Social listening is far more than marketing’s latest buzzword. With social media only growing ever more popular, listening to what people are saying about your brand online can be extremely valuable.
What it isn’t: Just like PR. Social listening can provide excellent support for PR and social media teams, but it goes beyond that to provide even greater value for you.
What it is: Data-driven strategy and execution. PR deals more with cultivating a good reputation with the public through branded content, and defending that reputation in emergencies. Social listening allows you to filter and track conversation about your industry, products, services, employees, and more – even when it’s not directly tagged or branded – to allow you to collect and analyze data, define a strategy, and execute it effectively.
When used right, social listening is an important tool that can support your efforts in content writing, strategy, PR, and more. Here are three signs social listening might be right for you:
- You want to talk and write the way your audience does – or in the way they want to listen.When you listen to what your customers and stakeholders are saying on social media, you learn their terminology and how to talk in their language. The more you grow to understand the way people are talking about you, your products and services, and your brand, the more you can do with that information.
- Inform your business and marketing decisions.
- Discover what you should be writing content about.
- Improve the way your content is written.
- Shape the conversation around your brand.
- You don’t know what people are saying about you in social media.Did you know you’re being talked about? Do you know what people are saying? Even if you have active social media accounts, not everyone who talks about you is going to tag you directly – or even talk about you by name. They may refer to your industry, products, services, employees… plenty of conversation is going on that you may not be aware of, and social listening is a great way to track and take advantage of that.Tracking social conversation is like having a free focus group: instead of paying people in your demographic to answer questions about your industry, products, services, or more, you can listen to what actual customers are sharing already. Monitoring branded conversation is one thing. Social listening unlocks a next-level wealth of information you can use to understand all the existing conversation, define the best strategy to move forward, and take action.Listening to what your customers are saying will help you take the next step in engaging with them by responding or reacting. Whether that’s by answering questions, joining conversations, or listening to their comments and making changes accordingly, social listening lets you respond in a way that provides value to both you and the customer. You might even pick up some great ideas to improve your company and services as you listen to social conversations! What better way to improve brand loyalty and grow as an organization?
- You need stay on top of public sentiment and potential controversies.If you ever worry about PR nightmares, or you just want to stay on top of public opinion, then social listening is a great tool. Already have a PR team? Social listening is absolutely necessary to make them more effective – and to provide greater support and value to your marketing efforts besides. Don’t need a separate PR team, or have one yet? The data you gather through social listening can help you track relevant conversation topics, how people are feeling about your brand, what they think about your latest product or news item, and more. With social listening, you can…
- Gather key insights and data about your organization, competitors, industry, and audience to help your PR team better strategize and execute communication plans
- Identify trends and pain points, both industry-wide and specific to your company, products, people, etc.
- And much more!Social listening is a great way to understand conversation – especially if there are any budding controversies brewing. You’ll want to get in front of potential negative press as soon as possible so your audience knows you care. Use social listening to identify key voices in your community and strategize ways to shape and drive conversation.