One of the single most important things a marketer can do is listen—to your consumers, constituents, competitors, relevant trends, industry experts—the list goes on. Of course, the problem is that, today, listening has become harder than ever. With a surplus of 140-character comments, stylishly filtered images and bright clusters of emojis, it can be hard to detect a signal in the noise.
Enter social listening—a way to aggregate social communication about any given topic. Imagine a vacuum for the Internet that—in a highly targeted manner—is able to find and organize every public conversation about your brand for your analysis. Whether you’re interested in benchmarking conversation volume, brand sentiment analysis or identifying customer service issues (with your brand and your competitors), social listening allows you to do it—and a lot more.
Here are three ways we’ve used social listening that we thought would be relevant and helpful for your brand today.
Develop (or Evolve) Your Social Strategy
Whether you’re a new brand looking to launch a social presence or an existing brand looking to understand where to go next, a social listening exercise allows you to identify where conversations about your brand or category are happening. Once you know this, you can not only better hone your message—but also make sure you’re talking where the conversation is actually happening.
Manage Your Reputation
Ever wish you were a fly on the wall to hear how your consumers talk about you? Social listening lets you evaluate conversations in real time to understand what consumers are saying about your brand. All these snippets of social exchanges can be aggregated to tell a surprising story about your brand. Engaging social listening could identify consumer perceptions and/or customer service issues that may be affecting your brand’s reputation. Armed with this knowledge, you can further boost your ability to deliver high quality customer service.
Keep Tabs on Your Competition
While you’re listening to what people are saying about your brand, why not do the same for your competition? Social listening allows you to uncover conversation themes, sentiment, reputation analysis, brand attributes, etc. that may be useful to get a holistic understanding of where your competitors win and lose with consumers—and where the opportunity for your brand to differentiate may be.
Listening is a fundamental part of our process. From high-level strategy to day-to-day auditing, we make what’s being said about your business our business. As Larry King once said, I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.
Are you listening?