Why Brands Should Consider Social Listening?
Imagine you own a Multi-cuisine restaurant, you overhear customers discussing the cuisine they like the most in your restaurant and the one they dislike, due to XYZ reason. You wonder, is this the way others too dislike that particular cuisine offered by you. You seek opinions from others too, based on the opinions you make changes in it and you wonder it works. The same cuisine turns out to be your best seller in few weeks. Congratulations, you implemented a very pragmatic approach to improve your offering and give customers exactly what they want- Social Listening. No matter what business you have and what products and services you offer, if you’re not using this tool, you’re missing a lot of opportunities.
What Social Listening Is And What Isn’t?
Social Listening involves analyzing what is being said about your brand and how it is being received by tracking social media platforms for mentions and conversations associated with your brand. It does not just stop there, of course, it has to be channelized to identify the opportunities to act with the help of knowledgeable insights.
Often Social media Listening is confused with Social media monitoring, but there is a difference. The former is broader than the latter one. While social media monitoring looks at metrics like engagement rate and a number of mentions, social listening looks beyond the numbers to consider the mood behind the data.
Why Social Listening Matters?
- Customer Engagement:
No doubt, why it matters the most is, it gives your brand ample opportunities to engage with customers. Here’s an example of the leading brand Coca-Cola, a customer tweeted about the different taste of their favorite cola. The team Coca-Cola responded to reach out to them so that they can discuss the issue out.
This was just one example, there are certain instances, wherein the brand has responded to their followers frequently and DM them on certain tweets too. Can you imagine, what impact it would have been if such customer voice is left unattended? A dissatisfied customer will spread the word about the brand’s irresponsive attitude, also the issues related to taste if unheard will lose customers to competitors. A positive customer engagement creates brand loyalty along with boosting engagement. Now think about how you can engage your customers.
- Sentiment Analysis:
Customer engagement works only when it is positive. Social listening helps in analyzing what works well and what doesn’t to avoid negativity surrounding your brand and manage crisis beforehand. Your customers share a ton of useful information about what they like and what they don’t. These lessons can guide you. If the sentiments are negative, your brand can identify the causes and optimize the strategy accordingly.
Here’s an example:
- Competitor Analysis:
Is it enough to know about yourself? Perhaps no, As you will also need to figure out what customers think and say about your competitors too. This helps you in analyzing your strengths and opportunities. Besides this, it helps you understand their new product launch, new campaigns, etc. Competitor listening is a kind of intelligence that compares the health metrics of your competitors with yours, learn what the rival’s customers like and dislike, what influencers they partner with, and a host of other things that are essential to find out your place in the industry and optimize your strategies.
- Product Development:
An aggregate of posts, tweets, reviews, etc can help your brand get a clear picture of customer pain points, their changing needs, and the features they expect from your brand, which further can be used to manage the existing product lines and guide the new ones. Such analysis can also spur a new idea. Thus, by learning about customer frustrations, one can tweak its products, and address customer concerns. Neat, huh?
This is an example of various brands that are rated from low to high in terms of taste and health mix. Based on this a brand can optimize its existing product line.
- Lead Generation:
You must be wondering how social listening can generate leads, well even though it’s not the primary use case of social listening, but let you find potential customers on social media. Social listening helps you communicate with your potential customers, develop a relationship with them and nurture social selling. How this can be done? Reaching out to potential customers, making a connection with them, and sharing information can make your brand a rich resource. Which your customers can count upon when making a purchase decision. Another way is Boolean search, wherein you can search the prospects through mentions that use Boolean logic to let you create complex queries for any use case. These are a few of the ways, it can help generate leads in a lot many other ways.
- Reputation Management:
If your product is good, it will spread like a wildfire, but it isn’t it will spread more quickly, we already saw how it can shape product development, but here we are talking about maintaining brand health. Social listening can track brand health, and react to changes in the pattern of mentions and sentiment beforehand to prevent reputation crises.
Here’s an example: The recent tweets from Coca-Cola get a lot of negative comments alleging the brand is racist. To manage its reputation the brand reacted to the negative sentiments by tweeting:
The goodwill and commitment will help Coca-Cola rise above the crisis and manage its reputation.
Social Listening matters a lot for brands, but for it to go the right way, listening right is essential. Here are some handy tips:
- Hang out where your customers hang out as listening alone is not enough, where they talk about you also matters.
- Discover what is & isn’t working for your competitors. After all, it’s better to learn through watching instead of you risking being there.
- Social listening requires collaboration between various teams in an organization, so seek inputs from internal sources too.
- Work upon the changes by knowing the pattern and anomalies in the same.
- Social listening is irrelevant if you fail to take action, so consider it as armor to your business future and take action.
Social Media is a double-edged sword, if it offers so much it has the power to take away everything and risk your sustainability. It is therefore essential to take every step thoughtfully and rely only on experts.