The value of social listening

You might be forgiven for thinking social media is just cat pictures and posting updates on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but the real key to success on social media is to stop and listen.

You might be forgiven for thinking social media is just cat pictures and posting updates on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but the real key to success on social media is to stop and listen.

Every day, millions of people all over the world share insights and information about themselves on social media – like a digital focus group, without the prompted questions. Social monitoring opens up opportunities for your brand to take this information and turn it into something valuable, whether it be creating new leads or even watching what your competitors are up to.

Customer service

Social media and customer service should always go hand-in-hand. Customers expect great service whether in person or online, recent surveys have found that 71% of customers will recommend a brand that gives them a ‘quick and effective’ response on social media. One thing your social strategy should take into account is that much of the conversation won’t always come directly to you – people will talk about your business outside of your Facebook page or without including your Twitter handle. Unless you’re monitoring the correct keywords, you’ll only get part of the picture.

Another way of adding value with social monitoring is seeking out new leads. For example, a hotel might look out for people planning to visit the area and offer an exclusive deal or tips on what attractions to look out for. Last month I visited London and a local restaurant picked up on my tweet – I would probably have never visited, or even known they existed, if they hadn’t reached out.

Keeping an eye on the competition

It’s easy to keep a watchful eye on the other side to suss out their next move, but social monitoring can give you insights into what their customers really think of them. Whether you’re identifying your own weaknesses or learning from their mistakes, making the most of social listening tools can really pay off. Last month, Galaxy chocolate turned comedian Kevin Bridge’s complaint about a Cadbury’s bar into some good PR by being quicker than their competitor to respond on Twitter and send him a free gift, which he then tweeted on to his 600k+ followers.

So when it comes to reviewing your social strategy in the New Year, remember to take the time to listen!

If you want to learn how social monitoring can improve your strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch.