Listening on Social Media is almost certainly THE most important thing you can do with your networks!
As important as it is, it still seems that social listening is not always clear. I mean what are you listening for, who are listening to, and more importantly, why are you listening at all?
In this post I will do my best to demystify what social listening is by elaborating on the what, who and why of social listening.
So first of all WHAT should you be listening for?
- Listen to conversations where you can be helpful, listen to questions your Brand can answer or issues you can resolve.
- Listen to your customers/clients first, listen to what they have to say, listen to them first, then the news.
- Listen to the questions your followers/fans are asking, what they are sharing and what key influencers are talking about.
- Listen by assessing your content, which one’s of your posts is being shared, with whom and when.
- Listen for keywords that pertain to the company brand image/mission/goals and look for identifiers for sentiments!
- Listen for replies once you put something out there (this will lead to engagement).
- You need to take into consideration someone’s personality type in order to listen well & grasp what’s said. (Don’t make any assumptions)
- You listen without intent; don’t listen with a pre-planned agenda to sell them something.
- Listening & hearing are two different things. You can listen with various tools, but you must “hear” what they are saying.
- You listen to what your fans are saying directly to you, as well as what they are saying to each other.
- And finally understand that listening involves really following the feeling of what someone says too, NOT just the words.
Now WHO do you listen to within the social sphere?
- I think WHO you are listening to is just as important as WHAT you are listening for. Influencers are a key component.
- Make sure you determine what is true when you are listening to whomever you deem important
- Influencers are important, but don’t dismiss a diehard fan because they have a low “influential” score
- So even before you listen, you need to identify these key users, and then there’s a trickle down effect
- Make sure you listen to both your Influencers and your Clients.
And finally the WHY…why are you listening to what is being said on social platforms?
- To build relationships, HUGELY important as they eventually can become loyal brand advocates.
- To get valuable content, whether it’s positive or negative customer/fan/followers is a great source of valuable content.
- To make people feel valued, just think back when someone came out of the blue and offered you something that you really needed help with, without you asking for it, EXACTLY so take the time to listen and respond.
Well asking the right questions is a great starting point, if you are clear on how your product/service can help; you probably have many questions you have answers to.
Instead of letting everyone know you have the answer, ask your followers some engaging questions to see where they are at. (Plus ,this can become a great resource for creating content).
The bottom line is that “social listening” doesn’t just mean responding on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, it really means using feedback to actually improve your business outside of social media.
I hope you have found this useful, feel free to add to this list…I know I have not covered everything!