Biz Tips: Social Listening Is Important, But Listening To Intelligently Even More So: Three Reasons Why…

Biz Tips: Social Listening Is Important, But Listening To Intelligently Even More So: Three Reasons Why…

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Social Listening Is Important, But Listening To Intelligently Even More So: Three Reasons Why…

Social Listening Is Important, But Listening In Intelligently Even More So: Three Reasons Why Should You Care

In the last decade, social media has grown by leaps and bounds, with the total number of users predicted to reach 3.02 bn by 2021.

In an age when consumers are finickier than ever, it is vital for businesses to improve their performance continuously. And, social media offers a wealth of information to them not only to better understand their target audience but also to have a bird’s-eye view of the industry and to track competitor activities.

Often described as the snapshot of the real world, social media captures the brief moment in time when a user performs an activity, like highlighting a personal or professional achievement, complaining about a product or raving about a shopping experience, among others.

Social listening is the process of monitoring these digital conversations, analyzing the collected data for actionable insights, and putting an effective strategy in place.

Bottom line: social listening takes a village

Given the vastness of the digital world, the use of tools today is not an option but a necessity for businesses. There are various software such as Hootsuite Insights, Talkwalker, Synthesio, Audiense, Reddit Keyword Monitor, Quora, and AgoraPulse to track every piece of information about your business on the internet.

Such listening tools help:

  • Record the general sentiment around your business
  • Measure user engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments
  • Track any customer complaints or comments about your business
  • Explore industry news and influencer conversations
  • Analyze competitors and check how you fare in comparison to them

However, social listening is not free from noise:

  • Every one minute, 317,000 statuses are updated, 147,000 photos are uploaded and 54,000 links are shared on Facebook. (Smart Insights)
  • On average, over 6,000 tweets are posted on Twitter every second. (David Sayce)
  • More than 100 million photos and videos are posted on Instagram each day. (HubSpot)

These figures are just the tip of the iceberg.

1.97 billion blogs are written on WordPress alone, and let us not forget the numerous videos being churned or the threads being created on Reddit daily.

So, is your business listening in intelligently?

The point is you can have all the tools in the world, but if your focus is solely on capturing the data about your business without applying any filters, you are doing it all wrong. Data that doesn’t answer strategic questions for your business should essentially be discarded.

Therefore, gauge the importance of the information being collected and remove those bits that are not valuable enough. That is the significant difference between social listening and listening in intelligently.

Here are three reasons why intelligent social listening should be a practice:

1. To reduce customer complaints

92% of consumers of today read online reviews of a business, and reading one to three reviews is enough for 40% of them to form an opinion. A single bad review could lead to the loss of a potential customer. Therefore, positive online reviews are the key to the longevity of your business.

A Pegasystems survey reported failing to listen to customer needs is of the top three customer service problems for businesses across the globe. However, that can be addressed with the use of tools like Hootsuite, Followerwonk, and Mention.

Receive real-time updates each time a conversation takes place on social media, allowing you to respond to customer requests or complaints as and when needed.

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The key to responding on the platform is speed. Acknowledging the issue and informing the rattled customers about your swift support will relax them and reduce the chances of them bad mouthing your business.

According to a study by The Nottingham School of Economics, consumers are more willing to forgive when a company offers an apology. Therefore, convey your apologies at the earliest and strive to resolve their issues quickly.

2. To address industry pain points

Monitor important keywords related to your industry using tools like Talkwalker and Google Alerts. Study conversations that prospective customers are having about a product that is prevalent in your industry and the features that may or may not be working for them.

A single important conversation thread can help you decide your next move, which could be:

  • Funneling that information straight to your marketing team so that those pain points can be addressed in their initiatives.

Or

  • Getting in touch with your product development team who can implement those changes in the product to fulfill the demand.

Or both.

Listening is easy. But doing something about it is what makes a difference.

3. To save time on competitor analysis

Using social listening, you can check up on your competitors on both online and offline mediums. Analyzing those businesses will help you discover the different ways in which they not only acquire new customers but also grow as a community.

Many tools can help you listen to intelligently. For instance: SpyFu is a great tool to research the keywords and Adwords your competitors buy. Google Trends gives an overview about the new developments in the industry, including emerging businesses in your market.

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Whenever you win a new customer, find out who they used before and ask them why they switched to you. You can then adjust your offerings to stay ahead of your competitors. Keep an eye on the professionals they hire — that speaks volumes about their plans.

Avoid focusing on vanity metrics such as Likes, Shares or Comments because of the lack of authenticity in the digital landscape. Conduct a more thorough research about the competitors, filter the data collected and intimate the same to different departments so that they who they are up against.

Endnotes

No business can take strategic decisions without intelligent social listening. While hiring a team of full-time analysts for the job is a good option, it is an expensive one. Purchase a tool that combines machine learning with human curation, and can smoothly remove the clutter to deliver insightful data.

Always remember: social listening, if done casually, is like separating the wheat from the chaff. But listening in intelligently is synonymous to mining for diamonds.

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