The most important reason to take part in social listening is to maintain and monitor your reputation. I’m not talking about reviews on Google My Business, Dealer.com, or even Facebook. I’m talking about the conversations your consumers have when they think no one is listening. When you aren’t tagged directly or when there is conversation about your brand that is not intended to be engaged with—that’s when you can learn the most about how your customers perceive your brand.
How do you participate in social listening?
No matter the size of your company or what products/services you offer, you should be taking part in social listening. This can range from free methods like a Google Alert to monitor your web presence, to a pricey software that will allow you to search for information using your brand name, services, products, or even hashtags that are relevant to your company.
How you can use this to your advantage:
- There may be a micro-influencer who is in love with your products and has genuinely mentioned that they are a fan. This might get mixed up in all your mentions, which will then cause you to miss a great partnership opportunity.
- There are many ways to use social listening as a tool to spy on your competition. This can help you notice features or services that your competition may lack; ones that their fanbase has a need for. This can also help you stay aware of potential buyer personas you may not have fully tapped into just yet.
- Piggybacking onto number two, say you are a national towing service and you use words like “flat tire” or “dead battery” in your social listening. You can then find people who have a need for your service right away and offer them a discount or even free service. You could send something like this: “Flat tires are rough… And so is paying for a tow truck. Let us make this bad situation a little better by giving you a free tow service! Give us a call and mention this tweet!”
Now, how can you tell the difference between when to engage or when to just listen?
You might want to swoop in when someone has a flat or a dead battery because those are smaller, less serious problems. However, if there was a big accident or something more serious, it may come off tacky to offer a promotion to them.
There is a fine line that only you and your business can determine. It may be a good idea to respond to every post for some, while others it may come off as spammy and desperate. It is equally important to know when to hop into a social conversation that involves your competitor. Will it be kitschy to try to come in with a sassy comment like Wendy’s social media? Or will it come off desperate and flop, leading to a negative reaction?
Ready to start the conversation about social listening and social management? Let’s talk!