What is Social Listening?
Social listening refers to following and analyzing communication and trends around your brand and your entire industry. This process makes it easier to understand why something is happening, when, what people think about it and how they react to trends.
Social listening is basically a two-step process. The first one is to monitor (“listen”) all social media channels for any posts or mentions of your brand, product/service, your competitors and all keywords which are related to your business. The second step is to gather this data, analyze it and use it in order to achieve better marketing results.
Picture 1. What is social listening?
This process reveals a lot about what makes your customers happy (or annoyed), what they like or dislike and which problems they have with your products. This can help you a lot when you’re planning your next marketing strategies and campaigns, when you want to learn from your competition and when you want to build your brand. With social listening you can find the causes behind social conversations and use them to create and implement long-term strategies.
Social Listening vs Social Monitoring
Tough very similar and sometimes even used interchangeably, social listening and social monitoring are not exactly the same. Social monitoring refers actually to the first phase of social listening. It refers to following your brand mentions and messages and replying to them in order to create a connection with your users. Social listening includes a much wider picture – it is a process of understanding what your audience wants and acting correspondingly. Or to put it in simple words, social monitoring tells you what, social listening tells you why.
Why is social listening important?
Neglecting social media nowadays can mean a big loss for your company and brand. Social media are a valuable source of first-hand information from your customers. And it is where you can collect their most honest opinions.
1. Engage with Your Customers
Social media give you the opportunity to show how awesome your brand is how you solve problems effectively. You can follow and respond to positive reviews and experiences, show appreciation and answer questions and requests in real-time. It is also extremely useful in crisis situations. You can act before the situation gets out of hand and avoid negative consequences. Engaging with your customers and showing that you care increases brand loyalty and results in happy customers
2. Check out what Your Competition is Doing
Social listening gives you an opportunity to check how your competitors communicate with their customers, how they handle crises and finally, how your product and marketing strategies fit in the industry. You can also find out a lot about their future plans, if they’re introducing new products or services, etc. In this way you can discover new opportunities for your company or that can serve as an inspiration for improvements in your strategies.
3. Discover pain points
Customers’ frustration, especially when shared all over social media, are a challenge for your social media managers, but are also a great opportunity to find out what your customers dislike. This information is gold for your marketing team. Maybe you need a new product update? Or a different kind of approach completely? This is where you find out the most important information.
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