The year hasn’t ended yet, but everywhere on the Internet you can see people predicting what’s going to be in trend the next year! The Internet is bombarded with articles taking up the digital trends in different shape and form— video is still trendy in the market, live streaming and “super real-time”. People are eager to know what trends are going to help them in the upcoming year. But they forget that trends are merely trends. And the reality is— today’s latest thing is tomorrow’s old news.
What’s that important is businesses and marketers should stop just reading about the social media trends, and instead should focus on how they can actually improve their business through that known social media trends. In a nutshell— now it’s the time to focus on social listening!
A recent study based on social media usage revealed that around 65% of adults in the US are using social networking sites— an incredible leap in the last decade. And approx. 75% of US adults are Internet users.
There are numerous studies performed that have indicated that social media usage and, in turn, smartphone usage, have truly become a ubiquitous universal phenomenon. The more that social media users and smartphone users are reflective of the population altogether, the more essential it is to keep in mind that Internet “users” are not merely clicks or sections. Because behind the big data are humans— real people, and they must be treated as such.
How social media marketing can help you is by turbocharging what your brand is already doing organically. If you can make an effort to take your brand from 0 to 60 (as you might say), social media marketing is surely a powerful, influential way to make it a big leap from 60 to 120. But this is just the case if it is developed only on a base of authenticity, by being a part of the conversation and a real voice in the community.
If your brand is serious about using social media to build awareness, raise its profile and ultimately increase revenue, then social listening should definitely be part of your overall strategy. Social listening means paying attention to what your customers are saying, outside of direct engagement with you as well as in. It is vital for effective use of social media, and here are 5 reasons why:
Reputation– Social listening ensures your business isn’t the online equivalent of ‘that’ person in the office who loves the sound of their own voice, but never takes the time to listen to what anyone else has to say! Ofcourse you should use your networks to promote, but that shouldn’t be all you ever do. A brand that listens and responds to its existing clients is always attractive to new ones.
Customer Service & PR- Nobody likes complaints, but nobody likes to be ignored either. If you spot a complaint on your feed, never ignore it. Engage with the client and work to turn it into a positive rather than filling your feed with new, unrelated content. Simple things such as wishing someone a happy birthday or congratulating them on the good news they’ve shared all work to ‘humanise’ your brand making it more appealing to potential customers. Aim to be responsive rather than simply promotional.
Insight– By paying attention to what people are saying about your brand, you gain a real-time insight as to where your business sits amongst its competitors, you can assess what strategies are working well and areas where there is room for improvement.
Product Development– Listening to what people are saying about your product can help identify problems, highlight what works well for you and can even turn up new ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise.
Sales Opportunities– By keeping an eye on your network, you can be first to spot an opportunity, for example, somebody tweeting ‘Can anyone recommend…’ – if yours is the first brand to step in and offer advice, backed up with a timeline full of great customer service, you’ll be hard to resist!
So, how actually can you benefit your business through social listening?
Here are 4 ways social listening can assist you in understanding what your customers want or need.
Several studies have shown that merely 42% of businesses today are using social listening to know and understand their customer base. However 80% of total social marketers agree that social listening is “somewhat” or “very” essential to the social marketing strategy for their brands, the big amount of data accessible online makes it quite complex to distinct the signal away from the clatter. Social listening tools help you in identifying, accessing and responding to what people are saying about you or your brand online. If you’re harnessing the complete power of social listening, such tools can turn out as your new best friends in giving insights which will assist you in understanding what your customers really want or what’s the need of your target market and audience.
That’s the actual difference between “social media listening” (brands understanding what people are talking about the keywords) and really listening to them. Listening to the customer base and using the insights to drive off its marketing strategy, can surely pay you off.
Listening is not just a trend. Indeed, it’s a basic human practice that’s naturally important in (social media) 2-way marcom. Reading about the 2016’s trends or tips to enhance your social media strategy won’t work. It’s time to make some action— via social listening.
Listening to your audience and customers, and acting accordingly can help you develop a strong and long-term relationship over time. Identify your customers, listen to what they are saying, know what their requirements are, and deliver them.
Promatics is an ISO 9001:2008 certified offshore web and mobile application development company with a strong team of 100+ highly skilled IT experts delighting SMEs across USA, Europe and APAC. Our services and solutions help clients to achieve tangible business value and remain competitive in today’s evolving marketplaces.