“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey author, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
In today’s world, there is no doubt that Social Media has changed the way people relate
not only to each other, but to companies and brands. In some ways, Social Media has
become a digital focus group for businesses everywhere — 24/7, always on. This Blog
will help you enhance the critical facets of Social Media, increase your social intelligence,
and unlock insights about your brand through listening.
Listening Benefits Everyone
It might be easy to think that listening to conversations on Social Media is just a job for
a Marketing or customer service department. But truthfully, what goes on across social
channels can bring greater benefits to the company when you do not limit it to one department.
Here are just 4 roles that can create competitive advantage by being involved in social listening.
Can you gauge success by looking at sales numbers? Probably not. Listening for interaction
and engagement can confirm your messaging is on track and helps assess your brand’s impact.
Here are three framing questions that you can use to validate messaging decisions based on
Are you positioning yourself properly through attractive and relevant content?
Is the customers’ reaction in line with your message?
Are they brand advocates or adversaries?
Leverage Social Media Influencers. Pay attention to users who are familiar with your industry,
even if they are not talking directly about your brand. They can be early signs of trends, and
you should be paying attention. Listening also helps you counter negative sentiment and plan
out an internal system for funneling inquiries to the correct department.
Would your social team efficiently address a tech support issue?
How about successfully convert a sales lead? Or handle a legal issue?
On social channels, your community managers are often a first contact.
Make sure they know where various inquiries are best addressed.
Trends in social communication are always changing. Mine conversations for key data
points. Track new topics, tones, or changes of any kind. Hint: Number of interactions
and engagements are more relevant than number of followers.
As a company figurehead, you do not need all the finite details of every single interaction.
Still, you can make decisions that are in line with up-to-the-minute trends. With a well-planned
listening strategy in place, you (and your team) will be able to see what your customers are
talking about, while you watch your departments manage the conversation.
Leveraging Real-Time Feedback
Feedback on Social Media is constant and in real time. Use the immediacy of this
communication to your advantage — proactively messaging to strengthen your brand.
Here are just a few areas to think about as you build your capabilities.
So much of the talk on Social Media is not actionable, meaning it is irrelevant to your brand.
A well-designed listening strategy is necessary to identify the resonant material. Do not
forget … users shape your brand. You can only guide them. Identifying actionable ways to
communicate and message can help turn industry Influencers into advocates for your brand.
Time of Crisis Management
Social Media listening particularly pays off during times of crisis. Managing rampant negative
feedback, an embarrassing news story, or any other brand-damaging event might be a defining
moment for your company. Do you have the right system in place to handle it appropriately?