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Kalie Fry By Kalie Fry • July 13, 2018

The 3 Ingredients of Successful Social Listening

The 3 Key Ingredients of a Social Listening Strategy

As Marie Antoinette once said, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!” Or, as we Americans like to translate – let them eat cake. Historically, that statement wasn’t given in the most positive context. However, I think she was onto something.

Tomorrow is July 14th, which is just another Saturday for most people. But having three friends from France, I’ve come to celebrate this day as La Fête Nationale. (AKA: the storming of the Bastille.)  Naturally between projects, I’ve found myself daydreaming of pastries. But in light of our new reputation management services, it got me thinking. If social listening was a cake, what would its ingredients look like?

(Pssst! If you need help getting reviews for your page. Be sure and download our free guide.)

For me, a simple slam of a closet door causes my soufflé to sink. But for businesses, those outside factors aren’t always so easy to control – especially in terms of online reviews. The trick is keeping an open ear and placing yourself at the pulse of your customers’ thoughts. But, that can be easier said than done. 

The question isn't whether or not you should engage in social listening, it's "what should I be listening for?" In this blog, I’ll be answering that question and bringing light to key ingredients that’ll make your social soufflé rise.

Why is social listening important?

I won’t go into too much detail, but I first want you to gain a practical understanding of social listening and how it can be used for your business. Social listening is the process of monitoring social media and other online channels for mentions of your brand.

Stemmed opportunities range from engaging with a happy customer to shifting your brand strategy due to negative campaign sentiment. In other words, if you’re not engaged in social listening, you’re running with your blinders on. You’re missing out on valuable insights from people talking about your brand or industry. 

With social listening, you have the opportunity to:

  • Identify strategic wins (or missteps) in real time.
  • Measure and track how your brand stacks up to competitors.
  • Uncover hidden pain points that mean the difference between a two and five-star review.
  • Find and engage with your biggest influencers and brand advocates.
  • Nurture leads into long-term customer relationships.

How do I approach social listening?

It isn’t enough to hear; you need to listen to your customers. Back in high school, one of my teachers had us read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” There was a quote in that book that has stuck with me throughout my marketing career.

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

The same holds true for social listening. Data and insights are only as valuable as the actions that follow them. When you’re able to engage a negative review and dig into the depths of why the customer is unhappy, you make the jump from social listening to social intelligence. 

As you continue to practice this model, you’ll begin to identify and develop unique customer opportunity cases of your own. But for starters, here are the four most common uses for social listening:

  1. Crisis Management
  2. Market Research
  3. Campaign Analysis
  4. Brand Health

 

Now that we’ve identified areas of opportunity, let’s plan your social listening strategy. When doing this, I recommend focusing on conversations that allow you to understand your customers’ pain points and demands. Most often, this can be observed in your online reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other platforms.

Here are 3 things to monitor in your social listening strategy:

1. Sentiment

When you listen to customers, the first thing to focus on is their reaction to your products or services. If you see a negative review, aim to understand their concerns and take corrective actions if needed. On the other hand, if you’re receiving a lot of positive feedback, you can focus on improving your customer experience even more.

2. Industry Trends

One of the biggest perks of social listening is that it allows you to identify profitable gaps in your services or expectations. Because reviews are out in the open for everyone to see, you’re also able to listen in on your competitors and assess where you stand. Simple conversations can tell you a lot about their strengths and weaknesses.

3. Customer Pain Points

With social monitoring, you can set up keyword filters to hone in on specific topics pertaining to your industry. The collected information can shed light on the issues customers are having with your products or services or reveal tweaks you could make to improve them further.

In summary, social listening is pretty sweet.

Always look for the “so what” in data and tie your inbound marketing efforts to business impact. Developing a social listening system can be overwhelming at first. But once you do it, you can leverage integrations with your sales tools and customer care platforms to streamline the process.

Our online reputation management services feature powerful social listening tools to help you maintain and respond to all your social media platforms in one place. You can also customize your feed according to specific keywords and hashtags to discover influencers and new top-of-the-funnel leads.

To learn more about reputation management services, reach out to us today at (405) 928-3395. Ask to speak with Korey or Josh and score a free trial campaign on us! Before you know it, you'll be watching those customer ratings rise like a rack of soufflés. 

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