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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Social Listening: Why It Matters and How to Use It

Right now, I'd like to think that there are many business owners who are aware of how they can benefit from developing a strong social media presence. From boosting brand awareness to building a community of loyal consumers, there are just SO many ways that social media can help foster a strong relationship between your brand and your target market!

While having a good social media strategy in place is crucial for your brand to be able to smash your goals and objectives, social media is also a fantastic tool for social listening.

But what exactly is social listening? How can it help your bottom line? How can you perform social listening?

That's the topic of discussion for today, so let's get to it!

What is Social Listening?

Before I dive any deeper into this subject, I think it would be helpful for you to know the difference between social listening and social monitoring.

While they are pretty similar in concept, social monitoring consists of only one step while social listening consists of two steps. When you are performing social monitoring, you are simply keeping track of the conversations that are revolving around your brand and any other brand mentions. However, you aren't doing anything with your findings.

When it comes to social listening, however, not only are you monitoring all the different conversations that your brand is mentioned in, but you are doing something with the data you discovered! In fact, “social listening finds root causes behind social conversations and implements long-term strategy changes”.

And if being able to find out what your customers or ideal customers are saying about you in a cost-effective way is not enough, another big selling point of performing social listening on platforms like Twitter, for example, is that this is a space where your target market is not afraid to share their unfiltered and unbiased opinions! I know… that might sound like a scary thing, but if you are quick to answer back, rectify the situation, and support your customers, then you will typically be in good shape.

That being said, long gone are the Mad Men days of creating focus groups with one-way mirrors and distributing surveys on the busiest streets you can think of. Simply set up the social listening tools (that I will be mentioning in a little bit) and you are ready to go!

How Can I Benefit from Social Listening? What’s the Point?

If you invest even the slightest bit of time into social listening, you will realize quickly enough all of the hidden opportunities that rest in the conversations that users are having about your brand and/or industry.

Primarily, social listening gives businesses like yours “an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about them on social media”. So, if someone is saying that your product or service is amazing or that it sucks, you can find that out through these public conversations and use that acquired knowledge for future improvements or marketing collateral.

Second of all, by performing social listening, you can INTERACT directly with users who are sharing their thoughts. Think of all of those tweets that Wendy’s has responded to about their food, or all of the complaints that airlines like United Airlines or Delta have addressed on Twitter.

Lastly, ** insider secret over here ** social listening allows you to quickly identify any trending topics or content in your industry and capitalize on them. This type of content has an above-average chance of generating HUGE traction!

How Can You Perform Social Listening?

Nowadays, there is no shortage of tools that you can use to monitor conversations that are happening online and to be notified when your brand is mentioned.

While one of my favorite tools out there is SproutSocial, there are plenty of other robust tools that can help you listen to conversations on social media, such as Hubspot and Hootsuite.

All of these tools have different plan prices and additional features that may be of use to you. I encourage you to check out their list of features yourself.

While these tools are super helpful, it’s important to remember that there’s still a manual component to social listening… Which are your DMs and comment sections! It’s up to you and your team to monitor your community and respond appropriately and in a timely manner. The amount of insight you can gain from customers in these sections is invaluable.

Do you perform any sort of social listening? What did you learn in the process? Don’t hesitate to chat with me if you would like to know more about how social listening can impact your bottom line... Reach me here!

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