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For many businesses, social media is a key channel for customer engagement and brand building. If we exclude the influence of viral posts, why do some businesses appear to have a more robust social media presence than others?
Here’s the truth, social media management is only half the battle. The top brands go beyond just monitoring their social media channels and engaging with customers in one-off instances. To build their social community and maintain their positive reputations, the top brands utilize a strategy known as social media listening.
Looking for ways to build and maintain your positive reputation on social? Here’s how your digital business can benefit from implementing a social media listening strategy:
Social Listening vs. Social Media Monitoring
While the two terms are used interchangeably at times, social listening and social media monitoring are two different strategies:
Social Media Monitoring is:
- More “micro” in nature – often deal with specific instances
- Focuses on what customers are saying to your brand
Responding to mentions, posts that your company is tagged in, or questions directed at your business are all examples of social media monitoring. Essentially, your business is concerned with cultivating the experience between your customer and business during a specific interaction. To help accomplish this, you might have guidelines in place to make sure the tone and voice of your responses are on brand. Or perhaps follow frameworks to help you resolve the customer’s issue.
Social Listening is:
- More “macro” in nature – takes a holistic view of all relevant instances
- Focuses on what customers are saying about your brand
Social listening, on the other hand, goes beyond just replying to questions directed at your business. The goal is to take a holistic approach towards how customers are interacting with your brand and formulating insights from these social conversations to influence your overall strategy.
It might be helpful to think of social listening as the exercise of monitoring what people in your space are saying about your business without necessarily waiting for them to directly tag you in the conversation.
Viable social listening strategies include setting up alerts so you can receive notifications whenever your company appears in a conversation, following the relevant hashtags or keywords associated with your brand, or even monitoring the larger trends in your industry.
The Importance of Social Listening.
Social media monitoring is a necessary component of social listening. But moving beyond just keeping tabs of individuals conversations will allow your business to adopt a bird’s eye view and glean insights about how customers and prospects are perceiving your brand.
This will, in turn, allow you to strategically:
- Influence strategic product decisions
- Measure overall brand health
- Identify new content ideas to resonate with target audiences
- Improve customer satisfaction
Staying on top of industry trends opens up unique customer insights. You may find that there’s heavy interest in an emerging piece of tech or new methodology. Generating content around the topic will allow you to strategically position your brand in front of prospective customers because you’ve already identified a topic they are already interested in engaging with.
Moreover, while customer complaints are less than desirable, they do provide an avenue for customers to offer feedback on ways businesses can improve their product offering and services.
But what happens when customers don’t communicate their frustrations using your company handles or through direct messages?
Social listening allows your team to address these instances and provide support to customers who might not necessarily be expecting a response from your business. Your customers will appreciate that you’ve gone out of your way to help them resolve their problem.
When leveraged correctly social listening is another powerful strategy you can use to increase your social presence. When businesses take a proactive effort to understand what their customers are saying about their brand they can uncover insights that may help increase the value of their brand and develop a loyal customer base.