands as well.
Simulate what you think their marketing teams are doing to understand their tactics. From that, you can gather some important insights such as:
- Similar products
- Overlapping demographics
- Customer Satisfaction (or vice versa)
- Find out where they’re beating you
- What gaps do they have in their brand
A good example of how competitive marketing benefits your brand is via trends. For example, what if there are two concurrent trends going on? You only have enough manpower for one. You notice that your competitor jumped on Trend X because it was more popular than Trend Y a few months ago.
However, upon analyzing both trends on Google statistics, you found that Trend Y is on the rise as a hot topic, and Trend X is oversaturated. This is where you can capitalize on your competitor’s “safe” bet and fill a niche that isn’t being filled by any business rivals. These are the things that you can gain from following your competitor’s social media feeds.
3. Business Insights
Social listening lets you get on top of trends before they even happen. If you play your cards right, your brand could be a trailblazer. Analyzing trends via hashtags on social media or just looking at the most frequent posts on your brand’s feed is the simplest way of doing this.
Here are a few tips to better your monitoring skills.
- Engage regularly with your customers online
- Look for needs that your business can fill for customers
- Be aware of political and social issues that could affect your brand
- Avoid having public discourse on the brand pages to maintain brand integrity
Social listening is also great for finding the right social media influencers for your brand. The best influencers should ideally be those who already use your brand (or something similar to your brand).
Marketing with influencers has become the new form of brand ambassador. Check trends and see which influencers are the best fit for your business and within your reach.
4. Event Management
Your brand isn’t just limited to official hashtags. While those certainly make for an easy way to easily narrow your most active followers, there’s still a huge chunk of potential leads who do not use official hashtags.
For these, you need to be aware of the most common keywords associated with your brand. For events, this is doubly important. Significant keywords would be stuff like:
- Venue of Brand Event
- Conference Guests
- Products being Advertised
- Influencers Advertising the Event
- Key Topics
Figuring out the reception for brand events is a crucial aspect of social listening. After all, there’s little point to an event if you don’t actually know its impact. Much like campaigns, events are the same philosophy.
5. Campaign Enhancement
Campaign strategies should not be based on flukes. Whether your campaign succeeds or fails, it’s important to analyze what happened.
Without this knowledge, your campaigns would basically be blind guessing. Using proper listening tactics will help your overall campaign strategy. Some effective listening tactics include:
- The study which demographics responded best to your campaigns
- Focus on the campaign themes, and discard the ones that don’t work
- See which influencers are aware of your campaign, and how they’re responding to it
- Gather sentiment quickly as your campaign grows (or shrinks)
- Gauge overall impressions of the campaign by its end for future reference
Once you break down these insights, you can start segmenting them into different demographics and data types. Once you’re done, future campaigns now have an easy dataset to pull from. Listening as much about data gathering as it is about brand expansion.
6. Product and Service Improvement
As you may have noticed, social listening means a lot of data. Not only does this data grow your brand, but it also gives you valuable insight into your actual product.
While you can advertise any product, there’s still no beating a product that perfectly answers a customer’s needs. Branding is important, but reliability is just as important.
Whether you are offering products or services, social listening lets you know what you can do to improve these things. Traditional surveys are static compared to the ever-moving state of social media.
Social listening lets you keep track of people’s wants and needs from your products instantly. A brand that truly cares about its customers doesn’t just pander in marketing. They also genuinely improve the product they are selling.
Or at the very least, provide more of what keeps customers coming back.
Social listening is a lot more complicated than people think. You will be using a lot of online tools, and meetings about social media will be common for marketing teams.
However, social listening is a powerful tool to add to your marketing arsenal. The only question is, are you willing to study its fullest potential? If your answer is yes, you can find out more marketing and business strategies on our website here.