6 Tips to Utilize Social Listening


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6 Tips to Utilize Social Listening

Any good relationship requires you to listen at least as much as you talk, and it turns out that’s a good plan for a marketing strategy, too.

Social listening, or social media listening, is the practice of reading up on what people are saying about your brand or your industry: the questions they might be asking, the complaints they have, and what they like. When you utilize social listening, you can better understand your customer base and plan better marketing campaigns. So how do you optimize your social listening? Here are a few of our top tips.

#1 – Go In With Clear Goals

Know what your goals are before you start social listening. Do you want to get a sense of the customer sentiment towards your brand? Or are you more interested in tracking the conversation around your competition? If you’ve had a recent crisis or are undergoing rebranding, social listening can be a good way to stay on top of reactions. If you’ve released a new product, social listening can give you that initial feedback. You can set multiple goals, but it’s important to have them determined and written down before you begin.

#2 – Know What To Search For

Before you start social listening, make a list of the hashtags and search keywords that you want to listen for. This might be your brand name, the name of a new product, or your competitors’ brand and product names. If your marketing campaign includes a particular hashtag, consider writing that down, as well. These tags and keywords should all align with your goals, so it might help to write these out alongside your list of goals. This will give you a map to begin your social listening.

#3 – Choose the Social Media Platforms to Listen In On

This tip comes down to knowing where your target audience is. If you have a B2B company, that might be LinkedIn or Facebook. If you’re targeting a younger, hipper audience, consider Instagram or Tik Tok. Knowing where your target audience is will help you to narrow down the social media platforms to focus on. That way instead of stretching your attention, you can hone in on the places where the most conversation is happening.

#4 – Find Tools To Optimize Social Listening Analysis

If you have a small brand and a lot of free time, you could simply search hashtags or keywords on various social media platforms to conduct social listening manually. But for growing brands, or businesses who already have their hands full, this might take too much time. Instead, consider finding a social listening tool that can track those tags and keywords for you. When you use a social listening platform, you may be able to look through automatically generated analytics and reports that make social listening clearer and easier than ever.

#5 – Monitor Your Brand’s Performance Across Social Media

One thing you’ll want to keep an eye on when you practice social listening is your brand’s performance. Take into account online reviews and ratings and, where the platform allows it, enable users to leave feedback. Your social listening tool can help you to track these and analyze your performance across various platforms the same way you would analyze the other searches you plug in.

#6 – Engage With Your Audience

Social listening doesn’t mean you have to listen silently. In fact, when a comment is directed towards you or relevant to you, it’s actually a good idea to respond. When you respond to comments and mentions, it helps your audience to feel seen and cared about. Quick responses to direct messages also shows that you’re available to respond to customer concerns. And by responding to posts relevant to your industry, you have the opportunity to show off your expertise.

Responding to reviews can be tricky, but still worthwhile if done right. It can be tempting to respond to every bad review and defend yourself, but that could actually make your brand look worse — especially if it comes off like you’re attacking the customer for leaving a bad review. However, a response to a bad review based on a misunderstanding could help you to clear the air or at least make things clearer for new customers.

Social listening is some of the best market research you can conduct to help inform your future marketing campaigns, as well as your current marketing performance. And just like in any other relationship, the more you listen to your customers, the more you can understand them. The more you can understand them, the better you’ll be able to meet their needs.

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