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Why Being a Social Listener is Essential to Social Media Success

February 9, 2015 | Facebook Marketing

Businesses use online marketing to push out information, products, promotional content, adverts and whatever else is on the agenda. It’s all push, push, push. As you throw your content out on the web, almost all of it is open for commenting or debating.

In this article we will tell you what social listening is, how it works and why you should become a sharp social listener to improve your business’s social sales & marketing goals.

What is social listening?

Most marketers believe it’s understanding metrics that your business gains from each online platform they use. While this is true, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Social listening or becoming a social listener is being aware of what your customers, leads and clients are saying about your business and industry on various mediums.

Listening and responding to your audience has an endless amount of advantages. You can find out what people think of your business, what can be improved, help develop your products and services further and provide brand marketing ideas moving forward.

When you listen and respond to what people are saying about your business, whether good or bad things are said, you can only gain from listening.

How does social listening work?

As we mentioned in our Marketing Automation – What is this Wizardry article, there are automation software tools for everything, even social listening. You can find tools that search every corner of the Internet to see who is talking about your business and what is being said.

Software tools will search for specific phrases or keywords relating to your business and pull up helpful insights and metrics. These will help you locate forums, blogs, websites and social media chats which are discussing your business.

You can also listen to the comments left on your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Each time you create a Facebook update or send out a tweet, listen to the comments and take action where appropriate.

Why you need to become a great social listener

Social media is currently at the forefront of online marketing and being a great social listener has many advantages. Listening to what’s going on helps you understand your:

Competition – By understanding what your competition are doing allows you to keep one step ahead and out manoeuvre them at every corner. Social listening is not only limited to what people saying about your business, but you should be using it to snoop on your competition.

Prospects – Listening to prospects allows you to identify any worries or objections they have about purchasing your products. You can then use this information to generate content to put their worries at ease.

Customers – Let’s not forget your customers, by listening to their feedback you can tweak your products, engage with them on a personal level and give them more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.

Daniel Newman, wrote a great article on Forbes which stated that obtaining a new customer is actually six times more costly than maintaining a repeat customer. Social listening does more than just help improve customer commutation, it saves money.

The best online tools for social listening

There are hundreds of tools to use for social listening. Here are the 3 which have given our clients the best results:

1. Social Mention
Social Mention will search several mediums including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and direct you to tweets, updates and blog posts that are talking about your business. The automation tool also provides some basic metrics about whether the chatter is positive or negative, along with keyword suggestions for your business.

Social Mention is a basic social listening tool but free and requires no registration.

2. Hootsuite
Hootsuite consolidates data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, Mypsace, TrendSpottr and Foursquare. It’s a solid all-in-one solution for a business that uses multiple social media channels to brand and communicate.

Hootsuite offers a free basic service and also has reasonably priced professional packages.

3. Brandwatch
Brandwatch summarizes everything that’s being said about brands, people, products and services. It allows you to select keywords and it will scour the Internet to find mentions and produce tons of useful metrics.

Brandwatch is not cheap and is aimed at bigger businesses who have don’t have an issue with spending money to get tailored information.

With people turning to the Internet before they buy anything, it has never been a more important time to listen to what they are saying about your business. Savvy buyers will visit forums, check blogs or ask Google before they go and buy, if the information about your business is negative you will end up losing more than just customers.

Find out what people are saying about your business so you can make the necessary changes to push forward in 2015 and stay ahead.

Thanks for listening!

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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