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Why social listening matters more now than ever before

Here at Maybe* we’re often found waxing lyrical about how important it is to listen to your customers and your competitors. Using the insight gleaned from social listening can help you serve your customers better, drive real impact through your social activity and learn more about what works for your competitors as it may well work for you too.

Now more than ever, listening to your stakeholders is of paramount importance. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here to explain it in more detail is Louise Welsby, MD at the Shropshire-based full service marketing agency Buy-From.

Social listening matters

Social media has revolutionised the way in which people communicate with each other and with brands they are interested in. Since the world has been in lockdown, it is social media that has enabled us all to stay connected, and the brands who have adapted their approach to social media, are the ones who remain relevant. More so than ever, we need social listening tools to understand what it is that people need, want and care about. Our buying habits have potentially changed forever and we will only understand what this means for our business If we listen and adapt our marketing accordingly. 

The digital space allows businesses to reach customers globally in order to sell their products and services. Social media, blogs, vlogs and email marketing all serve to drive engagement with our offer. The key to success in the digital space, however, is relevance, and this is absolutely the case in this Covid, and post-Covid, world.  

The algorithms used on social media platforms to assess how well business pages are performing are, in its simplest form, measured by relevance. Social media platforms have been built as listening forums. They listen to see what people are saying, just as you must. If you do not listen closely to what people are saying about your product, your brand and the industry you operate in, how can you possibly be expected to create content that will resonate? Social listening is as crucial in business as it is in our personal lives. For us at Buy-From, partnering with Maybe has enabled us to listen rather than monitor, and transform our approach to marketing for our clients as a result.

So, what is social listening?

Social listening can be defined as the process of monitoring social channels for gathering information. This can include customer feedback and reviews, mentions of your brand and any discussions that are taking place that include your brand or industry. Maybe*s social listening tools provide one space to collate all this information and enable you to extract actionable insights and reports from this information. 

The key to understanding the relevance of social listening is that, with the right tools, you know what, why, where and how discussions are taking place so you can be totally responsive in your marketing activity. Maybe*s tech involves monitoring competitors, keywords, themes, brands, industries and topics so that you develop a clear, dynamic, 360 degree picture of the landscape in which you are operating. 

Only by knowing what people think, can you develop relevant and meaningful social media campaigns that stand apart from your competitors. Social listening also enables you to understand how to construct effective and high performing ad campaigns and develop powerful influencer partnerships, all of which we have been able to action since working with Maybe*

Customer service is also the key area that benefits from social listening as it allows you to swiftly spot issues and pain points, enabling you to moderate your social media accounts quickly and easily. Maybe*s dashboard will allow you to detect negative feedback and respond directly and in such a way that you stand out from other businesses. 

The Buy-From team are now using Maybe*s social listening tools to develop content for our clients that their consumers really want, that they care about and that enables them to stay relevant at a time of great difficulty globally. We are more responsive than ever, equipped with data that allows us to constantly reassess how we are communicating and the impact of what we are communicating.

Why is social listening important for marketing?

Content research: We use the available tools to gather information and insights into brands, products and industry so that we can generate new ideas for content.

Competitor analysis: This is really useful for us, particularly for some of our clients who operate in a very competitive marketplace. We are able to examine consumer attitudes to other brands, as well as monitor their social activity so we can adapt our content accordingly. This level of competitor analysis also allows us to work out how we differentiate the brands we work with so that they truly stand out from the crowd.

Customer experience and feedback: We can listen in on conversations about our clients to assess how consumers feel about them. Maybe allows us to look at sentiments, track best performing posts and look at customer feedback and engagement. We can also respond swiftly to any issues detected around products and services, which ensures we maintain excellent customer service.

Influence: It is crucial for us to know who has influence when discussing our clients as this enables us to cultivate really effective brand advocates and identify who has the greatest potential influence based on their social media following.

Campaign analysis: Maybe has been integral in the success of some of our social media campaigns, particularly our recent ad campaigns. We are able to see and understand consumer reactions in different demographics so that we can adapt accordingly and maximise success.

Key takeaway

You are missing out if you don’t use social listening in your marketing. For us, we have been able to create much more dynamic and relevant content, have gained a superior understanding of the marketplace, have discovered new opportunities for our clients at a time when many others are struggling to know what to say or do, and have been able to react in real-time to the changing needs of our clients and their consumers. 

The world we are all in is unlikely to be the same again after COVID-19. To succeed, we need to know what people need and want so that we can communicate with them and ensure our brands stay relevant. You can only do this with social listening.

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