social listening

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What is social listening?

The technique of gathering data from social networks and forums on a certain issue is known as social listening. This might be a company, a product, or anything else. Social listening, also known as social media listening, enables you to extract useful insights and data from all of these interactions. 

The data obtained is then examined to identify trends and helpful insights. This can have an impact on a variety of activities, including corporate operations, product revisions, and advertising strategies.

It is not a wholly new method; rather, the technology is different. Surveys have long been used by brands to measure the public’s and their customers’ opinions.

What technology implies now is that you no longer need to prompt people. It’s just a question of locating people who are chatting about anything and anything online.

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Who can use social listening?

People discuss everything and everything on the internet. That implies that almost every company or organization may benefit from social listening. There is something to be learned as long as it is done correctly.

B2C

If you’re a B2C firm, it’s a terrific method to find out what your consumers think about your brand. Do they praise you or, as Chipotle discovered, criticize you? You may check which goods are most often discussed, gather input, and learn more about their demographics.

You may also use it to do research for company strategy. Perhaps you want to expand into a new product category. You may look at what people are saying about it already and even see whether your current clients would be interested.

B2B

Social listening may also be useful for competitive benchmarking in a B2B organization. You might look at who your competitors have the most influence over, or you can keep a watch on the current trends. This is in addition to knowing more about potential consumers.

For example, even if you sell to companies, you still need to engage with individuals in order to do so. You may identify your target decision makers, such as CEOs or CTOs, and utilize social listening to learn about their interests, demographics, and how to communicate with them.

Charities

From cancer research to the local museum, organizations may benefit from social listening. Examining talks about certain themes can provide valuable insight into the job you undertake. Not to mention brand monitoring to keep you informed of any unfavorable comments made about your company.

It may even inspire your next campaign. You may target a group of frequent givers. After examining their chats, it is clear that the great majority of them adore cats. So, in your next promotional film, you use cats to pique their interest and tug at their emotions.

Government

Government agencies can also become involved. Understanding demographics, collecting complaints, and gathering comments on new policies or plans are just a few examples.

For example, you may be the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, and you’ve just launched a new campaign to support British agriculture. You may utilize social listening to determine how far the message was distributed, who received it, and what they thought of it. All critical parameters for determining the effectiveness of a campaign.

Objectives of social listening

Market segmentation

This is the method for new firms, new product launches, and new things in general. To market your goods, use an acceptable manner while addressing your audience. Speak the language they understand! Change your communication tone and design style based on your target purchasers’ gender, geographical area, lifestyle, and so on. Match your social media activity to your industry’s peak social media hours. Follow these steps to get to know your audience better using social listening:

  • Choose keywords that are relevant to your industry.
  • Incorporate these terms into your search query.
  • Examine the statistics: gender analysis, geolocation, most popular sources, and an hour histogram.

This way, you can see who, where, and when is talking about themes related to your business and sector. Then you may choose the most representative group and develop a tailored marketing approach.

Brand awareness

Whether you are the sole business in your area or your market is crowded, your brand must be easily identifiable. Perhaps you’ve heard of the buying funnel, also known as the marketing funnel, which is based on the St. Elmo Lewis’s AIDA model from 1898.

Obviously, the notion has developed since then, since it has had to adapt to new technology. It is still the foundation for developing a successful product strategy. This notion states that awareness is the first stage of a potential buyer’s metaphorical journey from being unaware of your existence to falling in love with your goods and binge-buying it.

Social media may be utilized as a platform for subtle yet continuous reminders of your business, whether via community managers or brand advocates – both of whom can be easily identified utilizing social listening. While watching your brand mentions on the web, look at who has been talking about your brand a lot.

Competitor analysis

There’s this online fad that says you shouldn’t worry about your company competitors. That focusing on your goals will lead to long-term success. If you continue to spy on them, you may lose your attention, time, and, most likely, your mind. But truly, the things you can learn from your opponents – especially if you’re fresh to the game.

Consider it as learning from the errors and successes of others. A savvy marketer will constantly be aware of their rivals’ locations, if only to ensure that they are ahead. To live in shark-infested water, you must identify your specialty and simply keep swimming. This may appear harsh, but business isn’t only about making money.

Fortunately, there are business intelligence strategies that allow you to spend just enough time knowing what’s vital while avoiding stressing over unimportant details. One of these strategies is social listening. Gathering and comparing social mentions of yourself and your rivals may reveal a lot.

The quantity of mentions is significant, but qualitative analysis is also necessary. Text mining techniques allow you to see the mood of mentions, allowing you to determine which sources are “it” in your business. Furthermore, accurate mention analysis can inform you where the best opportunity to swoop in is.

Acquiring leads

Remember going door-to-door? If you told a traveling salesperson in the 1970s that one day individuals will sit in elegant offices and obtain leads from a huge calculator connected to other giant calculators, they may not believe you. Or that they would know which house to visit in particular because – given the interests of the residents – there is a larger likelihood that they will purchase the goods. Or that they no longer need to cover countless blocks since they may casually bring up the subject of their product in a random discussion. Alternatively, potential purchasers may ask all of their friends and acquaintances which goods to select, allowing them to just swoop in.

The truth is that it is nearly difficult for a business to operate without the internet. It’s also not only about e-commerce! Even if the majority of your sales are done offline, you might try to obtain leads by participating in industry-related forums. Track terms that indicate buy intent, filter mentions to fit your goal (e.g., by source), and reach out to customers gently. Remember to adapt your communication style to the folks you’re contacting; otherwise, you’ll come off as an invader or clingy.

Crisis management

The internet’s unrestricted connections have undoubtedly enhanced the quality of life for the majority of people. The web, like other technologies, should be utilized with caution. When you join a social community, you run the chance of encountering malevolent behavior, nasty users, rumors, disappointed clients, and so on. It’s a good idea to be aware of potential hazards and have a backup plan.

You may avert a problem before it worsens by using social listening and notifications prompted by bad references. Because sentiment analysis algorithms are based on linguistic competence and natural language processing, the system can automatically classify remarks that are neutral, say wonderful things about your brand, or do you bad.

You can never fully foresee the breadth of your activity, whether its misinformation spreading on the internet or people’s bad reactions to your conduct. The crucial thing is to be prepared to react, especially if you’re taking a risk or your sector is struggling.

It’s sometimes better to be daring than dull. In difficult circumstances, social listening should be your most valuable asset. Nothing appears to be faster than the speed of light – yet have you ever seen a controversy spread?

You’ll be the first to hear about any possible issues if you use a social media monitoring tool and correctly configure your notifications. This helps you to take control of the situation before it escalates and handle the problem before it becomes a major issue.

Product improvement

If you notice evidence that your product (or service) may benefit from an improvement but are unsure where to begin, asking around is always a good idea. Make a poll and ask your clients, their neighbors, and your mother. Ask anybody who is prepared to offer their thoughts — the more feedback you collect, the more reliable the data become.

What you should keep in mind is that in order to make the effort of making a post about a company online, a person must have strong views about it. They are not always pleasant sensations. Remember that your data may be impacted by more outliers than in traditional surveys. That is the cost of being truthful.

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Benefits of social listening

1. Gathering information

Social listening helps you to learn what your consumers are thinking. You acquire enormous quantities of honest, unfiltered feedback on your (or your competitor’s) products and services by analyzing large amounts of web discussions. After a certain point, managing all of that information by hand becomes impractical – who has the time to read through hundreds of mentions?

2. Data analytics

Understand your numbers. It is pointless to collect hundreds of online remarks, comments, and mentions if they do not yield specific information. After all, vanity metrics like followers, likes, and shares aren’t the only thing that matters. You should care about the people behind the numbers because they are your future consumers.

Social listening solutions may offer you with valuable information about your target audience, such as demographics, geographic location, sentiment analysis, and the most common communication methods… The list goes on and on. This information should serve as the cornerstone of your social media communication plan. It’s also an excellent source of consumer information.

3. Customer engagement

With your online mentions aggregated and sorted, you can identify and address the relevant audience. You may participate in online conversations as they occur, reach out to and respond to your consumers’ needs, and discover exciting new sales prospects. You may demonstrate that you genuinely care. After all, emotional perception is quite important in the sales process.

By portraying oneself appropriately on social media, you may quickly develop an emotional bond with your consumers. Furthermore, social listening enables you to anticipate potential PR problems as they occur – and respond before they develop.

Being involved with your consumers is never a negative thing — quite the contrary. You may inspire more people to trust your business and make a purchase by demonstrating that you actually care about your consumers. Consider it a long-term marketing plan, since that is exactly what it is.

4. Brand development

Today, brands are expected to respond to changing conditions practically instantaneously. This is why it is critical to use technology solutions to save time. Allowing algorithms to handle the most frequent, time-consuming activities gives you more breathing room to enhance your procedures.

You can demonstrate your agility with limitless research results, accurate analysis, and quick reputation management. Social listening gives you an unbiased assessment of customer preferences and wants. Use that data to improve the way you engage with customers, calculate your ROI, and determine your market position.

Best practices of social listening

  • Find social mentions of your brand and check whether you are mentioned — if so, how frequently? What are the most prevalent associations people have with your brand?
  • When creating your first project, attempt to collect all of the numerous permutations of your brand’s name (from an SEO standpoint, misspelt terms may count) and include them in your query.
  • Compare your figures to sentiment analysis; this might reveal a possible disaster (if the number of mentions is unusually high and most of them are negative).
  • Don’t simply listen; take action! Consider social media monitoring to be a tool for brand image management and strong customer interactions. You can utilize it to get to your location faster, but you must still drive. Respond to any brand references (especially if they are negative).
  • Use social analytics to draw broad generalizations. There is a moment to concentrate on each mention and a time to get a bird’s eye perspective of your audience. Personalize your communication by matching your goods to their tastes.
  • Confront trends with the preferences of your target audience. Find out which sources are most popular among those interested in your subject and the wider public. Take note of the distinction.
  • In detailed statistics such as gender analysis, geolocation, hour histograms, and mention sources, compare your brand to its competitors. Discover your leverage and your specialization.
  • To establish a trustworthy brand, carefully listen to your potential clients’ worries and concerns and address them. Use these findings to develop your content strategy in order to reap the benefits of inbound marketing.
  • If you find social proof valuable, try using it as a selling point. Determine how many customers were pleased with your goods or service and highlight the statistics.
  • Take use of the opportunity for one-on-one conversation with prospects you find on social media. Never undervalue a prospective client. Make every effort to reach out to them personally.

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Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries