Why Social Listening is Essential to Your Marketing Plan
In this post, we are answering your most common questions about “social listening,” and how using it correctly can benefit your social media performance.
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Creating the perfect marketing plan is far from simple. It is essential to determine your target audience and strategize on the best way to assemble your marketing plan. Are you going to focus on a specific group? Are you looking to attract new customers to your brand or business? If you do, then you need to have an “in” with your customer base, which means you need to be paying attention to social media and do a bit of social listening.
Social Listening 101
To use social listening as part of your marketing strategy you need to know what social listening entails. Simply put, social listening relates to listening to what people are saying about your company, your products and services, your overall brand, and of course your competitors. Social listening takes into consideration other categories that may prove relevant to your customers or potential customer base.
Social listening is not just about interaction with customers on social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. It involves listening to what people are saying, both positive and negative. Social listening means more than just basic keyword searches, although keywords can play a considerable role locating new customers and reaching out to customers unhappy with your competitors.
Where Social Listening Assists Your Marketing Plan
As previously mentioned, social listening is all about using social media to find out what people are saying about your company, your brand, products, services, as well as your competitors and other points of interest to your customers. Utilizing social listening, or social monitoring, is a way to find out not only what people are saying, but find out what they are looking for from your company and others in the same niche.
- Determine where you have erred or succeeded – Through social listening, you can determine when you have failed or hit the ball out of the park. For example, you make a post on your social media accounts that generate a lot of negative feedback. Go to that post and determine what the problems were and how you can fix them in the future. Conversely, if you have a post that generates a lot of positive feedback or business for your brand, consider what you did at that moment and focus on utilizing that technique in the future.
- The Competition – Monitoring what people are saying about your company and brand is essential. Another essential aspect to social listening is finding out what current or potential customers are saying about the competition. If you determine that they are failing their customers through products, services, or even customer service, use that information to improve how your company handles different situations. Furthermore, you can use the unhappiness expressed by customers of your competitors to develop your products or offer them services the competition lacks.
- What are your customers saying? – Do you think you have a handle on what your customers are saying? You might think you do, but in reality, in most cases, customers are continually making complaints regarding a company’s customer service. Social listening affords your business with the opportunity to see what your customers think about your products, services, overall brand, and customer service relations. Paying close attention to what your customer base is saying helps determine where changes in customer engagement need to be made, as well as deciding what customers want from your brand.
- Product & Services Feedback – Through brand tracking, mentions, etc., you can determine what customers are saying about your products and services. Sometimes the feedback received can help improve a current product, service, or even a company policy. On other occasions, it is possible to pass on this information to your company’s development team. This is one way to create a product or service your customers have been searching for but never came across.
- Hunt New Customers – Social listening also helps your company locating people who are upset or unhappy with your competitors. Utilize this information to make a play for a new potential customer. Avoid trying to sell the potential customer on your product and services while discussing their unhappiness with your competitor. Leave the door open for contact and see where that takes you.
Get a Step Ahead: Implement Social Listening into your Marketing Plan
When it comes to creating a marketing plan more has to be taken into consideration than just your products, services, brand name and how your competitors are faring. Social listening affords your marketing team with the ability to find out what people are saying, determine how to initiate conversation, and target potential new customers. Social listening is a powerful tool that should be utilized by all marketing teams, as the rewards for using this tool are innumerable.
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