Everybody knows what ‘social media’ is, but social media listening?! If you asked an average Joe to define social media, he would probably tell you: ‘a tool for communication‘. And yet – for many marketers, who claim to be ‘social media experts’ – that communication on social media is very one-sided. Namely: the companies speak, and their audience mainly listens, sometimes expressing their blase approval through a non-concomitant ‘like’. Sounds crazy? It is. Social media listening carries so many benefits it’s almost sad how few businesses actually use it as part of their social media strategy.
Build products people want
Have you read the book ‘Traction’? If you’re building a SaaS business (or any business, for that matter) – you should. The authors stipulate that in order to be really lean (think ‘Lean startup’-kind-of -lean) you need to devote 50% of your time to product development, and the other 50% – to building traction channels. Why?
Why would you market a product you don’t have yet?!
In line with the lean philosophy, ideally, you don’t want to invest two years of your life building something nobody wants. And the best way to find out what people want is…to listen to what they are saying.
If you’re building a pre-training product for body-builders, you should listen to what bodybuilders are saying about pre-training products on the internet – on social media, forums, Quora etc.
But how are you supposed to ‘listen to the internet’?!
This is where social media listening tools like social media listening tools like SentiOne come into play. You simply set up a keyword alert in your dashboard, and the tool screens the internet for relevant conversations on that point and sends you notifications with links to the places where the conversations are happening straight to your email. So you can see what your target customers are talking about in relations to your niche, where and do market research ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’.
First Listen, then Talk
Social Media Marketing can only work if you speak your target audience’s language. And in order to learn somebody’s language – you need to be listening to its native speakers first.
Most companies do exactly the opposite. They talk – sometimes a lot – about things that are completely irrelevant to their audience. And in a language that their audience may not understand.
If you really want to understand your audience – which is the first step to a successful social media marketing strategy (or any marketing strategy for that matter) – you need to listen to how your audience communicates in relation to your industry, product or service – and then talk like one of them. To be able to learn that – you need to set up the right keyword alerts to follow the right conversations online. SentiOne can help you with that!
“Word of Mouth” 2.0.
If you can listen to conversations about your industry, niche or product, and respond to them pretty much in real time…why not use this feature of your social media listening tool to do marketing?
Imagine if your employees could jump on the conversations from their FB accounts, recommending your product or service…it would sound like ‘word of mouth’ marketing, wouldn’t it? 😉 A lot of companies are already doing this!
“Crises on social media happen on the weekends” – how Brand Monitoring can save your business
As I talked to one of our power-users, Monika Czaplicka – CEO of Wobuzz social media agency and a best-selling author of ‘Crises on Social Media happen on the weekends’, she said something that stuck with me: “People don’t buy from businesses. People buy from other people. If you put a face behind your social media marketing, if you own your f*ckups – admit to your mistakes rather than trying to deny them – people are going to be a lot more forgiving to your brand – and a lot more likely to buy from you”.
Mistakes happen to the best of us – and it’s not about avoiding them, but rather how you handle them – that will differentiate your business. As you see in the screenshot above – a social media listening tool can also be excellent for brand monitoring – so you can quickly respond to customer complaints, requests and suggestions in posts and comments – before they erupt into full-blown PR crises.
The same social media listening tools that can be used for preventing crises can also be used to…do customer service via social media!
In sum – social media listening is a still-underappreciated but oh-so-useful! method you should incorporate into your social media marketing strategy (and product development too!)
As we can see, you can use them for:
- Informing product development
- Market research
- Ideal client discovery
- Word of mouth marketing
- Crises prevention and customer service
Wanna try social media listening in your business? We have a special deal for you!
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