You might be wondering – what does it take to be a good listener?
It takes more than a good product or excellent service to make up a successful business. All business owners know that their company would not exist if it wasn’t for their customers. It therefore makes sense that one of the main focuses of your marketing strategy should be to not only reach new consumers but retain existing ones.
What’s the best way to do this? By listening to them, of course!
This customer retention strategy isn’t just about picking up the phone and literally listening to a customer complain or inform you of their disappointment in your product or service. Rather, social listening is a much more intensive and in-depth experience of knowing where your customers communicate and silently monitoring what they’re saying.
What is Social Listening?
In simplest terms, social listening is about understanding what social media channels your customers use and then monitoring those channels for both direct and indirect references to your brand, service or product. It involves analyzing the conversations and trends surrounding your industry and using them to make better marketing decisions. Knowing what your consumers are talking about, where and why, will help your business create future content, strategize your messaging, and outcompete your competitors.
This strategy is all about ‘the big picture’. You want to get an understanding of not only how your own brand is being perceived, but also the trends taking place in the entire industry. Implementing social listening will most likely clear up any questions you have about the strengths, weakness and opportunities of your product as well as a better understanding of your consumers and competitors.
Here are 3 easy strategies to help you with your social listening skills:
Learn your customer’s language
In order to reach your consumers, you need to understand how they communicate. Once you get the hang of this, you will be able to show them that you are attuned to their issues. It also helps develop trust in your brand and product.
Things to monitor include:
- The types of sentences they use. Complex, simple, or in-between?
- What do they type into the search bar?
- What words and phrases do they like to use?
- What hashtags do they use?
Monitor developing trends and industry news
It is really important to stay up to date with current events, especially those in your industry. It is hard to remain relevant if you are not posting content that is relevant. By monitoring developing trends, you will be able to create content that is interesting to your consumers. Trending videos, popular music, industry news, as well as major world events, will give you something to post that will engage your audience. Knowing what they are interested in and posting current content about it, will help you earn their interest, trust and loyalty.
Monitor your competitor’s content
Monitoring not only your competitor’s content, but also the response to it from your shared audience, will help you track what is successful and what is lacking. It will also allow you to create content that is unique from theirs, giving you an edge in the market. Competitor content is an opportunity to observe opinions and conversations about their product or service.
This can then be used to gain insight into:
- Issues and complaints that your audience has. If your product offers solutions to these, you can engage with the consumer and guide them towards your brand.
- Trending topics amongst your audience that you may not have been aware of.
- Most popular content. This can then be used to create content you already know is being received well – just make sure you’re giving it your own twist!
The digital age has given us access to information we have never been able to see before. Whether its conversations about your brand, your product or your industry, there is a constant stream of customer data that we can access. Learning to implement social listening strategies will allow us to use this information to create a better, more efficient marketing plan.