Mastering social media is no longer just creating a Facebook page or Twitter account. To create an effective social marketing strategy in order to advertise your business, you have to listen to your target audience – and this is where social listening comes in.
For all successful businesses whether they are big or small, building on feedback and listening to customers is essential. Social listening involves just this, but by utilizing social media platforms. With so many people openly expressing their views and opinions online, taking this data and learning from it is perfect to improve your services.
How can I use social listening?
Here are a couple of simple ways you can use social listening to improve your business and its presence on the internet:
Monitor trends – Tracking your niche on social media platforms is one way to use social listening to your advantage. Regularly checking related Facebook pages or searching Twitter hashtags are simple ways to increase your understanding and gain knowledge of your target audience.
Use tools – Due to the masses of content on the internet, monitoring it all can be tricky. Luckily there are many services already available to help you listen to the social media world. Google Alerts allows you to monitor keywords across the web and receive email updates on the latest results. HootSuite allows you to track your social networks all in one window. Any RSS reader such as Google Reader can pull content from your related RSS feeds.
Influencers - Finding the influencers related to your niche is key, whether they are similar businesses or customers. By monitoring their social media streams you will see how they’ve become successful and it will help you improve your own content. Vice versa when you create successful content they may be willing to share it, building your footprint on the web. This brings other benefits such as increasing your businesses search engine ranking.
Interact – Responding and adding to conversations on social media sites you’ve found through social listening will help increase your digital presence (and increase inbound links to your website).
On a bigger scale
Social listening can be used to monitor your brand online. Many large companies use this technique to further understand their target audience. For example Dell has a whole branch set up to monitor relevant social media, allowing them to track how their products are performing and sort out any customer issues that arise. By tracking data such as how often your brand is mentioned, perceptions of your brand and customer feedback you can greatly improve your business.