Why your business should care about social listening
To put it bluntly: if you don't care about social listening then your business strategy will be all over the place:
You will be missing lots of actionable insights from the ground floor, or in this case the virtual shop floor.
Why would you not listen to your customers?
Business that give the deaf ear to feedback from customers, will quickly go to the wall.
If you don't listen to you customers you don't care about them, and that is just bad business.
Just ask Blackberry, who thought better than when customers wanted smart phones, on second thoughts better not ask them as they may not be too pleased!
Here we list the ways social listening can benefit your business.
1. Free Market research and engaging your customers
Think you know everything about your customers? Think again..
In their book, Turned On, Roger Dow and Susan Cook describe the Marriott research done to identify which guests intended to stay at the Marriott again. They divided guest stays into 3 groups A, B, and C.
A = Nothing bad happened during their stay.
B = Something bad happened, but Marriott fixed the problem.
C = Something bad happened, but Marriott did not fix the problem.
The percentage of these three groups that said they would return to stay at the Marriott were as follows:
A = 89%
B = 94%
C = 69%
This corroborated the TARP studies that showed that a broken relationship that is “fixed” creates a more loyal customer than one that was never broken. The more a company is able to fix what is wrong, the more they build a positive reputation.
In a similar survey, customers reported that companies failing to listen to their needs was one of their top three customer service complaints.
Social listening gives you important insight into what your customers expectations are and how well you’re delivering.
It also highlights moments when reaching out is required to engage in conversations (positive or negative) that are happening about your brand, for example Ratings on Google for your business, Reviews on Facebook whether that customer is singing your praises, a customer service problem(which can be turned into an opportunity).
2. Identify Wins and Losses in Realtime.
Which of your posts are getting the highest engagement combined with the most positive social reactions?
If social reaction about your firm suddenly changes you can look into individual posts to get a sense of what you’ve done so well or indeed badly..
If you’ve got a hugely successful posting, take notes about elements of the campaign or strategy that you could carry forward and apply to future efforts.
If things have gone wrong, review the social lessons that could prevent a similar problem in the future.
And of course if a post has gone terribly wrong, pull the post altogether and apologise, put your hands up immediately without delay.
This is good online crises management practice.
3. Find out how you compare to competitors.
Not only will you be listening to your own customers but carefully listening what they are saying about competitors, this way you are getting real time information and gives you the time and space to respond to online threats and opportunities e.g. if the competition let their black Friday online start early, you can respond in real-time.
It can be extraordinarily informative but sometimes quite humbling if they are talking negatively about your business compared to the competition.
4. Uncover pain points in your industry that you can be the first to address
By monitoring and staying alert to keywords being used in your industry you can identify stress areas for customers or problems with existing services and with inforation feedback to the product development team areas to incorporate in future renderings of the service or product to improve customer experience for them.
Or even you may find that customers are frustrated , and you already have a service which can address the issue, you need to tweek your next marketing campaign to raise awareness of a solution you already have available to them.
5. Leads that can develop into relationships.
Don't do the hard sell when you see a potential customer with a query: but if you are able to point them in the right direction or offer some good advice, it establishes you as the' go to guy' for that issue and this is how relationship selling starts.
6. Identify Influencers
Nielsen found that 83 percent of people trust online recommendations from friends and family, making recommendations from people we know and trust the most credible form of advertising in their study.
Having an overview of the key people in your industry ( those with a lot of social media influence) means you are in an informed position to try and connect with them where possible.
Ideally you find key brand advocates—people who already love your company/brand and are singing your praises on social media. Reward these where possible and you will be paid back tenfold.
Next time : How to set up Social Media Listening
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