How well do you know your customers?
Do you even listen to them?
I’m not talking about waiting for the phone to ring with a complaint. I mean, REALLY listening.
The days of the suggestion box are well and truly gone. Dedicated customer helplines are being phased out. Customers simply won’t go through the trouble of picking up a phone and calling. But don’t get too comfortable; dissatisfied customers won’t hesitate to talk about you on social media. Regardless of their location or platform of choice, customers are quick to give opinions online.
Sometimes, it’s the other way around, and a prospect may be looking for information about your product. They will go online and ask any one, strangers or family for advice or reviews. Studies show that over 50% of customers look for reviews of a product online and up to 92% purchase based on the reviews they find.
Social listening is overlooked by businesses, until it’s too late. It doesn’t solely entail listening for customer complaints. It also gives you a chance to ‘hear’ what’s being said about your brand or business. Competitors, customers, prospects; any one of these will have an opinion and they will gladly share it online.
Sure, while many consumers are on the lookout for emails detailing the delivery of their parcels, many of them rarely respond to emails asking for testimonials. This is where the power of social listening comes in. Listening helps small businesses:
1. Find potential customers.
Prospects typing your brand name into Google are already interested in your product. They are only seeking validation and the merits of choosing you. By tuning into the conversation, you can become their problem solver and help land a sale.
2. Find the influencers in your industry.
If you are a new brand looking to connect with influencers, social listening will help you find other brands that your potential customers listen to. These may include your competitors, but you can discover marketing insights by monitoring how they interact with customers.
3. Using social listening.
Your business can gather data to create targeted marketing campaigns.
4. Find satisfied customers.
Make them brand ambassadors and they will reward you with the right kind of mentions. It can also help find unhappy customers. Work on addressing their frustrations and create a better relationship.
5. Find content ideas.
Your customers will talk about their problems; this can give you content ideas that they actually want to read about. Cant create content? Social listening allows you find relevant content you can curate.
Social listening can help your business on many different levels. With all these conversations going on online; how do you find them?
- It can be done by simply putting your brand name, key phrases from a recent campaign, misspellings of your company name, your company motto into Google and seeing what turns up. Another free and simple way is to set up a Google Alert. This will help you monitor the web for mentions of your brand or product name or chosen keywords. However, this tool doesn’t cover social media.
- Icerocket is a tool that specialises in searching blogs for mentions of keywords. It also has social media integration, allowing you to track activity on Facebook, Twitter, even on image sites. The best part? It’s free to use.
- Mention allows you to take your social listening on the move. It uses an Android or iPhone app to create real time updates of your mentions.
There are many options available for social listening. Your choice depends on what you choose to track and how you view your data. You may also prefer an all-in-one option or a stand-alone tool.
- Oktopost is a great social media monitoring tool. Apart from tracking your likes, follows and shares, it helps you measure ROI. It also breaks down your social activity into campaigns that you can track down to the conversion of individual social messages.
- Pulsar is similar to Oktopost, but it allows you to further segment your mentions by the level of ‘influence’ of the sharer. This helps identify the heavyweights in your industry which makes outreach that bit easier. Pulsar also shows how well your content was received, by ranking it positive, neutral or negative. This allows you know the kind of content you should be creating.
- Other tools like Twitonomy, allow you track yours and a competitor’s account. Tracking more than one brand can give you a wider view of what your target audience is interested in. Be the one to answer their questions and you are more likely to get the sale.
Asking businesses to stop and listen may seem like a no-brainer, but you will be surprised at how many businesses simply don’t. Many use the mindset and metrics of traditional marketing to measure digital marketing. A conversation is a two-way event. Stop the selling and listen to what people are saying about you.
The goal isn’t just to hear what people are saying, but use the knowledge when making your marketing, branding, pricing even product decisions. Search and More create custom campaigns that can increase your outreach and generate leads.