Marketing a brand or a business is much easier these days thanks to social media.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine how brands used to connect and interact in real-time with customers before the advent of Facebook and Twitter.
However, not all businesses make the most of social media.
They play at it without ever really getting it. If that description fits the bill in your particular case then you’ll need to do something about it, and you’ll need to do it quick.
But if you’re planning on building a stronger and more effective social media presence, should your focus be on doing and acting, or should you be concentrating your efforts on listening and responding? Well, the best way to build leverage is by listening to your audience – social listening if you prefer, and monitoring the perception and image of your brand on social networks. Why is this so important? Well, by listening you’ll be able to keep tabs on what’s being said about your brand, and you’ll be able to improve your interactions and build a positive image throughout the web. Still not convinced?
Then consider these points on how social media can benefit your business:
Social listening can help to build a stronger and more understanding community.
Social listening tools are freely available and accessible to all businesses regardless of size and clout. These social listening tools enable you to track conversations and find buyers, leads, and key influencers in your industry. The accumulation of this knowledge will help you to interact with customers in a better way: a way that builds a positive image of your brand and fosters better relationships. This, ultimately can turn a tight community of loyal followers into brand advocates.
Social listening can help you better understand customer behaviour.
If your business pays close attention to your consumer base, you will better understand the main problems, motivations, and issues customers might have with your products or services. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to deliver an improved level of customer service. When you understand consumer behaviour you can better identify common problems and ultimately provide specific solutions. You can then use these insights to create a knowledge page based on the consumers’ frequently asked questions.
Social listening provides useful marketing analytics.
By listening closely to social media, you will be able to uncover what is being said about your business, who is saying it, how often, on which platforms, and who the main influencers are. Keeping close tabs on what’s happening in your audience gives you knowledge, and this knowledge can be used to help improve marketing strategies by using the insights gained to optimise content, improve SEO, and inform PPC strategies.
Social listening can be a positive influence in improving a business’ brand image.
In social media, as in life, timing is everything. When users tweet a business, they expect immediate action. A recent study by Lithium Technologies confirms this: it showed that 53% of consumers who tweeted a brand expected a response within an hour. When users tweeted complaints about a business – that figure rose to 72%.
If your business wants to build a positive brand, then it will have to get its timing spot on. By monitoring what people are saying about your brand and responding quickly and effectively to complaints, your business’ image will improve to no end.
Social listening can be useful in helping you to develop better products.
Want to know what customers really think of your products? Want to know what problems they’ve experienced or what difficulties they’ve faced? Then listen to social media. Use the information you glean to improve products, correct faults, and better meet the expectations and preferences of your target audience. Involve your audience and ask for suggestions and possible improvements. Your audience may well surprise you and offer advice that you otherwise overlooked.