By Erin | | in Marketing

It's easy to get caught up in the metrics of your social media strategy. While you may be checking how many likes, comments and mentions your social content receives, are you actually listening to the people behind the profile? It's time to put the social back into social media, and start listening.

How Do I Listen?

Social listening is all about monitoring your brand’s social channels. Be on the lookout for feedback, direct mentions or general discussion using keywords that matter to your business. This monitoring should be followed by analysis, which allows brands to gain insights and truly understand the conversation about their brand and industry.

Why Should I Listen?

Social media is impossible to ignore. People are constantly talking about your brand, your competitors brand, your products, your industry and your employees. These conversations happen in real life and are later turned into threads and discussions on social media. Instead of simply shouting messages over social media, why wouldn’t you listen in and become part of the conversation?

Whether you’re in marketing, sales or support, social listening should be part of your strategy. Listening into your prospects' and customers' thoughts will help you to craft better marketing campaigns, close more deals, improve your products or services, and foster happier customers!

Still not convinced? Here are some key reasons why your business should stop shouting and start listening!

You Could Gain Insights:

People are inherently social, love to share their opinions with friends and highly regard the opinions of their friends. With the majority of consumers taking these conversations to social media, there is plenty of opportunity for your brand to tune into the conversation. Listening into these conversations can help you measure consumer sentiment (link), and keep up to date with what people really want.

Your Customers Expect You To:

Your customers know you’re on social media. When they mention you, they expect you to respond. Sensis found that two-thirds of consumers (64%) are more likely to trust a brand if they interact with consumers in a positive way on social media. This trend is also on the rise, up 12 points from the 2017 Social Media Report. As it turns out, people also have some pretty high standards when it comes to response time. According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter, and of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour!

Listening Can Create Opportunity:

In Australia, 68% of consumers read online reviews and depend on online opinions before shopping. Social media is a great place to find people who are actually interested in buying your product. By monitoring keywords and brand mentions, you could turn an interested prospect into a legitimate lead and then, to a loyal customer. You can engage with people asking for recommendations, tagging their friends in your content or mentioning your brand name!

How to Get Started!

Step 1: Monitor Your Media

Before you get your listening ears on, you’ll need to decide what you’re listening for. Try drafting a list of competitors, similar products and terms people are most likely to search for your product. These are the terms you can aim to listen for, in addition to your own brand mentions.

Next, you might want to consider using a tool to help you listen. Some free social media monitoring tools you might want to check out include TweetDeck, Google Alerts, Topsy, and Social Mention.

There are also a handful of paid tools to help with your social listening, as well as interacting with customers online. These tools have the ability to track social mentions and have various keyword tracking capabilities. Our Klypsters recommend Awario, Talkwaker and of course, Hubspot.

Step 2: Listen and Respond

Whether you’re using a free or paid tool, or simply logging into your social platforms you can listen for the following:

Twitter: Listen out for industry tweets, @replies and mentions of your business. You can search for your competitors, industry terms and relevant keywords in the search bar, or try TweetDeck! You’ll also need to look out for requests for support, complaints and feedback and of course, praise!

Facebook: Check out what people have posted to your brand’s public-facing Facebook Timeline, comments on your content, private messages and reviews.

LinkedIn: Start on your company page, and be sure to check comments on LinkedIn Company Page posts. You might also want to tune into LinkedIn Groups for the chance to answer, comment, and link to your resources when it makes sense and is valuable to the community.

Instagram: Start by checking for @Brand mentions, direct messages, comments and discussions on your wildly engaging content! After, you can follow Hashtags about your industry, product and competitors to stay in the loop.

Google Alerts: You should know who is writing about your company and what they are saying. Start some Google Alerts based on keywords your customers care about, whether it be your brand or a competitors. Monitoring these discussions will provide great insights, and the opportunity to answer questions and become regarded as an industry expert on platforms like Quora.

Now that you’re listening in, how about joining the conversation! Answer someone’s Quora question, suggest your brand to someone looking for product recommendations, or thank someone for their praise. Congratulations! You’ve now created a bridge between listening and engaging!

When responding, make sure you:

  • Respond promptly and accurately
  • Show gratitude and respect
  • Include facts instead of opinion
  • Respond in a voice which accurately represents your brand

Sound like a lot of work? Believe it or not, you can actually monitor your social media effectively in 10 minutes a day! Download Our Guide and Get Started!