Your customers are telling you what they need from your brand through social media—but are you listening to them?
Although 90% of marketers agree that data from social media enables them to stay ahead of competitors (Sprout Social), we know from firsthand client experience that many teams struggle to lead an effective social listening program. Too often, teams rush to implement a social listening solution without setting a clear strategy, or they fall short by focusing on social monitoring, not listening.
To help your team extract the greatest value from your community conversations on social media, we’ll explain what social media listening is and provide a step-by-step guide to help you lead a successful social media listening strategy.
What is Social Media Listening?
Social listening is a process where you monitor conversations across social media platforms to gain direct customer and key audience insights (also known as social monitoring) and analyze that information to adapt your strategy (that’s how you show you’re listening).
In its simplest form, social listening involves looking for direct brand mentions on social media. Every platform notifies you when another user directly ‘@’ mentions or tags you in their post or comment. Engage with all brand mentions, and thank your community member for sharing their thoughts.
A complete social listening strategy includes monitoring for indirect brand mentions, including common misspellings of your company name and untagged brand mentions, as well as competitor and industry-focused conversations. This process can include:
- Monitoring influencers to listen to conversations about trending topics
- Tracking hashtags to brush up on industry trends
- Searching for common job tasks associated with your brand solution to learn the emotions that people have when completing the task
- Listening for customer questions and challenges
Shruti Deshpande, a B2B marketing and content professional, says that “social listening enables you to be aware of conversations around your brand. Monitoring questions around your brand allows you to know where to improve your presence across social media channels, help retain existing customers, or monitor your competitors.”
8 Steps to Conduct Social Listening
Give your team a competitive advantage and run a successful social listening program by taking the below eight steps: