One of the biggest mistakes that your business can make is improperly using social media to advertise your products or services. Brands that don’t understand social media will post messages that sound like outright advertisments.
While social media is a powerful tool for marketing, brands that only use it for marketing are missing out on potential opportunities. Your social media efforts should be focused on engaging with customers and leading conversations between existing and potential customers. If you haven’t mastered social listening, then here six tips that can help you out.
1 – Know the Difference Between Monitoring & Listening
Before you do anything else, you need to know the difference between monitoring and listening. Having a clear distinction between the two can help you determine what you should listen to and what you should monitor. For example, you would listen for keywords in conversations that you could insert yourself in. Then you would monitor the messages that tag your business so you can provide a response.
These are different approaches, and they should be treated as such. This entire guide is about listening.
2 – Identify Your Problems & Solve Them
There is an overwhelming amount of data that’s gathered on social media. You’ll come across a long list of hashtags and keywords that you can use as part of your listening efforts. Listening provides you with a huge amount of data that you can use to start your research. This means identifying the problem you have so you can solve it while searching through these conversations.
3 – Respond as Quickly as Possible
Customers expect a fast response on social media. While most social media channels have asynchronous communication, you can send a real-time response in mere seconds. Since speed is a determining factor, a fast response is better than a slow response that takes more time. You want to craft genuine and real messages that make your customers feel like they’re communicating with a human being on the other end.
4 – Take Social Listening Seriously
Another component of listening is searching through hashtags and conversations that mention brand. You can make social listening a part of your daily routine by designating a certain time of the day to it. By paying attention to the task of social listening you’ll be more focused on it. It’s up to you to take note of what’s trending on social media.
5 – Know Your Topics
Understanding the topics, not just the keywords, is a good place to start when it comes to your social listening efforts. Most conversations that take place on social media don’t usually mention a brand or use a hashtag. Knowing which topics to search for can help you with this tricky process. For example, if you own a restaurant, searching for a certain dish or location can bring relevant conversations for your brand to listen to and engage with.
6 – Plan for Negative Attention
There are times when people won’t agree with your brand and what it represents. It’s likely that you’ll come across haters and trolls on social media. In your social listening efforts, you should create a plan for how your brand will respond to this type of negative attention. Businesses know what to do in the event of a data breach or a natural disaster and have a disaster plan in place.
You’ll want to create a plan for handling negative reactions that didn’t go as you anticipated. Find out ways on how you can respond to negative attention and how you can spin it to your advantage. You’ll be more confident in your social media efforts. It’ll prevent you from overreacting or posting the wrong thing when something happens.
You don’t want to waste time with your social media efforts. If you listen to what your customers are saying, then you’ll become a part of the conversation.
Stuck on the concept of listening? NetBase provides a wide variety of social media services that can help you with your marketing efforts. Our social media analytics platform can give you the results you need to increase sales and conversions.