Now more than ever because of COVID-19 and quarantine it is important for small businesses to engage with their customers. Customers love it when a brand takes the time to respond to them about their concerns and their needs. What it boils down to is companies need to be present on social media and to perform social listening. What is social listening? It is the act of paying attention to your social media accounts to see what your visitors are saying about your brand, and what their needs are. It is also where you listen to what is being said about your competition. At the most basic it is monitoring conversations on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Finding ways to promote your brand and built communities while doing so is important.
Tip #1: You need to be where your customers are. Don’t waste your time being somewhere they’re not!
How does this help Your business?
By listening to what your customers want and need as well as what they think about your brand whether it is positive or negative will help you see your customers in a different light. It will also let you know what they think about your brand and help you find ways to continue with the positives and fix the negatives. Sprout Social stated When you listen, you find out the challenges that your customers face and what they find important. Listening and listening well is how you learn how people tick, their challenges, and their views.
Knowledge is Power!
Identifying your target audience’s needs, wants and what the competition is offering them can help you find ways to appeal to your customers. Knowing what people think about your brand is a fantastic way to work on your strengths and weaknesses. It is always important to know what is being said about your business, the good, the bad, the ugly. I’m totally dating myself with that line. Once you’ve identified where your audience is, there are some free tools that are available to help you track keywords, hashtags, as well as mentions by specific users. Below I’ve added three free tools to start your social listening journey.
Tip # 2: Don’t just monitor, Engage! (Even if its negative feedback).
Oh, the Possibilities!
- TweetDeck is a dashboard that lets you monitor your Twitter accounts in real time. Yep. REAL time. You can manage your account(s) by scheduling tweets, organizing the dashboard if you have several Twitter accounts.
- Hootsuite is a dashboard that lets you monitor more than just your Twitter account. The best thing is that it is free (for up to three social media accounts, one user, and 30 scheduled posts) and shows information in REAL time. It is limiting with what you get on the free plan however being able to at least try it out to see if it is workable for your business free or on a plan makes it an excellent choice. There is also the bonus of Hootsuite Academy!
- Google Alerts allows you to set up alerts for example of mentions of your name, products, competition and will send you an email with those results. The information will allow your business to be aware of who is talking about you, where they are talking about, and what they are saying about you. It will also tell you what your competitors are saying, doing, and other relevant information giving you control.
Tip 3: Take one or all of these on a test drive. What do you have to lose? Whispers…Your Customers & future customers.
These three are only a tip of the iceberg. I’m only listing a few that you can use. If you want to find out more, you can check out this excellent post by a fellow blogger and see some of the other great tools that can be used or even just go on the internet and do a search for yourself. You can set how often you get emails, the language, along with how many results you want to see amongst other criteria. So why not look at what’s available? Want more information? Another great post to read on this topic can be found here. The best thing is that social listening…is free! We like free, don’t we? No, matter how you look at it your brand needs to get on the social media listening train and began to build relationships with your consumers.
Are you listening?
Has your business used social listening on social media? Please share your experiences in the comments below! I’d love to hear your positive as well as your negative experiences, they will all add to the conversation and help others along their engagement journey!
Category: Social Media Marketing 201