Do you sometimes feel like reviews and feedback aren’t enough to know what your customers want?
I feel the same way, too.
Customers usually hold back their feelings or opinions about your brand or industry on your ‘official’ review platforms. And thus, you may be getting information about how your customers feel, but not enough.
Therefore, you need another way to catch your customers off guard, so to speak, and hear what they are really saying about your brand.
One effective way to do this is Social Listening.
What Is Social Listening?
There isn’t a standard definition for what social listening is, however, I will explain it in simple terms. Social listening is the process of ‘keeping an eye out’ (digitally) for online mentions, comments, posts, chitchats, etc. of or related to your brand or industry.
Monitoring conversations, keywords, and posts online that are related to your brand, product/service, and/or industry can give you incredible insight into the minds of your customers. It will reveal to you what your customers think of your brand and industry.
You actively ‘social listen’ to your customers through posts and/or comments on social media, fora, comment sections, hashtags, message boards, and of course, review sites.
Why Is Social Listening Important?
Glad you asked.
Social listening is important for many reasons. For one, it can help you learn more about your customers. It can also help you measure customer sentiment, monitor/manage brand online reputation, inspire brand loyalty, and improve customer experience.
Here are a few perks of social listening:
- You can clearly see what your customers actually need. And this helps you modify your products/services and marketing message to meet them.
- It helps you hear what questions your customers are asking; which gives you direction on what your content should go. This also clears up any confusion you may have and identify barriers.
- You understand better what features or solutions your customers want and this allows you to look at your offering from a different perspective.
- Shows you where your customers are in their journey.
- Tells you what your competition is doing wrong or right.
- Reveals what customers actually think of your brand.
So you see, with social listening, you can hear your customers’ conversation about your brand or industry and garner quality insight.
Additionally, social listening can help you improve your customer service. Customers would rather tweet or rant on Facebook about customer service issues than come to you. But with social listening you can catch these complaints and work on making changes to resolve the issues.
Now that you know the importance of social listening, let’s look at 4 ways you can engage it in your business.
Determine What You Want To Keep An Eye On
You can’t monitor everything related to your brand on the internet and that goes without saying.
Therefore, you need to decide what you want to focus on and what you want to disregard. To keep you organized, you may want to make a list of the conversations or terms you want to listen to. These may include:
- Your brand name and product/service’s names.
- Competitor brand, product/service’s names.
- Keywords or buzzwords in your industry.
- Your or your competition’s social media handles.
- Branded hashtags.
- Mentions of notable employees at your company.
To help you garner as much information from your social listening, you may also want to monitor misspellings of your or competitions’ brand names. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Create A System For Your Social Listening
Once you have decided on what you want to track, you need to create a system to make the process a smooth one. To do this, you want to use available tools online to track conversations and mentions. Here are a few tools that come to mind:
- Google alerts: used for tracking phrases and terms related to your brand and/or industry.
- Hootsuite: excellent for tracking social media mentions, hashtags, comments, posts, and responses to posts and comments.
- ReviewTrackers: great for monitoring, curating, and responding to customer reviews and feedback on over 100 review platforms.
There are several other tools out there, feel free to choose what fits your needs and goals.
Set Up An Internal Structure Or System For Responding And Engaging
So you have your list of conversations and terms ready and have the right tools for the task, now what?
What happens when the data start flowing in?
You need a proper structure or system to help you manage your responses and engagement. If you have no plan, you may be overwhelmed when customer praise and complaints start flowing in.
To do this, you need to decide who handles what. Determine if you want your social media manager to handle responses and engagement or your customer happiness manager.
You also need to lay down some guidelines on how you want your staff to respond to comments, mentions, or complaints.
Come Up With An Action Plan
Social listening is all fun and games until action shows up in the room.
What I mean is that while social listening helps you hear what your people are saying about your brand, you need to do something about it. That’s where an action plan comes in.
Set up a system for disseminating the information you get from social listening and to whom.
Your content marketer may need some of that information to create content that answer your customer questions. In the same light, your sales team may need the information in order to know where your customers are in the buying process. This will help them prepare appropriate marketing messages to get sales.
You get the point? I’m sure you do.
Social listening is a sort of multi-channel system that helps you hear your customers’ deepest sentiments about your brand and industry. When executed properly, it can help garner a ton of insight and create better products/services and more persuasive marketing messages.
PS: there’s one other way you can listen to your customers – Wi-Fi marketing.
You see, with a robust Wi-Fi marketing tool like SpotOn Wi-Fi, you can collect an incredible amount of customer information.
You can use your customers browsing behaviour to know what kind of product or service they may be looking for. When your customers log into your guest Wi-Fi, they may visit websites or browse products similar to what they need.
That’s amazing, wouldn’t you say?
There’s more our Wi-Fi marketing software can do such helping you boost sales. But I will only tell you if you shoot us a message now.POSTED ON October 30, 2020