November 12, 2020
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
- Jeff Bezos
Sure, customer surveys are great, but you only find out what people really think when they speak freely without any perceived social pressure from you.
Nowadays, they are doing that online, which is great because you can track those conversations with social media listening.
Here’s what we are going to discuss in this article:
- What is social media listening?
- How can social media listening benefit your business?
- Why should you consider full-service social media listening?
Want to unlock lucrative insights that are hidden in the social media chatter?
What Is Social Media Listening?
Social media listening is the process of:
- Analyzing relevant conversations that are happening on social media.
- Extracting information from them and turning it into actionable insights.
- Applying those insights to your business.
In theory, you could do the most basic social media listening all on your own, just by going through everything manually.
In practice, though, this would either take an enormous amount of time and yield questionable results or would be downright impossible if you have a large social media following.
That is why anyone who is serious about social media listening uses dedicated software that employs a machine learning technique called text analytics to quickly go through massive amounts of data and extract information from it.
Social Media Monitoring vs. Social Media Listening
The terms “social media monitoring” and “social media listening” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.
So what’s the difference between them?
Social Media Monitoring
Social media monitoring is reactive.
You keep an eye out for brand mentions and product mentions, then respond to those messages as quickly as possible.
Additionally, you keep track of industry-specific keywords, then join the conversations happening around them.
Social Media Listening
Social media listening is proactive.
You use tools to analyze brand and product mentions, industry-specific keywords, industry-specific hashtags, public conversations on your chosen topics, etc.
You can also analyze your competitors’ brand and product mentions to see how they are doing.
Then you look at the results of this text analysis:
- What is the general perception of your brand?
- What issues, topics, and questions come up most frequently?
- What are the current industry trends?
This gives you the big picture of what your target audience is thinking.
Then you take what you have learned and use it to make better business decisions.
How Can Social Media Listening Benefit Your Business?
Okay, so now that you know what social media listening is, let’s get into how it can benefit your business...
#1 Grow Your Social Media Following
You don’t need to guess what content your target audience likes.You can simply see what kind of content performs the best, then focus on creating similar posts.
You can also keep an eye out for emergent trends, then capitalize on them before anyone else.
#2 Improve Customer Experience
You can analyze all customer support requests that you get through social media to see what are the most common issues.
This shows you what needs to be fixed in order to improve customer experience.
#3 Develop the Right Features
You can also analyze the conversations that revolve around your product to see what additional features your customers want the most.
This is extremely valuable because it allows you to focus on developing features that will provide the highest return on investment.
#4 Make Your Copy More Effective
At its core, copy-writing is about understanding your target audience and creating a message that deeply resonates with them.
Social media listening allows you to see how people phrase things when they talk about the problem that your product solves, then use the same exact wording in your copy.
That way, instead of trying to come up with something yourself, you can talk to your existing and potential customers in their own language.
#5 Protect Your Reputation
Back in the day, if someone had a bad experience with a company, they would complain about it to their spouse and their friends.
Now, an unhappy customer can complain to the entire world through social media, so brands need to pay special attention to protecting their reputation.
Social media listening can help you be proactive about it. You can use it to measure social sentiment of your target audience.
Social sentiment is how people feel towards your brand. In its most basic form, it’s either positive or negative.
However, more advanced tools can also identify the predominant emotion behind it.
When you observe how social sentiment changes over time, you can better understand what you should and shouldn’t do if you want to keep your customers happy.
Moreover, keeping an eye on social sentiment allows you to notice and address issues before they snowball into full-blown PR disasters.
#6 Get Ahead Of Your Competition
You can use social media listening to see how people feel about your competitors and what they say about their products.
This allows you to discover their weak spots on which you can then capitalize by creating better products, providing a better customer experience, and establishing a better brand image.
This is especially true if you are using text analytics and your competitors aren’t because it means that you have access to insights that are unavailable to them.
#7 Co-Create Your Brand With Your Customers
The days of a top-down approach where businesses create products without much input from their customers are over.
The most successful companies now use a bottom-up approach where they get their product ideas from their customers.
With social media listening, you can stop guessing what your customers want and start, well, listening to them.
This empowers you to create products that your customers actually want, marketing campaigns that speak directly to them, and a brand image that truly resonates with them.
Social Media Listening Tools
There are quite a few social media listening tools out there.
Here are three popular options:
SproutSocial is a social media management tool that has social media monitoring and social media listening functionality.
It can monitor brand and product mentions, track keywords and hashtags, produce trend reports, identify social media sentiment, etc.
It has a 30-day free trial and three pricing plans starting from $99/month.
Hootsuite is another social media management tool that has social media monitoring and social media listening functionality.
It can show you what’s trending, provide real-time audience insights, and integrate other, more advanced tools like Brandwatch and Talkwalker.
Hootsuite has a 30-day free trial and offers four pricing plans that start at $29/month.
Talkwalker is a powerful social media listening tool that has advanced features like global coverage with 187 languages, ability to track 30,000 brand images, two years of historical data, and more.
They offer a free demo and three pricing plans starting at $9,600/year.
Full-Service Social Media Listening
The three tools that we have just discussed work well for ongoing social media listening.
However, if you want to get the most out of all the data that is available on social media, you need a proper text analytics solution.
There are several software options on the market, but they all have one downside: they are time-consuming because you need to set them up, learn how to use them, then run the text analysis. It can be pretty tedious.
Moreover, you also need to interpret the results yourself, which is yet another additional headache.
However, with DrAI, you don’t need to do any of that, because we do everything for you.
Here’s what we offer:
- We will analyze Twitter data.
- We will extract relevant information.
- We will interpret this information for you.
You’ll get an in-depth report with actionable business insights within 1-3 days.
Learn more about how we carry out analysis from our client testimonials:
We helped e-learning company Studeo analyze 280 000 tweets related to the Finnish school system.
We helped a leading Finnish marketing and communications agency - Ellun Kanat - by understanding discussions in the Twittersphere about their clients’ companies and offerings.
We helped academics work on a public service co-creation project as part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme by analyzing 76, 000 messages from an online discussion forum
Social media listening offers incredible benefits.
It can help you create an amazing product, market it effectively, and provide an excellent customer experience. Moreover, it’s also a great way to keep an eye on your competition.
There are quite a few tools out there that have social media listening functionality. Research them, pick one that suits your needs best and start using it. You won’t regret it.
And when you are ready to take things to the next level, let us know and we will help you do that. How?
We will analyze conversations on Twitter and other online discussion forums, interpret the results, and come back to you with actionable business insights within 1-3 days. Sounds good?
Feel free to book a demo anytime. We would love to talk to you!