These last few years we marketers have evolved and thrived many new and unconventional marketing channels, and social media has become one of the most important component of modern Marketing Strategy Plans. Businesses with key focus on social media would definitely want to integrate a social listening tool into their social media strategy, as it is very important to learn how the social-verse is responding back to your messaging and promotions. Learning what people are saying is an important aspect determining an effective social media strategy. Focused listening will tell you which social networks your audience is most actively using and marketers can strategize accordingly.

Why Social Listening is Important?

Most of us might think that we’ve already mastered Social Listening, but it is more than watching your mentions and replying when prompted. It requires you to go beyond your notifications and find people who aren’t tagging you in their updates and discussions. It is about finding the conversation which is not directed but pushed up in the social hemisphere with useful insights and powerful human sentiments attached about your brands, products, competition or industry.

Social Listening is not about monitoring certain hashtags on Twitter for instance. As per my own experiment almost 39% of the Tweets mentioning my company don’t include the Twitter handle or #hash or at times misspell our company or services. In fact, only 9% of Tweets are actually directed at towards our brand. This means more conversations are happening about us than with us and I want to listen to them all.

“Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest.” — Dan Neely

We can avoid missing out on the opportunity to delight customers, or collect valuable feedback by actively “listening” to these conversations. To achieve this, make sure that we track all variations circling around our brand, products, services or industry. You might also want to track the usernames of your competitors as their lack of social listening could mean a new customer for you.

Engage and provide active Customer Services through Social Media. A survey by Oracle found 43% of users interact with brands on social media for a direct response to a problem or question. Additionally, 31% interact with brands to gain direct access to customer service representatives or product experts. Listen better and support your customers where they need it when they need it.

Adding social listening to your strategy will help ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to help existing customers or gain new ones. Using a social media monitoring tools like Oracle SRM, Hootsuite, SocialBaker, Brandwatch and many others may help you track your brand as well as your competitors. But It can be confusing at times to select the best platform to fulfill the business requirements and churns out desired results, therefore many suggests that engaging an expert to determine the best marketing technology fit will save both time and money.

Listening to what people are saying about your brand on social media will benefit your business as a whole. Customer Service will be improved and your R&D team can easily access feedback on what your target audience thinks about your products and services as well as those of competitors to come up with a variant to tackle that exact complain. Possibilities can be endless if we start social listening and understanding our customers.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.” — Stephen R. Covey

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