Nowadays, social media is where people go to for just about anything else. When you’re looking for restaurant reviews, you might be looking at Yelp for feedback but now you can double check it over at Facebook. Delayed flights? It’s now easy to complain directly through Twitter. Looking for a quick gift idea? Instagram and even Pinterest got you covered.
Some businesses believe that social media does work wonders for their ROI. Little that they know, participating in social media isn’t only by posting quotes, cool images, or giving away raffle promos just to hook subscribers in.
Social media is still all about interaction; businesses are now at level with their consumers that it’s easier for people to air out their problems. With a great social media team managing your online accounts, you will surely get the results you need.
Stop, Look, and Listen
When you own a social media account online, you can always do social listening as part of an online reputation management campaign.
SproutSocial has defined social listening as “the process of tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences.”
It’s not just tracking your brand, but it’s about monitoring all the things that are related to your brand. One of my favorite social media accounts when it comes to social listening and interaction is JetBlue Airlines. Here are some of their considerate yet witty responses to people tweeting them:
@bigjax08 Where are you off to, Keith? Vacation, work or a little of both? Let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help! 😘
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) April 17, 2016
JetBlue Airways responded coolly to this tweet. Social listening enabled them to respond to this tweet. Humanizing the brand makes it possible for people to have brand loyalty. Humanizing the brand does not only end in witty responses but also through the services they render, as what they did for this passenger:
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) April 17, 2016
Your Twitter account may not be directly responsible for anything else outside the digital world, but when you provide both the best customer service during and after sales, you get the feedback you deserve.
Flying back home with my fave @JetBlue 😍😍 seriously, the best customer service and the best attitude!
— Alp Ozcelik (@alplicable) April 17, 2016
Social Listening Benefits
Social listening has been proven to reap in benefits for businesses. If you’re still not convinced on how social listening can contribute a lot to your business, ponder on these thoughts on how social listening is profitable for your social media marketing campaign:
Opens business to business opportunities for brands
A baby brand was looking for ways to stop the stunted growth of their products in California. After using a social listening and analytics tool, they discovered the problem behind their struggling growth. Stores in the Golden State aren’t putting enough of their products on their shelves. What’s worse, they are struggling to put their products in Walmart’s shelves.
Social listening isn’t enough with adequate analysis. This baby brand did their research and gathered data about their brand, as well as interactions made with Walmart regarding their brand. They have discovered that their product is well received in California, judging from actual data they have collected through social listening alone.
In the end, they have presented their data and analysis; Walmart was convinced that their brand deserves a spot on their shelves, on their stores, online and offline.
Via social listening, you can gauge how potential buyers think and feel about your brand. If you’re a business looking for a place at an e-commerce store, it would be more possible to secure the deal with substantial evidence that your product or service will drive customer and revenue growth through a large following base from major social media sites.
Immediate Product Launch Reviews
Instead of waiting for official reviews from the experts in your industry, you can rely on social listening to garner feedback from your audience. Just recently, popular online community Reddit launched their official app for iPhone and Android. We went to Twitter and checked how people reacted to this.
— Andrew Larter (@DruLarter) April 21, 2016
— Alan Jenkins (@SocialJenkins) April 21, 2016
Marketing Research and Planning
In planning a social media campaign, determining your buyer personas is imperative. Who is your brand talking to? What type of audience are you aiming to target? Who is your chosen market base?
Pizza merchants such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza target buyers that need food quick. These opportunities are during lunch, dinner, sports events, casual get-togethers, and more. Targeting these events directs buyers to be enticed to order pizza.
Through social listening, Uber has also sent their outreach with a simple reminder last St. Patrick’s.
— Uber (@Uber) March 17, 2016
What seems to be an innocent, friendly reminder is actually a clever marketing tactic of convincing people to ride an Uber instead. Win-win situation.
Gauging Social Media Success
Reaching out to your audience as well as potential subscribers through social listening is one of the paths you can take towards social media success. Nonetheless, it is again through social media listening that you can gauge how successful your campaigns are in social media.
There are numerous metrics you can rely on but there are only a few metrics that truly display your success on social media.
The metrics below are a combination of a lot of metrics; you have to combine metrics and qualify these metrics into one big metric.
To guide you on measuring your social media success through social listening, here are a few things to take note:
Klout has been helpful in making it possible for personal or company brands to measure their social media engagement across major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Not only can they measure your efforts in these metrics, they can help you determine where you stand against the competitors in your industry. If you’re looking for leverage, Klout helps in connecting you and the influencers in your chosen field, creating authentic engagements between you and the other brand influencers.
Positive Lead Growth
Social media is a big marketplace for your brand. If you have listened and responded accordingly to customers and other businesses looking for the services you can offer, you will see an increase in lead generation for your brand. There are numerous applications that can measure and determine how social media interactions assisted conversions to your business. Those applications can also assign a relative weight that helps you determine what channel or at what point of interaction is the most effective, or even the least. That way, you can invest more on improving that specific point; it may be an increase in time for responding to social media inquiries, applying social media listening and interacting timely, and so forth. Once you determine that social listening and prompt interactions have indeed driven sales to your website, it’s time to increase your online efforts!
Social listening isn’t all about social media interactions and making the best out of these interactions. Your campaigns can trigger awareness to other channels like organic search, referral sites, and more. If you notice an increase in link velocity, the rate at which others are linking back to your site, then stop. Look for evidence to attribute this sudden increase in backlinks through SEO tools. There are influencers who like great content; if they see that your content is worth sharing, they will like it, share it, perhaps tweet about it. But the biggest gain for your campaign will be inbound links to your website, which does not only help with your social media success but as well in brand authority and search engine presence.
Brand Search Volume
Last but not the least, social media marketing is all about improving your brand presence across the Internet. Brands are hell bent in metrics such as reach and engagement, but oftentimes neglect brand search volume as one of the viable metrics to focus on. Social media is a good avenue to promote brand awareness. Being able to reach a lot of people and to engage them is not enough unless people remember you from the get-go. If people search for your brand, if there is a positive increase in searches for your brand, then your social listening efforts are bearing fruit.
Social media is a channel that’s here to stay. It’s an incorrigible force that can drive valuable traffic to your business. That’s why you should start listening to your audience. It’s not enough that you post compelling content and hard sell your product or service. People love drama, people love action; people love building connections. They love to be part of something; be that something that they can connect to.
Listen to what your target audience has to say, and create the solution to their problem.
Disclaimer: All images are provided by author.