Improving Your Content Relevance Using Social Media Listening Tools
Active listening is a critical skill that aids understanding and helps improve human interactions. This same skill can be applied to managing your business presence online through social media. Managing your business online effectively involves many factors and goes beyond just collecting data. You want to keep your ears on the ground so as to say what your audience is saying about your business. This is where social listening comes in.
A good brand is built on a solid reputation, and most of all is centered around its customers. Actively listening to what your customers say about you, how they search for your business, what they say about your competition, what they like and may not like about your business are all vital information every brand should have at their fingertips. Social listening is a way to keep tabs on all of these and much more and will help you create relevant content specifically tailored for your customers.
But, first, let us clearly define social listening.
What exactly is social listening?
Social listening simply involves monitoring various social media platforms your business belongs to for conversations, mentions, and buzz relevant to your business and your industry as a whole. The information obtained upon analysis provides you with insights that will influence decisions on how to improve your content and create exactly what your customers need.
Social listening and social monitoring are two different but similar concepts, and one should not be confused with the other. While social media monitoring also involves the collection of data using key metrics, it simply provides the numbers needed to monitor ROI, testing campaigns, and important budgets.
Social listening on the other hand involves actively paying attention to the emotions and sentiments behind those numbers. While figures do not reveal the whole truth, social listening gives you deeper insights into these numbers, how they affect your brand and influence actions that improve your business. It can be detrimental to your business if a post gets lots of engagements filled with negative reviews.
Social listening essentially involves analyzing the data collected and using it to guide strategies and content that are relevant to your audience.
How social listening can help your business
Social listening done the right way can improve the service rendered and the quality of your content. Marketers have agreed that social listening increased the value of businesses over the last few years. For any brand that wants to stand out, not having a social listening strategy in place is leaving vital information out and money on the table. There is essentially no way to determine what exactly your audience wants without listening to the actual conversations they are having online.
For customer-centered businesses, social listening is a great way to get insights directly from your customers. Here are some of the ways your business can benefit from social listening.
1. Provides better customer insights
Social listening helps provide better insights into the wants and needs of your customers from your business.
For example, you own a coffee shop and a few customers are waiting in line, one mentions to another how they love the selection of coffee beverages you have but would have also liked it if you provided teas as well. This is an insight into an additional product or service your business could render to your customers.
On social media, you could see conversations on what exactly your audience loves about your business and what they think you can improve on. Social listening gives you insights into how exactly they feel about your products or services. Using this the right way will help increase customer interaction with your business.
Certain businesses have built great customer services and engage with customers regularly on social media based on the insights provided by social listening.
2. Improve development of quality content
As a business with an online presence, content marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience and increase sales. Virtually every online platform your business belongs to requires a form of content and having the right content is essential in retaining old customers and acquiring new ones.
The competition to grab on to and retain the attention of your audience is quite fierce as there are many other brands also fighting for their attention. Your content needs to stand out while remaining relevant and providing solutions for them.
To create personalized content made for your audience, you need to know what it is they search for online. Things such as headlines, keywords, likes, shares, and clicks need to be known. Also, social listening helps you identify the content formats your audience engages with the most. For example, do they prefer videos, how-to guides, blog posts, infographics, or listicles?
Social listening can also help identify the relevant topics that your audience search for or talk about regularly, what interest them and how often do they search for these topics and other related topics.
Having all the right information about all these through social listening will help you craft better content strategies across all social media platforms for your audience.
3. Monitor the competition
Every business has competitors and knowing what your audience says about the competition and what the competition puts out there helps you gauge how well your content and business is doing, and where you are in the industry. Social listening not only helps you know what your customers are saying about you at times but also provides insights into your competitor in real-time.
You can stay on top of trends and what it is your competitors are curating in terms of relevant content to the industry and swing into action. Social listening can help you identify new content market opportunities and liable threats through competitors and allows you to create a strategic response in real-time. There may be a gap that your business can help fill in the marketplace through credible content.
4. Identify potential collaborations and brand influencers
Social listening helps identify conversations about opportunities and influencers in your industry that can create the right kind of content for your business. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and leveraging the existing relationship between these influencers and your potential audience can greatly benefit your business in terms of creating content such as a review section in your blog or social media pages.
You can also identify relevant online communities that are in your industry which will help increase the organic growth of your online presence and provide fresh ideas for relevant content. Collaborations help ease your way into an existing community and present your business as helpful and relevant and not salesy. You also need to offer help where you can to creators in your industry which makes the collaborative efforts smooth and almost effortless.
5. Mitigates PR crises
You really don’t want to say the wrong thing in your latest blog or social media post. Your brand’s reputation online could be at stake due to slow or delayed response to PR issues when they occur. Having an active social listening strategy helps you track any changes in the perceived nature of your business. Social listening provides early signals of any positive or negative changes in how your customers view your business and will inform you decisions on the kind of content that will rectify the situation.
Remember not all engagement is good engagement, and the reason behind any sudden engagement should be known. It keeps you on top of your brand’s image and ensures you swing into action to avert any negative light on your business with the right action plan, and prevents you from creating the kind of content that caused the stir in the first place. Many businesses have fallen due to not managing their PR and learning valuable lessons in the end.
With social listening, you can get feedback on your products, services, or what has your customers talking about your business. When the scale tips towards a negative direction, social listening can help you identify the cause of these changes and useful lessons for the future. You can also prioritize certain changes to your business to help put you back in good standing with your customers.
Social listening is made possible and effective thanks to online tools created specifically for this task. There are various social listening tools that are free and paid available to businesses online. These tools make social listening easy by providing you with all the data and insights required to move your business to the next all in one place. You can track how often your business is being mentioned, keywords, conversations related to your business, competitors, identify key industry creators, and do so much more with these tools.
Certain social listening tools can be integrated with others to provide rich data and a powerful experience. There are no limits to the number of social listening tools that can be used, but you only need relevant tools for specific insights you are interested in.
To ensure social listening works for your business, be sure to listen in the right places. Listening to where your business is not present or relevant can be a waste of time and resources. Using the right keywords also makes your listening strategy effective and concise. Learn from past mistakes and mistakes of competitors to better improve your strategy while ensuring you remain relevant.
Social listening goes beyond the data and metrics and dives deeper into the insights. These insights identify the gaps and the needs of your customers, and how you can provide solutions to these needs. When done right, the insights gotten from social listening can guide your plans and strategically place your business in the right areas.
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