Social Listening 101: What it is, Why it matters, & Its Benefits
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As one of the most effective methods of understanding and learning about people’s perception of your business online, social listening is something that your brand should be participating in, investing in, and including in your digital marketing strategy.
After all, getting keen insight into how people see you on the internet – and its many communities and networks – is something that you can use to your advantage.
But before going into the many opportunities that social listening provides and will provide you, let’s first define the concept.
What is Social Listening?
Social Listening is the process of tracking conversations about your brand online, particularly on social media platforms and other digital networks or channels (blogs, online forums, review sites, etc.). This is undertaken to better understand what consumers think of you and the products or services that you offer.
It involves a three-step process:
● Monitoring – This involves keeping track of mentions—brand names, topics, competitors, keywords, and products in conversations—on social media and other digital channels.
● Analysis – This is the part that makes social listening unique— wherein collected data are analyzed to determine what the audience likes and dislikes about a brand—its campaigns, marketing efforts, products or services, and more. It’s also here that trends and patterns are discovered.
● Response – This is the phase where brands use the analyzed data to make informed and improved responses, strategies, and plans for their digital marketing efforts. It’s also in this part that issues are amended and improved.
Marketers, including top social media management agencies in the Philippines, then use the results as basis to form better marketing plans, strategies, responses for consumers, and more.
Difference Between Social Listening and Social Monitoring
When researching or learning about social listening, you’re bound to come across social monitoring. And most of the time, many will describe the two as being the same thing. However, while they share similarities, they’re not the same.
Social monitoring is all about data collection, specifically mentions of your brand across social media. Its process is more focused on tracking metrics rather than understanding the users’ perception of a brand. Meanwhile, social listening’s main purpose is to make sense of gathered data and analyze it to determine the people’s feelings or opinions about a brand and its products on social networks, which is also called social media sentiment.
In a nutshell, social media monitoring is more number-inclined. It doesn’t go beyond that and only cares about metrics and analytics. On the other hand, social listening goes beyond that and makes sense of the numbers and the results, analyzing them to better understand public opinion. This newfound understanding is then used to guide the digital marketing strategy and related actions.
Why is Social Listening Important?
Social Listening gives brands the ability to grasp the sentiments and conversations that surround them online, particularly how people respond to campaigns, content, and more. This provides an opportunity for businesses to improve their products and services, and promotional activities according to consumers’ preferences. At the same time, it enables them to gauge brand influence and awareness.
Benefits of Social Listening
Apart from helping brands and businesses analyze and understand consumer sentiments, social listening will also help with the following:
● Boosting Engagement
Since social listening allows you to delve deep into people’s perceptions of your brand online, you’ll be able to determine their preferences and likes, especially the things that they’re not fond of about your business. Using this information, you can create a strategy that will cater to their liking, which will ultimately result in increased engagement and interaction.
Besides that, it also gives you the chance to directly respond to your audience’s queries, appeals, and similar sentiments—be it through posts, comments, messages, announcements, and more.
● Reputation management
By having access to information on conversations about your brand online, you’ll be able to pinpoint the aspects of your strategy, products, or services that consumers want you to address or fix. And when you know, what needs to be amended, you’ll be able to act fast and preserve your reputation—even increase or improve it.
● Finding influencers to partner with
Picking the right influencer to help you market your brand online, specifically on social media, is not an easy feat. After all, there are a lot of them out there. But through social listening, you’ll be able to shorten the selection process since you already have information about people who are talking about your brand. You just have to narrow the list down and isolate the influencers from those who are not.
Of course, when an influencer is already talking about or mentioning your product on their pages, they’re sure to do a good job of marketing it to their followers.
● Upgrading customer service and experience
Having access to what people think of your brand and your products means that you’ll be able to take action faster, particularly when it comes to points of concern for your consumers. The more immediate your response to resolve such issues will mean better customer service and experience.
● Competitor Analysis
Apart from letting you track conversations and mentions around your brand, social listening also enables you to monitor your competitors. Through observing conversations that surround them, you’ll then be able to compare their strategy to yours and see which part of their promotional activities is working better than yours.
With how fast-paced social media is today, as well as digital marketing efforts and activities, it’s easy to get lost and lose track of what matters —your consumer and the public’s voice and opinion about your business and the products and services that you offer.
However, you can reconnect through social listening. It’s a strong tool that will allow you to comprehend the thoughts and preferences of people about your brand and what it offers.