Are you listening?

By Daniel Bailey, Digital Account Lead

Did you know that 98% of people on the web use at least one social network? On average, each one of these people has about eight active accounts (and the general consensus from these people is that they ‘like’ social media). The latest Social Media Trends research from GlobalWebIndex may be pointing out some predictable stats, but there’s more to it. With so many people using social media, there’s a growing treasure trove of insights that businesses are dying to unlock! All they need is a key, and that key comes in the form of social listening.

I know what you’re thinking… “I’m always dabbling in social listening”, but keeping tabs on your company’s mentions on Twitter isn’t enough these days. You need to track what your stakeholders are talking about. If you know what they like and don’t like then you’re going to have a much easier time creating content that’s going to resonate well.

Some marketers might see it as a crucial part of their strategy, others might shrug their shoulders at it, but one thing is for sure… if you’re going to do it, then you need to do it properly.

The beauty of social listening is that it helps to paint a picture. Not only will you be able to keep an eye on your competitors, or get a better understanding of what your customers think about your products/services… you’ll have all the information you need to inform your future marketing decisions and campaigns. If you’re looking to identify new ways to get your message ‘out there’ then social listening will help to highlight the opportunities within your industry.

It’s not just marketing that can benefit from this information. You can uncover what customers love and hate about your product, providing you with useful insights for both your sales and R&D departments.

So, you’ve committed… You’re up and running with social listening and you’re ready to eat up those insights to turn them into something magical for your company. What now? Keep an eye on it, play around with the information it’s giving you. If you decide to react to a ‘related hashtag’ that’s starting to pick up some traction then be sure to track the effectiveness of your efforts. The more you utilise the information you’re being provided, the better you’re going to get at social listening. Of course, success may not always come straight away so remember to stay on brand and to keep on plugging away at it.

As the stats suggest, ALMOST everyone on the internet is using social media. Businesses need to recognise this and start planning for how they’re going to cut through the noise to listen to their stakeholders’ needs and wants. Social listening is an exciting opportunity that marketers need to consider if they want to ensure their future campaigns are resonating well with the company’s desired audiences.