If your business is serious about social media than you definitely want to integrate social listening into your social media strategy. In fact, 22% of marketers were using social listening strategies in 2013 and 24% planned to do so in 2014.
Many business owners use social media only to broadcast their messages and forget there’s more to social media marketing than posting content, you also need to be listening and engaging. Listening and monitoring allows you to keep updated on trends and news stories, which helps to create timely agile marketing.
Social listening or social media monitoring is an important research step that every brand should be spending time on. It’s the process of seeing what people are saying on social media in relation to your brand, industry or topics relating to your business. Highlighted below is 5 reasons why social listening is important for your small business:
- Social Media Strategy
Learning what people are saying about your brand or industry is important for determining an effective social media strategy. You can support a strong social media strategy with initial research and social listening that will help you determine what content topics to share on social networks. By monitoring the industry, determined keywords and hashtags you can get an idea of what’s being most talked about to begin your initial social media strategy. Social media listening also lets you know what social networks your audience is most actively using and what content engages them to help determine where to spend the most effort on. Taking the time to listen while creating a social media strategy will provide you with strategic insights that allow you to better address the needs of your target audiences to help create content calendars to meet these content needs.
2. Competitive Insights
Monitoring your competition on social media can offer many benefits. Some stand out benefits including learning what customers like about them and finding topics that are frequently discussed to help determine your social media, SEO and content marketing strategy plans. You’ll be able to get an idea of the opportunities, weaknesses and strengths a similar business to yours may experience while using social media and other digital marketing tactics. Listening to what your competitors are doing will also give you a measure of success to compare your efforts to your competitors to benchmark your social media success and strength of your digital marketing presence.
3. Understand Your Customers & Product Development
One benefit of social listening is that you can receive customer feedback about your products, services and specials. You can understand the unmet needs and questions your consumers have. Track social media efforts to see what types of your content receives the most social engagement to help determine your audience’s preferences. Do you see more post in Google+ receiving higher engagement than on Twitter? Are there more social posts relating to your industry topics on Facebook than Instagram? Social listening can help answer these questions and more.
4. Discover Key Influencers & Strengthen Relationships
Do you know which bloggers and industry sources have the most influence on your topic? Find the key influencers that relate to your businesses industry and listen to what they share on social networks. Doing so will help you understand the market in regards to news affecting the industry and to find best practices in your industry. Twitter Lists is a great tool to use to organize your influencer groups or topics you want to monitor. You can easily catch up on your daily social listening strategy by using Twitter Lists.
5. Stronger Customer Relationships
If you’re listening you can hear customer complaints on social media and respond immediately. You should make it a daily habit to check for any messages sent to your brand via social media to ensure you keep a positive customer service in the eyes of your customers and prospects.
Social media listening provides businesses with a good customer intelligent tool that can also help support your social media strategy and give you an advantage over your competition. It will allow you to share relevant and engaging content for your target audiences resulting in more targeted website traffic and social engagement. Are you using a social listening strategy for 2015?