It’s no secret that for years, brands have been leveraging the benefits of social listening, particularly regarding its free, unfettered access to the opinions and behaviors of more than two billion consumers worldwide.
But despite its potential, marketers are still not tapping into the largest unsolicited consumer panel and optimizing social listening activities. Here are just four of many reasons why they should and how some of our client partners are doing it now:
- Create an impactful content strategy – Listening to your target audience’s online conversations to learn about their purchasing habits, brand preferences, and what’s important to them will aid in crafting an impactful social media strategy. The results? The content you create will provide demonstrable value, help to engage your target audience better and ultimately, build affinity for your brand.
For example, Guinness has watched how their social audience responded to new beer launches and optimized content based on reactions. This information has set the tone for the way Guinness interacts with consumers on social platforms the next time they launch a new product.
- Identify brand advocates and influencers – Highly motivated brand advocates can win over consumers based on their authenticity and passion for a brand or product. Key influencers who are in touch with their followers and enhance their audience’s identity – celebrities, bloggers, or industry experts – can deliver impactful content for a brand across a larger audience base.
For example, as part of a P&G’s Tide brand Super Bowl LI social influencer amplification campaign, influencers were vetted using social listening tools to compare the interests of their audiences with relevant audience interests to identify overlap. Aligning interests between different audiences increases the likelihood that the messaging you deploy is pertinent to win over your audience targeted.
- Develop industry insights – In addition to listening to the conversations of current and prospective consumers, social listening can deliver real-time intelligence in areas such as:
- Consumer satisfaction: What are the reasons your consumers are happy or unhappy?
- Consumer needs: What type of products/services are consumers craving in your category?
- Category Insights: What is the positive and negative consumer sentiment about your vertical, whether that includes competitors or the category at large?
- Manage your reputation – Building a strong and positive reputation can take years; having that reputation damaged can take seconds. Through social listening, brands can identify “red flag” conversations that could harm their reputation and ameliorate potentially damaging situations. Companies that consistently monitor and manage their reputations as it pertains to social are better prepared to weather the ill effects of a crisis than those who don’t.
Now that you have a sense of a few ways social listening can benefit your brand, what’s next?
› Understand what you want to accomplish through social listening – Is it consumer insights? Customer service? Reputation management? All of these areas? Others?
› Determine search keywords: Your brand name (as well as misspellings of the name), competitor names, industry buzzwords or phrases, the name of your CEO and a company spokesperson, and ad or brand hashtags, slogans or taglines.
› Invest in listening tools or partner with someone who has this capability.
Social media listening provides brands with a unique, unsolicited view into the opinions, behaviors, and habits of every consumer who talks about your brand online. With this opportunity comes a responsibility to listen carefully. While the information alone is invaluable in helping brands create marketing strategies and improve consumer engagement, it’s how you harmonize social listening data within the context of your holistic marketing strategy that unleashes the true value of social conversation.
Want to know more about how our client partners are leveraging social listening? Reach out to the author here: firstname.lastname@example.org