9 Proven Social Listening Strategies to Improve Your Marketing.
Last time, I wrote about social listening and why your business needs it, so I figured that I should take it further by discussing some of the social listening strategies you need to know to improve your marketing. After all, if you are familiar with the marketing space, one thing that is constant is the right strategy. You can know the definition of marketing terms and why they are essential. But if you don’t know how to apply them properly, it’d be a waste of resources.
So, to avoid that, this post seeks to show you the right ways to monitor and analyze your brand mentions online. This is so you can not only know what is said about you in different quarters but also know how to utilize what’s being said to improve your marketing.
So without further ado, let’s look at some effective social listening strategies that are sure to help improve your marketing.
Closely Monitor Brand Mention Across Board
Social listening is not something that can be done passively, it must be done actively. The worst social listening approach to take is to hope you’d find your brand mentions by chance. By the time you are hoping for a chance meeting, some serious damage may have been done or you’d be doing marketing blindly. So, you need to make it a priority to find your brand mentions across the board. You need to actively go looking for places you are being mentioned and what’s being said about you.
If you are still a small business, you can start by using hashtags and keywords related to your brand, niche or industry. You can also search for trending topics around your brand. Luckily, all social media platforms have a Search tab to make searching for your brand mentions easy. And you can also use a search engine to search through the internet for articles online where your brand is mentioned. Another free tool you can consider is Google Alerts. All you have to do is set certain keywords and you will be sent a mail when said keywords are mentioned on the internet.
However, as you scale, it’d be advisable to purchase a social listening tool that’d help you streamline your social listening efforts. That way, you are able to automate the process, get more detailed insight and track brand mentions in real-time. The ability to respond to brand mentions immediately after they come in will be very useful for your marketing strategy especially as you grow your business.
Get and Accept Feedback
One of the things you should be looking for is feedback from customers. This is because you cannot possibly know how great or challenging your product or service is if you don’t find out from others. There are just so many things you may not have thought about that your customers will help you see. So, don’t rely only on your perception of your product/service; seek feedback.
Find out what your customers and audience feel about what you are offering and use that information for your good; to improve. Don’t take negative feedback to heart or react defensively to them. It’d do you no good. Even when you think the feedback is wrong after doing an honest and thorough review – because some customers are just impossible to please – don’t react negatively. Explain the situation as politely as you can and let it go if you cannot change their mind. But for accurate feedback, see how you can incorporate them to improve your business. In fact, you might attract more customers by how receptive you are to criticism.
However, there is also the tendency to want to concentrate so much on the negative feedback because we feel that’s what we should focus on. That’s another extreme you shouldn’t fall into. Accept and take advantage of positive feedback as well. One of the wisest social listening strategies to employ is to repost or engage posts that speak positively about your brand. Customers like feeling seen and it will encourage more people to do the same. Plus, it will attract more fans because customers tend to listen to other customers.
Respond Swiftly to Customers
Very similar to the point above, you should swiftly respond to your customers; both their negative and positive comments. Seek redress with customers who react negatively and even give them incentives if necessary, especially if the issue is a one-time error caused by unforeseen circumstances. But if it is a recurring issue caused by business policy or production error, you should work on that.
The goal is to address issues before they expand. If you respond swiftly to that customer’s complaint and help them find a solution, chances are the issue will be put to rest but if that complaint goes viral, it’d be more difficult to contain. So, make sure to address issues as fast as you can; whether it is a one-time issue or a production issue. And for positive comments, like I already mentioned above, engage.
Now, not all customers directly tag you when they want to mention your brand, so you need to go beyond looking for tags. When searching for negative comments, you can include a negative word with your brand to find them. Negative words like, ‘don’t’ or ‘doesn’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘never’ and so on will be effective. You should also monitor potential wrong spellings of your brand name or specific products or services.
Make Audience Engagement a Priority
Like I earlier mentioned, customers like being seen and acknowledged. So, you need to engage them. And the more you engage them, the more they will engage you as well. Every relationship is a two-way street; including customer relationships. So, if you want more engagement from your audience, you need to engage them as well. However, to engage them properly, you need to accurately identify them.
You need to identify who they are and then learn their language. The reason this is important is that demography A might speak differently from demography B and if your target is demography A, you cannot reach them with the language of B. So, you need to learn how your audience phrase their words, their tone and their slang, and incorporate them when engaging with them.
Respond to Dissatisfied Competitor’s Customers
Find customers who are dissatisfied with your competitors the same way you find your brand’s negative comments. Use their brand name plus a negative word to find those customers. And when you find them, you can respond to them by asking them what they’d consider the ideal situation if you don’t have what they need. Or you can offer them what they need if you do.
Create Content from Feedback from Your Audience
One of the most effective social listening strategies to note is creating content based on the feedback you get or what your customers/audience are saying. You can generate different types of content just by listening to your audience; ranging from social media content and blog posts to FAQs and marketing campaigns. All you have to do is to bring your customers’ inquiries, questions, pain points and needs together and generate content from them. For instance, you can create a FAQ page to answer some of the questions they ask or write a blog post to educate them on the topics they seem interested in.
Follow Industry Discussions and Trends
While monitoring brand mentions, you also don’t want to be in the dark about what’s happening in your niche or industry. So, you need to actively follow conversations in your industry. You can do this by monitoring forums, review sites, and publications in your industry. You can also follow reputable figures in your industry on social media for information about what’s going on in your industry. This way, you will be up to date about trends and conversations that you could leverage or that could to inform your policies.
Monitor the Activities of Your Competitors
You also want to monitor the activities of your competitors. You share a similar audience, so they are probably the best people to learn from. However, don’t just learn their strengths, you need to learn from their mistakes as well. Look through their social media platforms and maybe even subscribe to their newsletters; see what you can learn from how their approach. Track their campaigns and see the ones that do well and those that don’t well. And see how you can incorporate what you have learnt into your business.
Identify Influencers in Your Industry
Identify and follow influencers in your industry for information and for your campaigns. There have always been certain influencers in different industries, especially publications and review sites. But the rise of social media has seen to the growth of influencers and influencer marketing. So, you need to identify this group of people or brands in your industry that can influence the decision of a large group of people. Follow them for news and trends and you can also reach out to them for marketing purposes.
To what end is applying all these social listening strategies? It is to improve your business. The information you get from listening must inform your marketing campaigns as well as your policies. For instance, from listening, you can hear that your audience need a particular feature in your product and you can incorporate that into your next update. Or you find out how you can engage them and you let that inform your marketing strategy. So, ultimately, applying the right social listening strategies will help improve your marketing strategies and business as a whole.