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3 Ways to Start Listening to Social Media

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Utilizing social media in communications and marketing is an everyday task for businesses. Most companies acknowledge that actively producing content in social media channels helps to make customers committed and satisfied. However, one thing that is forgotten in many organizations is social media monitoring and listening, even though it has the same effects as producing content for social media. Social media monitoring and listening don’t only help with customer commitment and satisfaction, it also gives a chance to develop your company without customers directly contacting you. 

If your business hasn’t yet started social media monitoring, now is the time to do so. Keep reading and you will find out how social media monitoring and listening opens doors to better brand knowledge and lets you seek deeper down into conversations that are going around your company. 

What is social media listening?

Social media monitoring and social media listening are often thought to be synonyms, even though they have slightly different meanings. Social media monitoring means following keywords and discussions on social media. Social media listening, in turn, is a more profound understanding and learning about the discussions on social media. It's more about meeting the customers' needs, recognizing trends, measuring the effectiveness of your communications, and learning from the competition.

With social media monitoring and listening, you can track the conversations around your brand, your competitors, and your field. This way you know easily, what is being discussed, where, and how.

Because the terms are close to each other, they easily get mixed up. It’s important to understand that social media monitoring can exist without social media listening but listening cannot exist without monitoring. That is why these two concepts are so strongly intertwined. In this article, we will go through three useful hints on how to start with social media listening.

1. Find out what customers think of you

It's a good idea to start social media listening by finding out what your current and potential customers think of you. Your customers are probably talking about you and your services without targeting their messages to you. Therefore, take advantage of search engines, as well as a social media monitoring service to find out in which channels and discussions your organization and brand are mentioned.

With the help of these, you get a chance to answer or react to comments and posts that your company hasn’t even been tagged on. This means you will get access to content concerning your business that would have gone unnoticed otherwise. Your company should see this as a part of customer service because you can offer your customers service in situations where it wasn’t expected.  

 

With social media monitoring, Xbox has been able to offer customer service in a situation where the customer hasn’t been expecting it from them. (Source: Bad Rhino)

After this, pay attention to the tone of the discussion. What are the aspects that make the customers satisfied? How about the aspects they are not happy with? By following the discussion related to your brand you get feedback in real time and can quickly react to customers' comments.

By following the hashtag #alpro, Alpro has been able to react to customers’ feedback, even though the company hasn’t been tagged on the post. This way the company has been able to follow with social media monitoring what people discuss about their products. (Source: Twitter)

Was your company not present in social media discussions? This is usually a sign of people not knowing enough about your operations. Be active in making your company recognizable and start marketing to both the press and the public.

2. Follow what is talked about around you

Social media listening should not be limited to your own operations. By paying attention to the buzz in your industry, you stay on top of trends and will be able to recognize the so-called silent signals that are especially helpful in product development and improving services.

Follow the important hashtags and discussion groups of your industry. Find out which channels and groups the gurus and the opinion leaders of your industry follow and what terminology they use in their conversations. Also, search for the industry-specific keywords in discussion boards and blogs.

Do your customers have a problem they are trying to solve that you could bring a solution to? Find out in which channels you could bring forth your know-how.

Once you have found out where your colleagues and customers are having their discussions and what they discuss, just go out there and join the conversation. Ask, share your opinion and provide useful tips.

Also, follow whether your activities yield good results. You have boosted active discussions with the people, but have they subscribed to your newsletter or contacted you? Are you mentioned in discussions more often? If the answer is no, keep on discussing.

3. Monitor your competition

After you know what your customers discuss and what they think of you, focus your attention on the competition. Follow what customers are talking about your competitors' products and how these rivals are taking part in social media discussions. Also, pay attention to what kind of content your competitors produce and how the public reacts to it.

It's also good to learn from your competitors.  Pay attention to what kind of content competitors publish and see how the crowd reacts to it.  This way social media monitoring and listening will show you, what the company does to make their communication on social media work. Collect tips regarding discussions and content production.

Always try to perform better than your competitors. Be active and produce genuinely gripping content on social media channels. If your rivals are not interested in taking part in your industry-related conversations, you have a good opportunity to show your own expertise and stay ahead of the competition. After you have achieved the desired position, don’t get too used to it. Social media is an ever-changing field, and you should always try to improve your presence there. However, with help of social media monitoring and listening, you can let go a bit. The tools can take part of the workload off your shoulders, especially if you use a media monitoring app. The app can save your time by notifying you when something happens so you don’t have to spend time constantly checking your reports.

Where to get help for social media listening?

Simultaneously following your own brand, customers, and competitors on several social media channels can be a challenging task. Media monitoring tool LianaMonitor collects all discussions on social media with keywords and hashtags. With a daily analysis, you get a clear picture of your visibility and you are always aware of what is talked about on social media.

Is it time to start social media monitoring? Contact us!

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