Did You Hear That?! Social Listening for the Rest of 2014

Social media is a conversation, and it takes more than one voice to work. Social media is a versatile tool for building and maintaining customer relationships, but for a conversation to build or further a relationship, both sides must contribute meaningfully. Most businesses realize how important an active social media presence is to brand-building, however far fewer recognize the value of an effective social listening plan. Only 31% of marketers believe they have an effective social listening strategy ready for 2014, according to Social Media Examiner.

What is social listening?

Social listening is the process of identifying organizing, and assessing relevant content and conversations about a company, person or product from social media sites, and then utilizing that data in a way that is beneficial to the brand. Also known as “social media monitoring,” social listening is one way to gauge the current status of customer relationships and satisfaction.

Active vs. Passive Listening

Both passive and active listening have their place in an effective social listening strategy. Passive listening involves monitoring conversations about your company or brand to gather information without responding to users directly. Keeping tabs on your online presence is a great way to head off a potential PR disaster, time a special sale or offer or design a specially targeted marketing campaign. Active listening means utilizing branded social media accounts to directly engage your customers to assist them with problem solving, build existing relationships and attract new ones. A solid social listening plan uses both passive and active listening when appropriate.

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Social listening makes customer complaints easier to resolve

Image source: tnooz

Sorting through the noise

The number of social networks seems to grow daily, which makes finding relevant conversations difficult even for a regular user of social media. Some networks serve a niche demographic, for instance LinkedIn is currently dominated by business-oriented professionals while Tumblr attracts a younger, artistically-inclined audience. Other networks like Twitter and Facebook draw in a wider audience, and create smaller networks within themselves. Social media monitoring discovers where your targeted customer spends his or her time online, giving you the correct platform to connect. Understanding why your customers flock to certain networks gives insight into the kinds of conversations they are having. While much of social listening can be done with an automated monitoring service, it takes a skilled and analytical eye to tease out larger trends and the context in which customers speak.

 

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Great brand social media accounts use humor in the right doses

Image source: marketingland

Listening takes planning

We’ve talked before about how building a social media strategy can help you avoid ineffective posting schedules and burnout, and the same holds true for social listening. A well planned social listening plan can solve current problems and predict new ones before they are large enough to damage your brand. Customer-posted content is a public business review readily available to all potential and existing customers. Finding the value in data is what Picobarn does best.

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A well-handled Twitter account goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

image source socialmediaexaminer

How do you approach your social media? Would you consider yourself a ‘social listener’?

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