Big successful brands need to make sense of all the chatter that happens around them on social media. They need to come across as social by engaging with their audience and responding to concerns. Social listening is the way to go about it. There are some compelling reasons why brands should make listening a top priority. Here they are:
To maintain basic hygiene
It’s not enough to simply maintain presence on social platforms by creating profiles. Not everybody will be inclined to reach out to you through your social handle. They can choose to talk about you by simply mentioning your brand keywords. Since they won’t visit your social profile you may miss out on what they said about you if you don’t have a listening tool.
To fetch conversations
Keeping up with the expectations of a social savvy audience can be tough without a listening tool. How are you supposed to know if your brand is being discussed on a personal blog? How many Google searches will it take for you to discover it? How often will you do it? Without a listening tool by your side, you are at a disadvantage.
To offer true customer service
No run-of-the-mill listening tool will do. You need a tool that fetches conversations from every dynamic website and is fast at it. The new age consumer expects slick responses. Which means your tool needs to be fast at discovering conversations. Not every grievance can be summed up in 140 characters. Grievances posted on complaint and review forums need to be picked up in time too.
To adhere to response benchmarks
Apart from speed and reach you need a tool with built in Social CRM features. Such features come in handy when co-ordination between different sets of resources is required. Response team members cannot always resolve issues on their own. Often they require approvals from higher management or involvement of a technical team member. In such instances maintaining efficiency is essential. Some of the best and ideal listening tools can track Turn-Around-Time of each team member to ensure clockwork precision.
To discover frequently mentioned pain points
Conversations fetched by your listening tool can be categorised and sorted in to conversation buckets. You will be able to discover the most talked about issues at any given point in time. These known issues can then be improved upon and the impact of those improvements can be tracked.
To gauge brand sentiment
It’s important to understand what consumers have to say about your brand. You may not be able to shrug off negative comments but through sentiment analysis you can see where you stand. Through sentiment analysis you will be able to see which area of your business is surrounded with negativity. Are consumers happy with your product but unhappy with the apathy of your customer service team? Are they happy with the food served at your restaurant but not the service?
To understand your audience better
Your listening tool should be able to let you identify which users talk about you the most, interact with you the most and have most followers. Once you have that kind of intelligence, you will be able to craft engagement strategies for them. You will also be able to see things from their perspective by analysing words that frequently crop up in their conversations. Social listening is a non-intrusive way of understanding your audience’s motivations. It can be argued that social listening has replaced questionnaire led consumer research. Why ask when they are talking about you on their own terms? If you want their honest opinion, it’s already out there waiting to be found.
To level the playing field
Listening tools are great at fetching conversations from across the web and social web. So if you are wondering what your competition has been up to? You can simply feed the relevant keywords and the tool will pull all publicly available conversations. This will allow you to see exactly what customers like and hate about them. If they are doing something better than you on the digital platform, you will be able to see it instantly and help you level the playing field by adopting similar strategies.
To measure impact
Measurement is the cornerstone of all marketing activities. Your listening tool will offer you great support in that regard. You will be able to discover.
Your share of the brand conversations pie (Share of Voice)
Sources of your conversations (Media Type Analysis)
Change in brand perception (Sentiment Analysis)
Keywords associated with your brand (Word Cloud)
Geographical composition of your brand’s conversations (Brand regional analysis)
Efficiency of your response team (Brand regional analysis)
Apart from digital efforts you might be able to measure the impact of your offline outreach too. That’s because your offline efforts are likely to spark conversations online too.
To support marketing
The importance of data backed marketing initiatives is on the rise. Inputs derived from analytical reports provide much needed legitimacy for future marketing communications. Is your analysis pointing towards a strong ‘selfie’ connection with your brand? Let ‘selfie’ be the theme of your next advertising led marketing campaign. The impact of such data backed initiatives is more predictable. Your brand’s stakeholders can take solace in guaranteed engagement and uptake in sales.