Social media listening — sometimes called social listening or social media monitoring — is a way to find out what is being said on social media, but without all of the work it takes to go digging for it. Companies, businesses and brands can benefit from social media listening because they can keep their eyes and ears on the pulse of the conversation.
If the conversation moves to trends and industry changes, companies can jump on that and use it to their advantage in marketing and communications. If the conversation on social media turns negative, the company in question can take control of their online reputation and handle things appropriately.
When you decide to use a social media listening tool, this allows you to tap into the conversations online without keeping track through a bunch of different apps. Depending on the social listening platform you use, you will be able to:
- Get real-time updates about what’s being said on social media
- See your social media mentions on any and every platform, even if your brand isn’t present
- Get analysis so you can easily spot trends
- Create reports for your clients and/or stakeholders
Over the years, businesses have turned to social media because of its power in generating quality leads and sales. But with the high volume of social media networks and the number of messages being shared on each one every minute, every hour, of every day, it’s beyond impossible for businesses to keep up with everything that’s being said about them online.
That’s why social media listening has become more popular. Still not sure what it is? Don’t worry, we’re digging deeper so you can see all of the benefits of social media listening and what to look for if you decide to choose a social listening platform.
Keep Track of Every Social Media Network in One Place
The main draw for a social media listening tool is that it allows you to keep track of every social media network in one, central location. It’s more than just looking at your mentions on Twitter or your tagged posts on Instagram. Social listening looks at all conversations, even if they’re not directly talking about your brand, and even if your brand isn’t on the platform where the conversation is happening. If you’ve ever wished to be able to eavesdrop on a conversation, social media listening tools give you that dream come true!
Even if you had a method to keeping track of what was being said about your company on all social media channels, chances are likely that you’d miss at least one or two things, right? That’s why a tool is so useful, because you’re not going to miss a single thing. This way, you’ll get the complete picture of what’s being said about your company online.
Easily Manage Your Online Reputation
It’s one thing to manage your online reputation by looking for clearly-labeled online reviews of your business or obvious mentions on social media. But when you’re utilizing a social media listening tool, you can keep up with everything that’s being said and you can do it in real-time. This capability alone may allow you to prevent any sort of crisis or communication breakdown. As you know, conversations on social media move fast and with a social media listening tool, you will be able to resolve any issues before they get blown out of proportion.
Another way to improve your brand reputation — whether it’s currently good or bad — is to simply listen to and interact with those who are talking about your brand. People like to work with companies who are paying attention, even when it’s not revolved around a problem. Taking the time to step in and say, “Thanks for working with us!” or, “We’re so glad you were happy with your experience!” means so much to customers and will keep them coming back.
Reach Your Customers and Fulfill Their Needs Online
More and more, customers are using social media to fulfill their customer service needs instead of picking up the phone. With social media listening tools, you’ll be able to get a better grasp of who needs customer service care. You can also utilize these capabilities to collect feedback on your company or a product or service you offer.
Remember, that with the right social listening tool, a person doesn’t necessarily have to “tag” your company or the product, they can simply mention it and you’ll be notified. This way, you can still step in and offer customer service, even if you weren’t directly asked by the customer. This is really going to show how well your company is listening to what customers are saying about your brand, even when they don’t think you are!
Create a Social Media Listening Strategy
If you’re leaning more toward using a social media listening tool so you can improve your online presence in all sorts of areas, we recommend you create a social media listening strategy, so you’re not going into anything blind. Here’s how you can create a solid strategy:
1. Create a list of goals
Figure out the main reason you want to get started in social media listening. It could be to monitor conversations surrounding your brand, to get a better look at your competitors, to pinpoint your brand influencers, or to get a handle on your online reputation and customer service.
2. Find the right social listening tool for you/your company
The only way social listening can be accomplished properly is with a tool. So, start looking around and find one that is easy to use, has great customer service, and has the capabilities to achieve the goals you listed in step one.
3. Choose related, quality keywords
The keywords you choose in this step are the keywords you’ll be tracking across all of the social media networks, so choose these wisely!
4. Start listening
Even if you’re not the person that will be in charge of your social media listening tool, you should give it a try and learn how things work. Go ahead, see what people are saying!
5. Respond to customers in real time
Social media listening works best when you respond or react to people in a timely manner, so you’ll have to figure out the best method that works for your team.
6. Perform an evaluation
Hopefully the platform you chose creates reports or offers enough data to make reporting easy. This way, you can evaluate your online presence as easily as possible.